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On lemons …

Something just occurred to me.

With all this talk of turning lemons into lemonade, I confess, I dislike lemonade. Never drink the stuff. Too sickly sweet for my savoury palate.

So, why turn luscious lemons into treacly lemonade?

You probably think I’ve lost my mind. Maybe I have. I’m allowed. After all, why else be “Coming Out Crazy” ~ it’s liberating. The point is, would you really want life to be all that sweet? Isn’t living more exciting with a little zest and zing?

I happen to love lemons ~ not their “ades” when their luscious pulp is brutally smashed and squeezed. Lemons are so multi-faceted. Magical. Divine.

The word “lemon” is tainted…

Its “other” meaning is undeserved ~ “disappointment” when a car or some “thingy” is a a dud or disappointment from the get-go.

How unjust to “link” discontent to this delightful citrus fruit.

I adore anything lemony…

The smell of lemons. Their freshness. Their tartness. Their flesh. Their peel. Their zest. Their oil.

Lemons “prick me up” emotionally. How can you not resist them?

When you cook, you can mediate too much sweetness in any recipe by adding a slice of lemon… and “Voila!” that cloying excessive-sweetness miraculously dissipates.

Lemons have many natural healing powers, besides all their Vitamin C. Look into the life and fascinating research of multi-Nobel Peace prize winner and pioneering American chemist, peace activist, author and educator Linus Carl Pauling (1901-1994) if you want to learn lots about this aspect of lemons, Vitamin C and lots more (note: He lived to the age of 93).

Did you know there’s scores of lemon-related medicinal benefits? Take your pick. Here’s one of mine.

Where did “Turning Lemons into Lemonade” originate?

First, here’s the real line: “If life hands you lemons, make lemonade.”

To the best of my researching ability ~ and Oxford Dictionaries, it is a proverb ~ though not from the Biblical Book of Proverbs.

How did the “lemon” fruit become a negative thing and lemonade, filled with sugar or sweetener, become a good thing?

It’s a cliche. Cliches are considered tired truths because they’re so often said, but perhaps they’re not true at all…

Perhaps we should be “sucking on a lemon slice,” instead of turning lemons into lemonade…

Perhaps we should be puckering up and smiling, instead…

They’re more good than bad, it seems to me. Except when you squeeze out all their juice, their life’s blood. So, henceforth. No more lemonade, for me at least, and here’s what I’ve uncovered, thus far:

Imbibe this:

  • Psychologist Ben Coleman describes the experience of “Sucking Lemons” thusly: “When life delivers lemons, why will some people pucker-up while others will smile? Your ability to prosper and remain happy in life, even when sucking lemons, will depend on whether or not you have established these “essential” psychological strengths in your daily life.” Sounds like resilience to me.
  • The refrain to the song “Lemon Tree” by Peter, Paul and MaryLemon Tree very pretty and the lemon flower is sweet, but the fruit of the poor lemon is impossible to eat.
  • What about the ebullient, happy-go-lucky colour of yellow? (For next time)
  • Pickled lemons… hmmmm. (Thank you, Sonia.)
  • When my husband was a kid, lemon juice was used for invisible writing. “We used pens with nibs and dipped them into lemon juice. Wrote ‘secret messages’ and when it dried, it was invisible. But, when you held it over a lightbulb, you could read every word. Today, try that with a chopstick,” he suggests.
  • And think of the promise that lay at the end of  The Yellow Brick Road in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz?

I love this lemony story…

There’s so much more to it than I ever imagined, so I’ll continue with it next time. It’s fascinating. And fun, don’t you think?

Bye for now and profound thanks to you for inspiring me. Your comments are why I decided to ponder and muse and look into lemons.



On lemons …

Sandy Naiman

Sandy Naiman is a Toronto freelance journalist.

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APA Reference
Naiman, S. (2019). On lemons …. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 14, 2020, from


Last updated: 25 Mar 2019
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