My doctor ordered me to drink a glass of grapefruit juice every day. Sure, I could just pretend I’m doing what he told me to do but actually keep drinking Sunny D. Aside from my fear of turning orange from the beta carotene, though (and, yes, that happened. To someone else, totally not me), I’m also terrified of my doctor. He was in the army when he was younger, and he gets this look in his eyes from time to time that makes me think he didn’t serve in a medical capacity. So now I drink a glass of grapefruit juice every day.
This raises a problem that I can’t ignore, however, and it’s not that I’m more scared of my doctor than I am of finding out that Johnny Depp hates my blog. My fear of my doctor is probably the healthiest thing about me. The problem is that I hate grapefruit juice. I hate it with the burning, white-hot heat of a thousand suns. For those of you who’ve seen the movie Clue, which I highly recommend by the way, my feelings for grapefruit juice make me think of Madeline Kahn’s character saying “I hated her SO… much… it… it… the… it… the… flames… flames… on the side of my face… breathing… breathless… heaving breaths…” That’s exactly what it’s like for me, except that I haven’t murdered my grapefruit juice in the study with a candlestick (mostly because I can’t figure out how).
Grapefruit juice hates me back, incidentally. I’m staring at a glass of it right now, one I tried to make more appealing by serving it over ice in a fancy wine glass and throwing in some grapes and a couple of cherries. Every time I do that, though, I eat the grapes and cherries first; then I put in some more grapes and cherries, and then I eat those; then I let the ice melt; then I put the glass somewhere I can’t see it so I won’t feel guilty while I do pretty much anything else; then I sullenly unearth the glass, pinch my nose, and drink the juice. Then I tell the remaining citric effluvia how awful it is, with references to reality television and Fifty Shades of Grey. It’s hardly surprising that the juice resents this a little bit, especially given what happens about an hour after I drink it.
My motto has always been, drink a glass of grapefruit juice first thing in the morning and nothing worse can happen to you for the rest of the day. I’ve lived by that motto for years, starting every morning by not drinking a glass of grapefruit juice right after I get out of bed, no exceptions, no matter what. Then, when bad things happen during the day, I’ll think, “At least I didn’t have to drink a glass of grapefruit juice this morning,” and it all seems a little easier. It’s been a touchstone of my adulthood, a way to know if I’m headed in the right direction. When I don’t know what path to choose, I ask myself, “If I take this road, am I more or less likely to end up drinking grapefruit juice?” It’s the reason I didn’t major in Business. It’s why I broke up with the guy who wore suits on weekends. My hatred for grapefruit juice is essential to who I am.
I tried to explain this to my doctor so he would understand that telling me to drink grapefruit juice really means ordering me to contravene the dictates of my soul, and could he truly want such a thing? That’s when he got that look in his eyes and said something I won’t quote directly because I like you and I don’t want to scare you, but the gist was this: “Sometimes in life, we all have to do things we hate—things we can’t forget, things we still see when we close our eyes, things that will stay with us even as we lie in the sweet embrace of Death.” He kept twisting the cord of his stethoscope as he said it, too. I’m not saying that has any significance, it’s just the kind of thing you notice.
So now I have a new motto: Do what your doctor says unless you want to gaze upon the ruins of your life and weep bitter, pink, grapefruity tears. And then publish a blog post about it and nothing worse will happen to you for the rest of the day! I hope. I mean, what are the odds that my doctor reads this blog, right?
[all images are in the public domain via pixabay, with modification]