Got in from a tennis lesson to see her returning from where we keep the kitchen garbage bin and promptly sit down to feast on a grapefruit. Suspicious, I walked to the bin and saw a healthy portion of the sweet, cold watermelon I had cut up for her prior to my lesson…
Me – “Come here, please.”
She came and looked up at me
Me – “Why did you throw away this watermelon?”
Her – “I want the grapefruit.”
Me – “I don’t think so. You’re not eating that grapefruit.”
Me – “No way. You threw away perfectly good watermelon that could have been put back in the fridge. I spent energy going to the store to get it, spent money on it that I earned through teaching tennis, and spent energy cutting it for you. Then you’re just going to toss half of it in the garbage? I don’t think so. You owe me a dollar.”
Her – “But I don’t have a dollar!”
Me – “You have plenty of dollars.”
A friend was listening, and it occurred to me for a moment that I might seem rather hard core, but I was sticking to it.
A few minutes later, I was munching on the other half of the watermelon that I hadn’t cut…
Me – “Delicious! It’s so sweet and crisp! Mmmm…”
She edged near me and asked for a bite.
Me – “There’s some in the garbage,” I replied, knowing she would never consider that but to drive home my point.
With my point made, I softened up some…
Me – “You made a mistake in judgment. We all do. You can have the grapefruit. But I do want that dollar. It’s going to the house fund.”
Our friend smiled, sympathetic with her innocence and with what I was teaching. She suggested it go to the next watermelon.
Perfect. The lesson will ripen with her buying it. Maybe.