Imperfect Tomatoes: On Leaving No Cabbage Behind.

The problem with imperfect tomatoes is that they lead you to lone cabbages.


“My daughter thought of it, really,” the farmer was telling us.  We found ourselves at the tail end of the St. Paul Farmer’s Market.  “And people seem to take to it, you know.  She’s twelve and she knows that imperfect things are still good, I mean, look at me…”

I gave him a look that said he didn’t have to sell me, anymore.  We pulled out $4 instead of shelling out an extra buck for a carton of perfect tomatoes.  We bought the last carton of imperfect tomatoes on the table.  We had a full bag of fresh vegetables and began our retreat, avoiding the gaze of the remaining perfect tomatoes teetering on the edges of tables, taunting us for our poor taste in bruised and wonkus vegetable-fruits.  I felt defensive.  So, I turned to my Someone and tried to be proud in a loud sort of way.

“It’s just that, I love our Imperfect Tomatoes!”

“I know,” he said.

“It’s just that, anyone can pick the Perfect Tomatoes!”

“That’s right,” he said.

“And we will be sure to use our Imperfect Tomatoes right away, because they are special!”

“Uh huh,” he said.  I felt like I saw him eyeing the organic golden grape tomatoes by the hummus lady.  I was getting desperate.  I needed a clincher, and fast.

“I am an Imperfect Tomato!” I said.  People were looking, or they weren’t.   So my Someone stopped and turned to me–

“Yes, you are.  I am also an Imperfect Tomato,” he said.

“We are all Imperfect Tomatoes,” I corrected.

“We are all Imperfect Tomatoes,” he agreed.

“I love them,” I said.

And in this way, we nearly left the Farmer’s Market.  Until we saw the last cabbage in the basket.

“It’s a lone cabbage,” I said.

“Okay,” said my Someone.

“It’s the very last cabbage, alone in the basket.  No one else picked this cabbage–”

“Do you want this cabbage?” he asked.

“Well we can’t leave a Lone Cabbage,” I said, “especially when we’ve already chosen Imperfect Tomatoes.”

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