As someone whose strengths have never been in the looks department, I have always subscribed to the age-old adage, “Never judge a book by its cover.” Applying this proverbial wisdom to myself is perhaps the clearest illustration of this idea: While I may have the hips of a woman who has borne eight children, my ovaries have been in a perpetual state of hibernation since I reached puberty. To see me, you would never know, but to inquire into my marital status, and you quickly surmise that things are not always quite the way they seem.
Well, sometimes somewhat unconsciously, my love of proverbs seeps into my day to day interaction with my favorite six year old, Aldie, who has an inexplicable disdain towards banana peels that bear a brown spot or two. Even when I beseech him to peel the fruit before condemning it to hells of some G-d forsaken subway trash can, Aldie usually refuses. Remarking, “But it’s gross,” he disposes of the perfectly edible banana nine times out of ten.
This morning, however, I determined to no longer participate in the bananacide occurring in my midst. It was time for action, and so without a second thought, I barked, “Never judge a banana by its peel!” Aldie, startled by my rather loud proclamation, paused and then said, “Is this another one of your crazy life metaphors?”
Though my intentions were entirely literal (and perhaps noble, if you’re into saving awkwardly shaped yellow fruit), my rather brash remark did, indeed, contain a deeper message: Stop being so darn superficial. Give things a chance. Experience them. Acquaint yourself with the ins and outs of them. Walk a mile in their shoes (if by things we mean people). And then and only then pass judgment.
Aldie stared at me, realizing my mind had embarked on an impromptu philosophical journey, and commented, “Ok, this one time. For you.” And would you believe it? The banana itself had not a single spot. It was any monkey’s dream, and for my little blonde headed monkey it was reinforcement of this morning’s subway lesson.
Aldie even took it one step further, when he remarked, “A banana’s kind of like a Starbucks latte. You’ve got to drink past the foam and milk to get to the really good stuff- the espresso.” Love. Of. My. Life.