CV. A Series of Aging Events -

In Spanish there are certain terms of endearment used to address children, just as there are in other languages.

For girls, the term is phonetically pronounced “maa - me” and is spelled “mammi.”

While I’m still a long way’s off from making the full-fledged transition from mammi to mama, a somewhat scary thought even for this traditional person, I can’t help but feel the gears slowly rotating into motion.

Yesterday I was the 3rd wheel, representing the 3rd generation of women that is, when lunching with my grandmother and mother.

My baby cousin, a male, was there as well.

We ate the Cuban food in front of us, all the while feeling somewhat blasphemous as Puerto Ricans, despite the fact that the cuisine is identical.

The dessert eventually came.

Calorie conscious as I am, I only studied the flan in front of me.

Next to the flan was an artistically displayed strawberry.

A restaurant on the Upper East Side is bound to have fanciful fruit.

Suffice it to say, the strawberry was the apple of my eye at that moment of time.

There is nothing like a strawberry used in restaurants or bakeries.

You see, these strawberries taste different from the strawberries that are purchased at the fruit stand or the supermarket.

These restaurant-bred strawberries are not grainy, are not too red and not too white, and are perpetually at the perfect temperature.

These strawberries are not too cold, chilled and void of any inviting sweetness like the ones found in the supermarket.

These strawberries are akin to Goldi-Locks’ bowl of oatmeal, they’re just right.

My parents know how much I adore these strawberries and so every Valentine’s Day for the past 4 years, they have bought me chocolate-covered strawberries from Godiva, no gold-foil box needed.

The strawberries were fresh.

This year, my mom took me to our local bakery and told me to choose whatever I wanted. Having gone to the bakery many a time before, I knew the price range for their baked goods was not at all atrocious.

Staring through the glass, I spotted those delicious strawberries that you cannot find in the supermarket. Since this delicacy only comes around once a year, I did not know the price, and stingy as I am, I didn’t point them out to my mom.

Moms are moms and my mom caught me staring lovingly at those sparkling ruby-like berries.

My mom bought me the aforementioned chocolate-covered strawberries, with a price tag of $2.99 per chocolate-covered strawberry.

Considering the fact that we could have purchased 10-15 strawberries for less than $2.99 from one of the billion vegetable-fruit stands within a 2-mile radius, I was astounded at the bakery’s costliness.

Ranting about the price of the strawberries, my mom told me to stop being so cheap.

I am forever appreciative of my parent’s leaning towards quality and old-school classiness, never letting me adorn myself with costume jewelry as it were.

Any who, I bit into one of my Valentine’s Day gifts and felt like I just had sipped the mythical ambrosia described in Greek mythology.

Yes, I love these (somewhat expensive) strawberries.

Back to the restaurant during yesterday’s lunch:

I was about to tell my mom that I wanted the strawberries that were on the dessert plates when my baby cousin suddenly began to fidget in his high-chair.

He stuck out his little hand and was pointing towards the strawberry.

“Strawberry?”, my mom asked him.

My baby cousin replied with something along the lines of, “Shaw-ba-ee” - his way of saying “strawberry.”

My fears were confirmed: I would not be having the strawberries.

I’m not the baby who gets dibs on the delicious strawberries anymore.

When I came to this realization, I felt like I was aging right then and there in the restaurant.

I was in my own little world and felt old, like years were passing by in that very moment and -

“Have some flan mammi”, my mom said to me, snapping me out of my thoughts.

It’s good to know that for now, I’m still anointed the status of a young'un.