I know it is a failing on my part, but that does not change the reality of it. And it leads to some very uncomfortable occasions.
I mean, of course, my extremely picky nature when it comes to eating.
For most people, if they say they do not like something, they generally mean they prefer to eat other things but it is not a big deal to eat the suggested item. For me, it is completely different.
For me, not liking something leads to gag reflexes, desperate attempts to restrain myself from projectile vomiting, hours of nausea as I try again and again to rid myself of the horrific aftertaste, and worst of all, day after day of brooding over the circumstances that led to me being forced to "just try it...you might find you will like it" even though that has never worked before.
It actually makes me sad that I am so picky. I have missed out on many fine experiences, dozens of joyful gatherings, opportunities to hang out with friends and family, and so forth. Fear of encountering a situation where food I find inedible (a category so broad it encompasses roughly 99.723% of all foods in existence) has kept me from several trips, in fact.
Indeed, the idea of perhaps being asked to eat some food that normal people find delightful and I find only slightly less repulsive than cannibalism is one of the greatest impediments to happiness in my life.
Yes, to you that lovely "ravioli stuffed with spinach glazed with a garlic-infused asparagus" might be a treasured family recipe. For me it is pure torture.
First off, I must find some way to minimize how much of that hideous concoction I have forced upon me under the cheerful guise of "Don't be shy, there is plenty". News flash...not even hearing of such a dish is far more than enough for me. There is not one ingredient in that mix that I enjoy eating.
So first, I try to avoid it in the first place with a variety of oft-practiced deflections such as the ever-popular "I just ate" or the timely excusing myself to the restroom.
If that does not work, I try to keep it to just a bite which I can hastily wash down without tasting it using the ever-present liquid I keep readily to hand at all times.
And the time spent trying to force it down my throat past the gag reflex while plastering a fake smile upon my face so as not to hurt your feelings with the realization that this dish you spent years perfecting, days planning, and hours cooking is for me an experience roughly akin to having flaming slivers of pitch slowly inserted under each fingernail...well, that time is not enjoyable for me.
I would rather be gardening.
And I HATE gardening.
I might even rather be working and we all know how I feel about my employer.
What is worse is when someone is being excessively nice. I would not take the cash proffered for giving a co-worker a ride home. It was cold, snowy, nasty, and I went within 2 miles of his place. No thanks required. No, I will not take your 5 bucks.
So he goes out, spends money to get me a nice burger and fries combo.
I really, truly, genuinely appreciate the gesture. I really mean that from the bottom of my heart. I appreciate that you wish to express your gratitude. I wish now I had taken the 5 bucks, because now I am in an embarrassing position.
I despise catchup and pickles, all the trimmings these places put on their burgers to mask the flavors of whatever they pass off as meat actually has. That is why I only ever eat burgers that are "plain" or "dry". No matter hoe hungry I am, I do not eat burgers with catsup, mustard, mayonnaise, pickles, or any condiment not named cheese.
So now I have to make the burger disappear without seeming to have no gratitude.
So I guess in short, I am asking people, for New Years, please make this resolution.
Instead of being gracious hosts and hostesses, be a little less gracious. Instead of inflicting your flavorful creations upon all and sundry, first check with those you are inviting to make sure they have taste buds that actually might enjoy your culinary endeavors. Before you purchase something for someone who did not request it, check to see if they have peculiar dietary needs or requests. It will save everyone lots of embarrassment.
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