Monday, June 23, 2014: Eating Words and Produce.

Dear Babies,

“When you get a second, I’d like you to take a walk over there and look at the pepper I left out on the cutting board…” and there was something about his tone, cool, confident, with a touch of American Psycho, that led me to do as your father suggested.

I’d just come down the stairs after showering and putting you guys to bed, and he was scraping the remnants of his dinner, the turkey sausage and roasted peppers I’d left out to be reheated, into the sink. Not good? Not hungry? Who cares. Whatever. This is life, 9:00 p.m. on a Thursday.

I wanted so badly to sit, to seek the comfort of mind-numbing television that is Bravo, but I walked over to the pepper.

And, oh, oh no, this can’t be…

There on the cutting board was a red slug, a slice of red pepper had been roasted with a sticker still on it, the very day I wrote a post disgruntled about how your father leaves stickers on tomatoes. (See Thursday, June 12, 2014)


Besides the fact that I am utterly fascinating, writing about stickers on produce, I’d been had.

“Looks like you left a sticker on a pepper there, Gioia…who does that?” he said, so smugly, reusing my words.

I picked up the oily pepper. Examined it. Smelled it. Was it planted? This couldn’t be so!


“This is different!” I quickly defended pathetically. “You had a tomato in your hands, washed it, clearly saw the sticker and then put it back in the bowl! This came from a bag, and I had already taken the sticker off the bag, so why would there be one an an individual pepper?! This was a mistake!”

“A mistake? And I couldn’t have missed the sticker on the tomato by mistake?”

“You didn’t it. You washed it.”

“And you didn’t wash the pepper?”


“I did, but this was an accident. I just didn’t see this sticker.”

“Well I would hope not and you’re not slicing up stickers and serving them to your family every night.”

I stood dumbfounded. Speechless. I’d never left a sticker on produce, then the day I published a post about it, I did. “Like out of a Seinfeld episode,” people my age will say, a show by the time you guys are older might still be in syndication.

Call it Seinfeld. Call it karma. Call it eating your words…

Your father demanded an editorial retraction. At least a correction. Instead I said it that night and I say it here in writing, mea culpa, which gives “I’m such a dumbass” more flair.

Because for every guardian angel looking out for you, every black cloud out to get you, there is someone keeping tabs–A-HA! Caught you!–working hard to remind us all how imperfect we all are. Even the perfect ones, who always wash and peel their produce.






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