The Fruit Stand of Love by
(133 Stories)

Prompted By Lemons to Lemonade

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My best pitcher of lemonade required a cornucopia of lemons:

I don't wish to give the impression that I am compiling a screed against Perfidious Womankind...

Angela, which affair I chronicled in The Devil is in the Details. Freshman year in high school. I pined for her until graduation, a behavior that I was doomed to repeat far too often.

Maureen; also in high school. It didn’t last long and when she ended it I was sure that no one would or could ever love me.

Linda; Just as I entered college. A brief and somewhat frustrating relationship, which ended when she found someone else she liked better. (An aside: a 1981 rematch with Linda also didn’t work out, for reasons I don’t know, but I do have a sad suspicion. This second try wound up being HUGE, not because of its affect on me, but because had it held together just a few weeks longer, I’d have avoided Valerie completely, with all of the ramifications that that entails). Oddly, I didn’t dwell on Linda afterward at all, possibly because only weeks afterward came…

Maria; Awakening. Discovery. Love. And in the end, great pain. This one changed me forever. I’ve touched upon her in several of my Retrospect tales, although not in detail. One more fact; literally no one ever called her by her actual name. Her nickname became her identity.

Cindy; The first big one after college. It was serious; we were discussing marriage. One of the few that I ended, as I began to see some basic incompatibilities that I knew would later defeat us. I was not often this discerning! No fallout.

I don’t wish to give the impression that I am compiling a screed against Perfidious Womankind or relationships in general. Far from it. Among my lemons were sprinkled many relationships with lovely ladies that just didn’t work out for various reasons that everyone would be familiar with. Of Angela, Maureen, Linda, Other Linda, Consuela, Rosa and Michelle (Veni, Vidi, Ego Erravi Male), I have nothing but warm regards and mostly good memories. Even among the citrus, only two did anything egregious, and they were, in some way, damaged people dealing as best they could with the damage done them. This list is, primarily, of the ones that were pivotal in forming my attitudes toward relationships in some important way. Hell, you could certainly put my parents’ marriage at the top of that list. And finally…

Valerie; I consider Val to be the final phase of my nine year decline into despairing madness that began with Maria. I never loved her, although I did for a time lust after her. I literally married her, ignoring a field of red flags that stretched to the horizon, just because she would at least have me. That seemed sufficient. What her feelings were toward me remains a mystery. I suspect that they were similar to mine. After four years (two married) she left me for another man, which hurt me not at all. It was like suddenly finding that your serious disease has disappeared overnight. Her surprise (although looking back, it should not have been) departure was what I needed to even begin to heal. She actually did me a great favor. Also, it was timely, because I was free during that narrow window of time when Gina was available, with at least one suitor, far more promising a catch than was I, in hot pursuit.

In the end, I got my lemonade. And Calvados. Mango nectar, anejo tequila, ice water on a hot day, hot cocoa on a cold night and fine wine:

The Exploding Lab Bench

Pizza and a Bad Movie

Wherein She Learns That I Am Fine With Making a Public Spectacle of Myself

Profile photo of Dave Ventre Dave Ventre
A hyper-annuated wannabee scientist with a lovely wife and a mountain biking problem.

Tags: Lemons, lemonade, love, lessons
Characterizations: right on!


  1. Suzy says:

    Wow, that’s quite a compendium of your relationships! I’m exhausted just reading about all of them. Btw, I changed all your story titles to be hyperlinks rather than URLs, so that people can just click on them to read them. The way to do that is with the little icon at the top that looks like the link on a chain.

  2. Marian says:

    What a wonderful recap of romantic lemons and lemonade, Dave. Interesting that you married Valerie because she would have you. I felt the same way when I married Marty–my good prospects were long gone, I thought. At any rate, it all worked out for you, so having those lemons was worth it.

  3. I say WOW too, Dave!

    After all those love affairs that went sour, I’m so glad you hit the jackpot with your sweet Gina!

  4. Khati Hendry says:

    You weren’t the only one to have had a series of relationships, and sometimes it takes a while to settle into one that lasts. We learn and grow, and sometimes getting out of a relationship is the best thing that could happen. So glad that happened for you and you have been enjoying a multitude of pleasant beverages.

  5. Laurie Levy says:

    So glad the you ended up with your lemonade. Maybe it happened because with each lemon you learned something. I know I did.

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