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Berry Kind People

, , , , , | Friendly | April 2, 2022

Growing up, my family wasn’t particularly poor, but my parents both worked long hours at exhausting jobs, so dinner was either rushed or from a restaurant. They didn’t have a lot of free time for grocery shopping, either, so fresh produce wasn’t a priority. Canned goods took up most of our pantry.

This happened when I was about eleven, spending the night at a friend’s house. Dessert was fruit parfaits. My friend and his sister dug in; I hesitated.

Friend’s Mom: “What’s wrong, [My Name]?”

Me: “Um, I’m sorry, are those… blueberries? And what’s that next to them?”

Friend’s Mom: “Those… those are blueberries, yes.” *Pointing* “That’s strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries.”

Friend: *Laughing* “Haven’t you seen fruit?”

Me: *Face burning in embarrassment* “I’ve had blueberry muffins and stuff before.”

Friend’s Mom: *Quickly* “Don’t worry if you don’t like it! Raspberries can be a bit of an acquired taste.”

She started asking my friend about class, something I realized years later was probably her trying to distract him from watching me try fresh fruit for the first time. I loved it, even asking my friend’s mom for some more berries.

Almost every time I went over there, she would have fruit-based desserts and at least one fresh veggie for meals. I recall some gentle questioning from his parents about what my siblings and I usually got for meals.

About a decade later, my friend told me that he had heard his parents talking and finding those recipes to try to expand my palate without overstepping. While they ate pretty balanced meals normally, there was a lot more effort when I was there. My heart about melted.

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