Relationship status: avocado
It mightn’t be a verse in the bible, but this humble yet sacred phrase— “relationship status: avocado”— had the power to change my life. Written on the menu of my local café, these words made me realise just how often I think of this recently popularised fruit (another key moment in my life: discovering that avocado is, in fact, a fruit).
At the time, avocado was on my mind more than other regular humanly things – like lifelong goals, prospective boyfriends and where/when I would get my next paycheck. For a solid three months I went to the same café and ordered the same dish: “The Avo”. What can I say, I’m loyal. I’ve even crafted a collage of it. Someday I’ll hang it on my wall.
The news that I was in a relationship with avocado came as no surprise to my friends and family, and apparently also the broader community. Last month I got a call from my old university (and workplace) inviting me to an exclusive luncheon with the previous editor of The Age. My ex-colleague on the line sounded hesitant.
“I haven’t seen the menu plan…” she began. “I’m sorry… but I can’t guarantee you there’ll be avocado… Do you still want to come?”
I couldn’t attend an event without my other half, could I? I went anyway, and found him in the chicken wrap.
Ironically, when I was drafting this blog post I happened to overhear a very bizarre yet relatable story. I was perched at my usual spot in my usual café, sipping at my second coffee, when a man seated at the table beside me abruptly announced, for all the room to hear – “avocado!” Obviously, my ears perked up. He proceeded to tell his four 30-something-year-old friends a story about his friend’s daughter, a young girl with a love for drawing and an ability to speak to avocados. Apparently, she was convinced they were human. Just imagine: The Avocado Whisperer. In the era of brunch where people queue for hours on end just for an exorbitantly priced avo on toast, it’d make for a pretty timely movie.
I mightn’t need to see a psychologist about hearing voices from talking fruit, but I have considered rehab. Last weekend I ate two avocados and half a loaf of bread. This was just my afternoon “snack”. I felt a little bit sick, but that didn’t stop me from adding avocado to my salad several hours later.
It’s constantly on my mind. When am I going to get my next hit? Is it going to be a good one? They’re not in season. What price are they currently averaging at? It’s not ripe, what am I going to do? I can’t bear to wait another day!
When faced with the classic “food or sex” debate, there’s no debate. I fancy avocado more than I’ve ever pondered any man. It’s the only thing I order for brunch (that, and occasionally bircher muesli). For the brief period that I was “unemployed” I couldn’t stand to give up my routine brunches. Instead, I carried a spare avocado with me. I’d not so discretely hide it under the table and spread the butter alternative over my economical side serving of toast. I have since returned to common etiquette and order preposterously overpriced, over-glorified smashed avo dishes. I also wear athleisure virtually 24/7. Stereotype fulfilled.
My love is so strong I feel compelled to offer people advice. I share tips on how to choose a ripe avocado. I lecture the uneducated ones on how best to slice, store and eat them. There’s technique in it. I mightn’t be religious, but letting a ripe avocado go brown is a sin. I’m always prepared. I have two spare avocados in my drawer at work. I’ve got ripe ones in my fridge and green ones in my cupboard at home.
I’ve come a long way since realising how much of a role avocado plays in my life. My thoughts have diversified and, to a lesser extent, so has my diet. Having said this, I still carry one with me wherever I go, in tupperware shaped as a bullet, tucked in the outer pocket of my bag for the entire world to see. You know, in case of emergencies when there aren’t any avocados.