In nature, there is room for things to actually change. Take bananas. Bananas change their mass. They start out green and hard and pasty, and then they change over time. Eventually they wind up as brown watery goo. Bananas change their color like some fructose chameleon moving from green to yellow to brown. As they change, the sugar content in a banana increases, and they become sweeter. When you get a banana, you know that it is going to change. You can count on it; people even time their relationship with the banana based on knowing that it will change. “If I buy the greener ones on Monday, then I can have ripe ones for breakfast by Saturday.” The change is good. We accept it, we count on it, we look forward to it. Nature has it figured out.
People, well, not so much. People pretty much are what they show themselves to be. Which is odd, because the thing we want and count on more than change in nature, is change in people. When I first met my husband, he loved to work. At that time, it was a good thing, because we worked together. So instead of going to that family function where grandma pinches your cheeks, and Uncle Ed gets drunk, or Cousin Louise delights the family with her kale cauliflower green bean casserole, my husband would calmly excuse himself stating that sadly, his evil awful heartless employer had scheduled him to work. But as time and circumstances changed, his constant focus on work didn’t. Instead of being the good thing that avoided contact with another one of his aunt’s casseroles, it became the bad thing because it meant that he was avoiding contact with me. As our family grew, and our lives changed, he persisted in keeping work as his main focus. But I needed him to change: broaden his scope, focus on home and relationship. In my opinion, these are the changes that make life sweeter. But his refusal to change made our relationship bitter. Rotten bananas are my favorite to bake with, as they are at their sweetest. But a decayed relationship is merely foul tasting.
After my divorce I had a couple of relationships. One gentleman said that kids were OK, but he didn’t want to spend a lot of time with them right away. This kinda worked because I had this week on week off custody arrangement. So every other Sunday night he would kiss me good-bye while I spent time with my kiddos, and we would be apart while I played Mommy. The following Sunday, when my kids went to live with their Dad, I would melt into his arms again. We became very close, and after about a year he wanted to marry me. But the odd thing was, the pattern of week on week off again never changed. I wondered if there was a special tax deduction if you promise to love honor and cherish each other only 26 weeks out of the year. Unfortunately, because there are no take backsies on your offspring, his inability to change the pattern enough to include my children kept us away from the altar.
For some reason I have a strong need to believe in people’s ability to change; to follow through with the things that they tell me they want to do. I believed a man who had no job and no money when he said he wanted to contribute to my household financially. I believed a drug addict when he said that he wanted nothing more than to be clean and sober. I believed a man I met on a dating website who claimed that he was OK with just being friends. And I believed a man who said he would always be there for me, even though we had only just met.
One gentleman accused me of having trust issues. I wanted to tell him, “You’re right, I do. But not the kind you think.” I have issues with trusting people who have shown me that they should not be trusted. Why did I believe that my husband would choose relationship over work when he clearly showed me that his priorities ran the other way? Why would I sign a two year phone contract with a man who had demonstrated that he couldn’t pay rent for over a year? Why did I think that if I only tried harder and believed a little more and loved a little stronger that I could get their actions and feelings towards me to change?
I find more and more that I am not alone. I meet women who believe that their lover will leave his wife if only they hold on a little longer. Others believe that he will make time for them if only they wait. Men promise money, time, security and affection; and women wait for the relationship to ripen into fruition.
Life offers many experiences which make it sweeter. A real relationship based on mutual attention and loving support can be the sweetest of all. I don’t know what kind of fruit it is that deteriorates into rottenness as it changes, but like the honey bee, I seem to be drawn to them. Whatever kind of fruit men are, I do know that I sure can pick ‘em!
Banana Bread with Almond Butter
I think that the Food Bank received large vats of Almond Butter to dispense as a nut butter substitute. I actually like the taste and texture of the Almond Butter better than it’s pea-nutty peer, but because of the apparent warehouse packaging done at the Food Share, the jars tend to be….uneven.
I found this wonderful recipe on the Two Tarts website.