On my windowsill, there is an apple called a “Pink Lady.” Isn’t she glamorous? I love that name. Not scarlet, lest she be too lusty, or red, lest she seem a common tramp. She is blushing, delicate. You can almost imagine how she would taste.

Not so, Granny Smith. Named, as the story goes, for Maria Ann Smith, Granny Smith was brought to the Australian apple market back in 1860 (according to the Washington Apple Commission). Maybe your grandmother was tart and crisp, but for those of us with sweet, pie-baking grannies, we have cause to wonder.

According to answers.yahoo.com, there are more than 7500 types of apples, with over 2500 grown in the United States. On another site, the number leans toward 10,000. Who knows?

You probably remember the ones from our lunch boxes: McIntosh (with could often be too soft) and Jonathans (which could often be mealy). My mom used to like a good Red Delicious. My son likes Golden Delicious. Today, I love Braeburn, Honeycrisp, and Gala.

I must be attracted to variety. In my kitchen, above an old pine pie safe, I have four vintage botanicals of different types of apples. They show the skin and the heart of the fruit. Maybe it’s that subtlety I like. Sliced open, you have to look closely to discern their difference.

We have so many types from which to choose. Everywhere you look, that’s the case. Cars, candy, cereal, careers. You’d think we’d be delighted. But everywhere, I see people struggling with the weight of discontent. It’s as if all the names and choices have weighed us down.

There are several different routes to see me home, but tonight, I wanted the straightest route. And I couldn’t have it. When I walked in, I went straight upstairs and flopped down on the bed, flattened.

Is that it? Do we want to avoid detours and sideways? Would we rather just get there? One road. A straight shot.

Variety lends itself to people, as well. There are no straight shots, there. Nope, not a one.

Would we be happier with less variety? Everyone the same? Same color. Same tastes. Same likes and dislikes. They want to go where you want to go, do what you do, eat what you eat, wear what you wear, speak like you, walk like you, sit in your spot. Why wouldn’t they? They could substitute for you.

This would make us happy? It seems that way, since we cannot find our way out of a paper double-handled apple bag toward peace. We fight over borders, color, money, power, and our right to say what we want, when we want. Even if it’s stupid.

Does the old-fashioned McIntosh wish to obliterate its flashy cousin, Pink Lady? It’s a good thing that humans are the only creature on the planet that engage in this show of jealously.

We’d have fewer options.


Note: This thinking came about from a video I saw of people from all over the planet, dancing to the same song through the vehicle of one guy. I don’t know his story; presumably, he traveled about saying, “Hey, wanna dance?” And all I could think is, if we can do this, all of us, all over, why can’t we have world peace?