Veggie shopping

“Arrive late at the farmer’s market,
And all the good greens are gone.”

I roll my eyes at Dad’s wisdom.
I try to remind him, calmly as I can,
Marriage is not veggie shopping.
It’s not even a good metaphor.

“Of course, it is,” Mom chimes in.
“Your raw mangoes gave you bellyache.
Now, you want an overripe mango
To give you lifelong dysentery?”

I pause to consider.

“Some friends would agree,” I say.
“Marriage does make you veggies.
It dunks you in cold water
Way, way over your head.
And it gets under your thin skin
With all sorts of sharp things
And peels out your exterior
To reveal your tender insides,
To slice and dice and grate you,
And throws away your root and core.
Whatever remains in tiny pieces
Boils in Society’s spiciness,
Gets tossed around, this way and that,
And changes colour completely.
After all that, it still expects you
To be tastefully nourishing.
Oh yeah, you’re right on.”

Mom looks at Dad, who looks at me.
“You practised that, didn’t you?”

“Yeah,” I say. And we all start laughing.