Monday, December 12, 2011

Mary, Mary, quite contrary

Maybe it's just me, but the title of that Nursery Rhyme makes no sense. Other than for the sake of rhyming, why is Mary quite contrary? Nothing in the Rhyme itself indicates she is particularly argumentative or inclined to do the opposite of what is expected.

My father-in-law, however, IS quite contrary, deliberately and stubbornly so. If he's right there is no arguing otherwise; he's right and that's it. Don't think you can agree to disagree or say, "Well, that's your opinion," because his opinion is not just his opinion; it's The Truth.

We had dinner at their house a couple of nights ago, and after dinner the mother-in-law produced a bunch of bananas and offered me one. Or maybe my 7 y/old daughter brought them to me and asked if she could have one. I forget which, but somehow I ended up with a bunch of bananas in front of me.

I like bananas. I like them soft and pungent, and I like them firm and barely ripe. I've also eaten, partially, a green banana that was not quite ripe and was still fluffy & bitter in the middle. Bite into an unripe banana once and you never forget it. I haven't, and that was over 20 years ago.

I looked at this bunch of bananas with their bright green tops and bottoms, and the streaks of green running along the sides of skins, and as much as I like bananas I declined, stating that they were a bit green.

As soon as I said this the FIL said "No, they're not," lunged across the table and grabbed the bunch of bananas from in front of me.

(As well as being stubbornly contrary he also lacks table manners and if there's a dish or item he wants he will reach across the table or across your plate to get it. Don't bother protesting or arguing with him; he's "right" so he sees nothing wrong with doing this.)

Pulling a banana off a bunch is tough unless they're ripe, and these bananas were not ripe but green, really green, so their skins were exceptionally tough. The FIL ended up tearing the bananas almost in half in order to get them off the bunch. He ripped one free for my daughter, then as if doing so proved they weren't green tore a second banana free for himself.

Midway through her banana I saw my daughter stop chewing and screw up her face and I knew what had happened; she'd got a mouthful of green banana. Green, furry, bitter banana. She stopped chewing and I could tell she wanted to spit the banana out and I couldn't blame her.

She looked around at us and noticed I was the only one looking at her. "Go spit it out," I said to her, and she rushed over to the trashcan.

"What's the matter?" asked my MIL.

"The banana's not ripe," I told her.

"Mine was fine!" said the FIL, contrary to the last bite.


Ness [Six One and Then Some] said...

Hello, just tripped over your blog via melbourneonmymind.

He reminds me of my future MIL! She's always right, and she always has something to say (but I still like her, and she still likes me. Go figure). Also, I love this story. It reminds me of the time when I was about six that I was given a chestnut to try at the start of an hour-and-a-half car trip, and I hated it, but my grandma was in the car so I thought it impolite to spit it out the window. So I held it - and the gathering saliva - for the whole trip. Toture.

Ness [Six One and Then Some] said...

*torture. Obviously.

Cap'n John said...

Hi, Ness, thanks for stopping by. Things are a little quiet around here, which is not necessarily a bad thing as usually my Blog is a place to vent and let off steam, so no ranting must mean things are going okay :)