Whoever said, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!” never actually owned a lemon tree, because let me tell you something: I’ve got neighbors desperate to give away their lemons, they’ve got so many rotting in their front gardens at the end of every day. And I’m pretty sure those people know about lemonade… and lemon tarts, lemon chicken, lemon hair masks, and lemon cleaning sprays.
The problem, as I’m sure you’re guessing right now, is that there’s only so much lemonade anyone wants to drink. This entire lemons-into-lemonade strategy falls apart somewhere around the second bushel of unwanted lemons, no matter how many lemonade stands you convince the kids to set up.
Eventually, you just have too many fucking lemons.
What I’m saying here is that I’ve had a series of major and minor crises in my life, and at first, I was hella philosophical about it. This was a new opportunity to figure out what I really wanted! I had a chance to appreciate everything in my life with fresh eyes! Isn’t the world a sunny, wonderful place when you get right down to it?
Then, I just tried to ride the wave. Look, shittiness has to end at some point, right? Like, in theory, the Universe’s bowels will be completely empty, and I will be left alone. In theory.
Or lemons. The universe will run out of lemons. Crap, I’m letting my metaphor fall apart all over the place over here.
Whether poop or lemons – and I think we can all agree those are two very different universal offerings – eventually I just got tired of it all. I gave up. You win, Gods of Intestinal Infection. Oh, enormous piles of money flying out the window with horrifying alacrity? Eh, whatevz. I’m going to go listen to a podcast.
No, I’m not here to feel sorry for myself, even though it sounds like it. My point is that sometimes when life gives you lemons you just have too many god damned lemons. Someone telling you about all the scrumptious lemonade you can make isn’t helpful when your stomach lining has been melted by all the citric acid you’ve been desperately consuming over the past month of lemon-harvesting.
Sometimes, the best thing to do is just fill your trunk with lemons, drive to the closest ditch, and throw them all away when no one’s looking.*
Yep. You heard me. Just stop trying to be a responsible adult! Yes, when you planted that tree you dreamed of all the freshly squeezed lemon juice you would have for your gin & tonics, how your house would smell of sunshine and citrus all year long. I know, I know, it was a beautiful dream, but there’s a point where you have to let it go. The damn lemons are everywhere, they’re perishable, and you’ve already dumped sacks of them on everyone you know.
And so, instead of trying to keep all the threads neatly organized, I’m letting life get tangled right now. (I know, another flipping metaphor?) I’m just going to embrace how little I can control, how much can go wrong, and hope for the best.
Because if I’ve learned anything the last few months, it’s that we’re all just hoping for the best.
*The author does not actually encourage dumping of anything, foodstuffs or otherwise, in ditches, unless you have the proper permits. There’s probably a home for orphaned lemons somewhere that would be glad to take them in.