May I Have Some of Your Fruits?

satsuma in my garden

I have a tangerine tree in my front yard. Some told me it’s the Satsuma species but I’m not sure. They don’t look like the Satsumas I see in grocery stores.

One day the door bell rang when I was cooking lunch. A woman said she was driving by when she saw the tree. She was wondering if she could have some tangerines from my tree. Because the fruits were still small, I told her they weren’t ready yet.

After she left I scratched my head thinking what would make someone want something from someone else badly enough to stop and knock on the door. Tangerines sold in the stores are not that expensive. If she wants them, she can certainly buy them. It would never occur to me that I would knock on someone’s door asking for their stuff.

She’s actually one of the more polite ones. Others just pick the fruits from the tree without asking. This species has soft skin. If you just pluck fruits from the tree, it will leave a piece of the skin on the stem, making the tree look ugly. I end up using a pair of scissors cutting the ends off. They eat my fruits. I clean after them.

I thought the bible said something about Thou Shalt Not Covet. There’s also a saying in my culture against gains if you haven’t put in the labor.

I think a key to financial success is a low desire for material possession. Some time ago I was at a business conference. When I plugged in my phone to the charging station the conference set up for the attendees, the guy next to me said “Old school, huh?” I had a Google Nexus One. It was only two years old. It still works just fine.

Over the Thanksgiving weekend I watched some episodes of the TV show Say Yes to the Dress on Netflix streaming. If you haven’t watched the show, I highly recommend it. Each episode is only 20 minutes. It’s entertaining and you learn something about personal finance. For example, is a $5,000 dress still expensive if your father/mother/fiancé is paying for it?

It’s easy to save money if you don’t want stuff as much as others.

[Photo Credit: Flickr user freshelectrons]

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  1. babar says

    Any chance it was a pregnant lady? In that case one never says no. Lady and her yet-to-be-born baby will never forget 🙂

    Quoting: “Because the fruits were still small, I told her they weren’t ready yet.”. If you were okay with sharing, why care if the fruits were ripe or not?

  2. Harry says

    Not at a stage I could tell. I wanted to maximize the utility value of those fruits. Share them when they are ripe, with people I choose. It wouldn’t be fair if one would get them only because they asked, right?

  3. serbeer says

    So, how soon the tangerines will be ready Harry?
    Oh, and what is your address btw?

    I casually extend my hand to my neighbors apple tree that nearly overhangs sidewalk to pick an apple and let my kids take a bite of it while we are walking around in the summer. Most of the apples end up on the ground and there are some still hanging on this otherwise bare-leaved tree now despite a few days of freezing temperatures. I suppose apples are not nearly as popular as tangerines though…

    Oh, and I leave no traces left 🙂

  4. Jeff says

    “…maximize the utility value of those fruits.” That’s what’s wrong with this country. For Christ’s sake (literally – and I’m not religious), let the lady take what she wants. At least she was polite enough to ask. Are you any relation to Scrooge?? Here – read some posts on this website.

  5. Harry says

    Fruits are best enjoyed when ripe, no matter who eats them. That’s what I meant by maximizing their utility value. I don’t see what Scrooge has to do with it. What’s wrong with this country, exactly? That people have the patience to wait until fruits are ripe?

  6. Brandy says

    Well at least she had the decency to respect that it was your “private” property/tree and ask for your permission. Obviously quite a lot of folks think /assume “why would the owner care ?!!”” and go ahead with their action. It doesn’t cross their mind that its not their property or their right.

  7. Tushar @ Everything Finance says

    Very interesting that the woman felt comfortable enough actually knocking on your door for your fruit. Growing up, we had fruit frees and I recall that we couldn’t get the fruit out fast enough – it had a very short life on the tree so we’d end up giving most of it to neighbors and friends. But we never had somebody stop by and ask for some.

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