Yellow is the New Green

Just looking at a lemon makes the saliva in my mouth curdle and I cringe like I’m sucking on a Warhead.

“Sick? Put some lemon in your tea.” I reach for the honey.

“Going out tomorrow? Wash your face with lemon juice before bed.” I do a quick Noxzema scrub.

“Cleaning? Grab a lemon.” I search for the 409.

Lemons are pock marked, football shaped and hardly a fruit. I’ve never seen anyone chomping into a lemon in the break room. Or slicing lemons for the hors d’oeuvres hour of a dinner party, though there may be a decorative bowl of lemons on the side table thanks to Jennifer Aniston’s fight over lemons in The Break Up.

My paycheck-to-paycheck lifestyle has recently caught up with me, however. No longer can I afford Dayquil, Fantastik or Wish-Bone Salad Spritzers, but generic brands appall me. I have determined to make do with lemons.

Rubber-gloved and resolved, I tackled the kitchen sink first by sprinkling some baking soda in it and then scrubbing with the open half of a sliced lemon–I’d assess that my sink made its way up the color chart from a grey to a dull silver. I squeezed what was left of the lemon into a bowl with additional lemon juice, vinegar and water to scour my wood floors, and then rinsed the leftover lemon rinds. I took one last lemon-fresh whiff, packed some newspaper over the old trash in the trashcan and carefully layered the rinds on top as a quick-fix odor eliminator.

With no chemical fumes lurking around at the end of my cleaning day, and much more free space under my kitchen sink, I proudly applaud lemons. I still might pack an apple in my lunch the next day, but every time I use a lemon my bank account thanks me.

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Hannah-Love Shibley ©2014