The Fruit Man and The Naked Chick



I wonder if people who are married to a fat spouse wear the equivalent of Beer Goggles? I ask because my husband was once married to an overweight woman, me, and had no idea! He was clueless when someone pointed out that I looked exactly like Liza Minnelli, but not the young, 1970’s Liza…

Brian thought the comparison had to do with both of us having short, dark hair. I, on the other hand, was not confused. The non-1970’s Liza was extremely overweight and sported a pixie style haircut. Me, too.

My big weight loss came after a particularly humiliating morning over seventeen years ago. My husband, daughter, and I had recently moved into a new house in West Jordan, Utah. I had just gotten out of the shower when my then two-year-old, Lorrin, called out that someone was at the door and she was letting them in. I threw on my robe and wrapped a towel around my head and emerged from my bedroom.

Standing inside the frame of my open front door was a middle-aged man selling oranges. He was friendly enough pitching to me while slicing an orange for me to sample. I didn’t want an orange, but I also didn’t want to be impolite, so I let him continue with his spiel.

Benjamin, my longhaired Chihuahua, seized an opportunity and bolted outside. My daughter trailed after him still wearing a diaper and nothing else. My undeveloped neighborhood was full of vacant lots brimming with rocks and with sticker bushes looming large.

I tried excusing myself, but the farmer continued whittling at sections of orange to feed me. He said something about his twelve-year-old daughter and something else about his twenty-one-year-old son who had freshly returned from a Mormon Mission. However, I wasn’t paying attention. Instead, I was looking for my streaking child and my dog. With my apologies, I stepped around the man and hurried down the street, barefoot, robed, and towel-turbaned.

As I ran, I spotted the man’s missionary son as well as his daughter selling fruit nearby. And then, sprinting down the pavement, I saw Lorrin crying and in pursuit of Benjamin, our dog. Lorrin had fallen, and I could see bloody toe prints on the sidewalk.

When I caught up with her, blood streamed down her leg and off two toes. I swept her up, but Lorrin was stubborn and began screaming for the dog and bucking to get down. I held her tight and began hauling her home when down the street I saw a streak of black fur near the farmer.

“Stop that dog!” I yelled over my hollering child. As I came closer, I noticed the missionary son was mid-stride with a box of oranges in hand facing me. His little sister was doing the same; watching me, mouth opened, eyes bulging, and frozen.

I was struggling, holding my child with one hand and trying to keep my towel turban from sliding off. When I was almost in my front yard, I saw that the farmer’s face was white and he was staring at me. I looked down.

My robe was open. The whole front side of me was visible; breasts sitting sunny-side up, stomach mounding, and then there was my Netherlands—everything was exposed. Surprise!

The fruit guy stepped quickly forward and handed me my dog, in which I positioned strategically slightly below my waist. Embarrassed I dashed into my house. The fruit man followed. I synched up my robe and ended up buying an entire box of oranges just to get rid of him. I guess I have the fruit man and his family to thank for my sudden urge to join Weight Watchers.

Years later, the orange farmer returned, though, I had lost over sixty pounds and had grown out my pixie cut. When the man finally did recognize me, his pupils retracted and he didn’t argue when I told him, no, I wouldn’t care for any oranges, today. I remembered the oranges as being bitter—though I didn’t tell him that. The man left. He practically ran from my porch.


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