Fruit Cobbler: Never Again

Little Emily

As a child, I had a huge fear of disappointing my parents.  I always tried to do the right thing, afraid of ever letting them down.  I distinctly remember my well thought out speech to them in 4th grade, outlining why I was choosing to quit the violin.

One day when I was about 8, my mom took me to one of her clients houses so I could meet them and she could show me off.  I wore my very best outfit, a black velour sweater and sweat pant combination with a leopard print heart on the sweater and matching leopard print trim on the pants.  I was freaking adorable (re: pic above).

The clients were an elderly couple with no kids, but they had a black pug named Dakota who they treated as their only child.  Dakota was small but feisty, and instead of barking he snorted like a pig.

I met the couple and shook their hands like an adult would, smiling wide and showing my missing front tooth.  The couple ooh-ed and ahh-ed over my outfit, which made me feel like I had made the right choice.  Then they escorted me into their huge backyard garden, full of any and every fruit or vegetable plant you could imagine.  There was a beautiful hand-built greenhouse in the middle of the yard, and tons of healthy trees, bushes, and other plants surrounding it.  The man picked a fresh pear off of his pear tree and handed it to me saying, “This is the best pear you’ll ever eat.”

We took a tour of every plant and flower, and I tried an assortment of fresh fruits and vegetables from the garden.  So when we went into the house and the couple offered me a piece of home-baked fruit cobbler, it seemed the obvious choice to accept it eagerly, given that it was a buttery pastry filled with all the fruits I had just so highly complimented.

But I did not like fruit cobbler.

I was a very picky eater when I was 8 years old, and anything that wasn’t in a solid form freaked me out.  I wouldn’t eat pudding, yogurt, jam, cheese, anything.  I didn’t even like ice cream (I quickly got over this though).  The elderly couple had baked the fruit cobbler just for me, as a special treat.  They cut me a nice big piece, commenting on how skinny I was, and how I would be asking for more once I finished.  They clearly took a lot of pride in their cobbler.

I started sweating and shaking inside.  What do I do? How do I handle this situation? I wanted to be the perfect child for my mom to be proud of.  I had no choice.  I had to eat the cobbler.  I felt like a martyr.

So, with 3 sets of eyes on me, eager to see just how much I liked it, I took a generous forkful of the ooey gooey pie and scooped it into my mouth. Even the dog was standing by, watching intensely.  It was warm and mushy, and it’s texture overwhelmed me.  I tried chewing but all the mushiness just flopped around in my mouth, making me nauseous.  I swallowed it all down in one gulp and forced a smile.

“It’s good,” I meekly stated.

But my mind was thinking about the gooey patty in my stomach, and the thought of more was making me sick.  I started dry heaving, trying with all my might to keep the cobbler down.  Once, twice, and then everyone started running frantically, looking for a bag or garbage can.  But it was too late.  Up it went, in reverse, landing on my perfect velour sweatsuit.

Everyone stared, confused.  “I’m just not feeling good,” I said, embarrassed.

The dog started snorting wildly.

Ever since that day, I’ve studied the art of politely declining things.  So the next time my grandma begged me to try her homemade split pea soup, I put my blankie over my head and said, “Nooooooooo thank you.”

(To read more about Emily, click here.)


If you enjoyed this story, you might enjoy reading about how Emily’s brother ruined her first Ceaser-salad eating experience.