Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Adventures with Coconut Water—Or, When You Become Known for Liking Something

Not long ago, someone gave me a giant can of coconut water. This wasn’t quite as random as it sounds, because the giver knows I like coconut.

Actually, I’d go so far as to say I really like it. The coconut thingies are always my favorites in a box of chocolates. I’m not fond of getting caught in the rain, but I sure do enjoy piña coladas.

Have you ever learned about a person’s favorite, or collection, and made that your first association with him or her? Like—to give a totally hypothetical example that is not something I ever did—if you learn a friend collects penguins, and then every gift you give him for five years has a penguin on it. 

In my circle of acquaintances, this has become true for me and coconut in all its forms.

Of which this is the best.

Now, I know what you’re about to say: that coconut water smells pretty good, but it tastes like dirty grass clippings.* I totally agree. But it has the magic word “coconut” in the name, and thus I am occasionally given some.

There’s a funny scene in L.M. Montgomery’s novel ANNE OF WINDY POPLARS where the same type of thing happens to Anne. She mentions once that she likes pumpkin preserves, and after that she can’t go to dinner at anyone’s house without being served pumpkin preserves or sent home with a jar of them. It gets to the point where she has to bury all the extra pumpkin preserves in the garden one dark night.

Often, though, being known for liking something a lot can work in your favor. How many bookworms have been given gift cards and sent to browse the shelves of their favorites stores? Or maybe their friends suss out a perfect pair of bookends, or come across an e-reader cover with the most charming pattern.

Did you ever get associated with something—either something you liked, or a collection you were building? And if so, did you enjoy that association or not? If you want to be known as a collector of chocolate or gold coins, here’s your chance to say so.

*No, I don’t really know how dirty grass clippings taste. This is just a guess.

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Historical romance author Theresa Romain pursued an impractical education that allowed her to read everything she could get her hands on. She then worked for universities and libraries, where she got to read even more. Eventually she started writing, too. She lives with her family in the Midwest, where she is working on her next book. 
Twitter: @TheresaRomain

13 comments:

  1. This is a fun post, Teresa. I became known among family and friends for liking pigs, and now I get pig gifts galore, which is hilarious fun. As a result, my kitchen is filled with pigs: salt and pepper shakers of flying pigs, a pig timer, pig emblazoned pot holders. etc. It's hoot! The good thing about your coconut is that it's good for you.

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    1. Christy, that's too funny! Sounds like you enjoy all the pigs that come your way. It would definitely make me smile to cook with a pig timer and pig pot holders.

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  2. Since you mentioned coconut water on Twitter, I've seen an ad for it at. I've heard of coconut milk, but water was new to me. Grass clippings isn't a good marketing feature, however, so I don't think that I'll try it. :) BTW, you didn't list Almond Joys or Mounds Bars as a good source of coconut.

    I like several things, but I can't say that I'm bombarded with them.

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    1. Kim, some people really like coconut water! If you ever get the chance to taste it, you might give it a try. I gave my giant can of coconut water to a friend who likes to chug it after exercising--sort of a natural sports drink.

      You are so right, Almond Joy and Mounds are excellent sources of coconut. Among the best! I'm also very fond of macaroons.

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  3. I bet you could mix up a tasty adult beverage with the coconut water! I used to be associated with cows. I know. Awful, right? When I was a Senior in high school there was a farm across from the school, and the cutest black and white calf was born. I called him Moo Moo and wrote poetry about him. I was weird, okay. I was also a vegetarian (still am), so this might have been a way to try and persuade people cows are friends not food. Now sure what I had in mind, but for a couple of years, people gave me cow earrings, cow stuffed animals, cow clothing. I'm not eager to resurrect that association.

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    1. Shana, I think your high-school self sounds sweet! Though there is a big gulf between "thinking a calf is cute" and "wanting to be given cow-themed gifts all the time." Glad the cow-gift phase is over for you.

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  4. I collect mugs, ornaments, playing cards, anything cat related and books - and I love it when someone gives me something having to do with any of these things. My daughter was getting penguin related items but decided she wasn't that interested so we all stopped lol.

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    1. Catslady, your Internet handle makes perfect sense. :) It can be fun to have people contribute to a collection you enjoy, can't it? The only thing I really collect is books, and I always get happy about a new book!

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  5. I used to get all kinds of Gone With the Wind (everyone knows I love that book) stuff but I finally put my foot down and told the kids and relatives, "If I can't eat it up, use it up or wear it out in a year, then I do not need it." So far they are doing very well.

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    1. Carolyn, that's a great guideline. People usually want to give you a present they know you will enjoy--which might be why so many gift-givers turn to a known collection (I'm guilty of this with my penguin-loving friend). Letting your family know what you would prefer is such a good idea. Especially if they give you food which you can then all share. :)

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  6. Hi Theresa,
    I'm checking in late today but your post made me smile. We buy coconut water (just ran out of our last can) and on the other end of the health spectrum I love Talenti's Coconut Gelato. It's addicting! But, as far as something I was known for in the past - rock collector. I was, and still am, a nerd to the core. Though now I'm teased by friends and family for my Viking nerdness.

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    1. Coconut gelato!! Delicious, delicious. I saw you mention somewhere--maybe on Mia Marlowe's blog?--that you were a big fan of coconut, and I was so delighted. I haven't developed a taste for coconut water, though.

      My mom and daughter both love to collect rocks--so I would call that super-cool rather than nerdy. :) Did you collect different types, or did you gather rocks you liked the look of?

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  7. Never heard of coconut water. Must try it sometime!

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