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Essays by Karen Anderson: Cabbage

Illustration by Kacie Brown

The green cabbage was so big, it slipped out of my hand and rolled into the carrots just as the overhead spray came on, misting the vegetables and my shirt.

Finally, I wrestled the cabbage into my cart and onto the check-out counter.

“Wow, a giant,” the woman said.

“Too big,” I said, as a puddle formed beneath it. “And too wet.”

“Blame the cabbage,” she said. When our eyes met, I knew we were thinking the same thing. Thank goodness we had something else to blame, something as blameless as a cabbage.

Today’s world seems so full of conflict and disagreement, so poisoned with animosity and blame, that we’re all exhausted trying to figure out what’s wrong, what’s right, who’s in charge, and where do we go from here?

We learned about blame early in life, of course, pinning our problems onto siblings and playmates and parents. But we’re supposed to outgrow that behavior, supposed to grow up and accept responsibility. Supposed to pick up a rag and dry the counter.

“I think it’s a T-shirt,” the woman said. “Maybe a movement.”

Blame the Cabbage!

Karen Anderson contributes "Essays by Karen Anderson" to Interlochen Public Radio.