Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Welcome the fall and the fruit flies

It is now officially September which means that summer is past and fall is ushering in changing colors, a bountiful harvest and freshly sharpened pencils. This time of year is nostalgic. It brings back the memories of school shopping and new beginnings in the classroom. I remember the days of standing in the front yard with my backpack in place, smile reluctantly plastered on my face as my Mom would take my picture on the first day of school. Those moments were filled with anxiety and excitement as a new phase of life began and the relaxing, lazy days of summer were once again just a memory until next June.
For me, the toughest part of school shopping was always finding the right pair of shoes. Funny, because now I have absolutely no trouble finding shoes. My problem is finding too many pairs of shoes. Shoes can become an addiction. Have you seen the women who has thousands of shoes in her closet and is now having to go to court over them in her divorce settlement? I think she may have a problem. Fortunately, I am no where near her level, although I think a problem was probably detected before she hit the 4-digit mark in her shoe collection. I'm safely still under the 3-digit mark. This is acceptable, right?
Don't answer that.
The memory is a curious thing because I can remember with detailed precision the difficulties of shoe shopping and the excitement of putting together folders, binders and an array of pencils, pens and highlighters. Those memories are imprinted on my mind. Yet, every time summer comes to a close and fall draws near, there is one thing that I am surprised by year after year: fruit flies. I don't know what it is about these little intruders but they just love the last three days of August and the beginning of September. They are in their glory. Every year they swarm in like a swat team on a mission to take out an assailant and still every year I am caught off guard.
All summer fruit flies are in too much supply for my liking. They may be small but they give me the crawling feeling in a big way. By the time fall comes around my skin is in a perpetual state of itch simply by walking near the kitchen. It doesn't seem to matter that all the fruit is put away and bananas aren't even in the general vicinity of the house, the fruit flies still abound. Bananas really do seem to be the worst (or the best, if you're a fruit fly) for attracting these pests. A banana in a mile radius seems to send the alert messages in the minute brain of the fly and sends them descending on the entire tri-state area. Maybe we should put a ban on bananas in the months of August and September. Come on people, it is for the good of the community at large! Okay, so maybe that is a little bit extreme. Just the last few days of August? Compromise?
Well, even if the rest of the town isn't getting on board - I'm not buying bananas till fruit flies have left the building. I'm sticking to it especially after reading what those little buggers do to the yellow fruit. The lady flies get under the fruit's skin and lay eggs. Can you say "yum"? My aunt has always told me that fruit flies won't kill you. "They just add protein," she says. I guess she's right. But I think I'll pass on that protein source, thank you very much. Some people are vegans or vegetarians - banning all animal proteins. Well, I'm a fruitfly-tarian (I'm working on the name). I don't eat foods that have been the breeding ground for fruit flies. I know what you're thinking: impossible. You may be right, but it is worth a shot! At least I can store my fruit in the fridge the moment it comes home from the store. I can be stringent on not leaving my produce out for even a moment. And lastly, I can wash and scrub EVERYTHING before I eat it. These are the practices of my fruitfly-tarian lifestyle.
When asked why the ban on all things fruit fly I can explain that the fruit has become a breeding ground for young fruit fly families. How do you feel about eating such a thing? Destroying a family in the process. This is the reasoning behind vegans and vegetarians eating habits, isn't it? The animals have feelings and so forth. Well, maybe fruit flies have feelings, too?
Or maybe I'm over reacting just a tad. Fall is a joy, really. Even with all the fruit flies. 
The beautiful changes of fall are in such abundance that a fruit fly or two (or a thousand) is actually a small price to pay. There is so much about fall to savor and enjoy. I, for one, count this as one of my favorite times of year. With the dropping temperatures comes thick sweaters that add a coziness and comfort to the season that is unmatched. Best of all is the fall foliage. Gold, yellow, orange, red - nature is in its glory and we are blessed to watch its stunning display. As bothersome as the fruit flies can be, they are worth the trouble for the overwhelming goodness that fall brings. So, come in fruit flies. Just be sure to bring the rest of fall with you and we'll get along just fine.

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