Every notable tragic hero has a tragic flaw. Achilles had that problematic heel. Mine is a deathly love of maraschino cherries, and though I consider myself neither tragic nor a hero, it may be my undoing.
Or so I thought.
Once I found out that the SC dining hall had a side table of dessert toppings for the frozen yogurt machine, I started bypassing the ice cream itself to fill up little bowls with the beloved tiny, juicy red gems. (That last bit was a metaphor for maraschino cherries, if you got lost for a second.) Over this past summer in Williamsburg, I would get occasional cravings and pick them up from a nearby grocery store, but they weren’t the same as those in the SC; namely, I completely lost the thrill of packing them into a cup and praying not to be seen by anyone I know.
What’s the point of this post, you ask? Maraschino cherries are a readily available product. One can find them in many places. So what is the conflict?
My unfortunate addiction has made me somewhat of a mockery to my friends. Any time I eat a meal on campus with someone who knows of my problem, s/he will say, “Oh aren’t you forgetting a bowl of maraschino cherries, Kelley?” or
“Hey Kelley, that’s a really healthy snack you have there,” or
“Kelley, you’re disgusting.”
It doesn’t help that my only other W&M friend who shared this passion is now in the Peace Corps. While I admire her dedication to giving back to the community, it doesn’t help my cause that my only sympathizer is thousands of miles away in Tanzania. After her departure, I thought I was doomed to live life as a social outcast.
But lo! today in the SC, I walked casually by the toppings table to scope out the maraschino cherry situation (yes, there is a technique to it) when I saw a girl shoveling them hurriedly into a styrofoam cup. I recognized the “please-don’t-let-anyone-see-this” look on her face, and accosted her with great joy–here she was, a living vindication for anyone who has ever taunted me for occasionally enjoying a snack almost entirely composted of sickeningly sweet, bright red sugar.
We made eye contact and I said, “I thought I was the only one.” She said, “Me too.” A match made in heaven.
Who knows if I will see her again. If our obsession continues, chances are I will run into her again one day, probably at the Student Health Center. W&M is full of quirky people, and random moments of connection abound in this community.