Skip to main content

Please don't eat the broccoli

The perky dietician looked down at her scribbled notes, diligently scrawled on the pad of paper clipped to her neon green plastic clipboard. "Well,  now. You've given me a good example of what you normally eat. But, uh, well, I don't see any fruits or vegetables?" She sounded confused.

"Oh. I don't eat them," I answered plainly.

"You don't eat fruits or vegetables?" Now she looked confused.

"No." I answered matter of factly.

She uncrossed her leg. Then crossed it again. "Well, why not?"

"I don't like them." I became keenly aware that I was coming off like an obstitante child. Although I didn't have the whine.

"You don't like any fruits? What about bananas?"

"No, they taste like sickness."

Her eyes widened. "I'm sorry?"

"I don't know, like, maybe once I got sick after eating a bunch of bananas and now I associate bananas with being sick. Like I do 7-Up. Just a sip of 7-Up and I'll start to feel queezy. Same thing with a banana."

"Oh. Well, what about apples?"

"I can do Granny Smith. But not the other kinds."

"What's wrong with other kinds of apples?"

"They're too soft. I only like crispy apples. Like Granny Smith. Oh! And Honey Crisp apples. I can do those, too. But only if I cut them up. I don't like to bite into things. I only like food if I can touch it with my back molars first."

".....ohhkaaaayyyyy...." she quickly caught her unprofessionalism and shook her head. "Well, now, so, uh, what about grapes?"

"Too squishy. Same with peaches or plums. Or anything described as fleshy. It needs to have substance to it. But maybe if I froze them. I suppose it would be okay to freeze grapes so they're hard and then I could eat them. But not peaches or plums."

"Why don't you like peaches or plums?"

"It's what I imagine biting into a baby's plump leg would feel like. But instead of blood it'd be all  that juice dripping down my chin. Also, I can't help but think that if I accidently stepped on a peach it would feel just like the time I stepped on a mouse. You don't ever forget that feeling once it happens."

She sat staring at me. So I did what I always do when there's awkward silence. I filled it. "Not that I would ever bite into a child's leg. I don't even think about it that much. Or at all, I mean. It's just one of those things that popped in my head when I was younger, eating a peach, and just that thought - 'oh, this is what biting into a kid's leg feels like' - rendered it inedible to me until the end of time."

She looked down at her clipboard. Praying, I suppose. "Okay. So you like crunchy foods! What about celery?"

"Too stringy. I feel like it could choke me."

"You're afraid you'll choke on celery?"

"Not like choke and die. More like those long strings will get stuck along my throat - like when you have a hair stuck on your tongue and you can feel it but can't get it off no matter how many times you swipe your tongue with your sleeve and then you start gagging. I'm afraid the strings will get stuck in my throat and then gag me." I awkwardly chuckled, "haha! You probably think I'm nuts!"

Too quickly she answered, "NO! No! Uh, no, not at all. So what are some other vegetables you might be willing to add to your diet? Corn? Peas? Beans?"

"Corn, yes. I eat a lot of corn. Peas: only if they were frozen. I like them to still be intact before I eat them. I can't do canned peas because they're too mushy and not symmetrical at all, which I only realized at this second that it's very important that my food have symmetry. And I can eat beans if  they've also been frozen."

"Have you, uh, ever talked to someone about your food rules? You know, a lot of people are very particular about the textures of their foods. Sometimes it can be very helpful to talk to someone about this...."

And she handed me a card with a name on it...


Heather Bush said…
I have food rules too. Mine are not as exacting as yours, but I cannot eat mashed potatoes, cream of wheat, oatmeal or grits (that semi-grainy, mushy texture makes me think of vomit). Also too thick gravy for the same reason. I can't eat any kind of "greens"- collard, turnip, mustard or kale - because of how much cleaning and scrubbing has to be done to get all of the sand out of them. Just seeing a bot after a bunch of greens have been boiled in it is enough to let me know that I can't eat it. They also get very mushy. I can eat sauteed onions if they are chopped really fine, but cannot even go near raw. I prefer that my meat not be even a little bit pink - ever. I also refuse to eat anything called chittlin' (or chitterlings in the North), fatback (I don't even think ya'll have that) or souse (again, not sure if you have that either). Maybe I should talk to someone as well as this list is starting to become uncomfortably long in my head.
angie said…
yep, you're crazy. :)
but what about animal crackers? can you eat those? my son has INSANE food rules and can't eat animal crackers because they aren't a "real" shape. must be square, circle, or rectangle. this rule of his has made ME crazy by association. food rules. ugh. JUST EAT!
(sorry. that's my mom issues rearing their collective head.)
@Angie: my toddler had animal crackers yesterday and announced "aw! he's so cute! don't eat it, ma!" so I'm sure he's on his way to therapy. When I did eat animal crackers it is VERY important to eat the legs first, then the head, then the torso. Most people leave the head for last. Not me, I couldn't handle their pleading eyes...
angie said…
baha awesome. i'm sure you have a best-selling diet book in these rules of yours somewhere ...
Anonymous said…
oh. my gosh. also: YOU STEPPED ON A MOUSE? WHAT.
Anonymous said…
I think I love you. You are perfectly insane. It is brilliant. :)
Becca said…
This is freaking awesome. "Bananas taste like sickness" is my new favorite food excuse ever. EVER. Have you ever thought about smoothies?

Popular posts from this blog

The House that God Built

in·stan·ta·ne·ous /ˌinstənˈtānēəs/ adjective 1. occurring or done in an instant or instantly.
synonyms: immediate, instant, on-the-spot

The thing is, she died so sudden.
I didn't have the chance to plead with God, to make all the irrational promises. If he would just let her be okay.... I would start taking better care of my health. I would be nicer to the neighbor that drove me crazy. I would always let someone else go in front of me at Walmart no matter how long the line was. I wouldn't complain. Ever. I would volunteer at the Homeless Shelter. I would clean up after pigs. I would clip the toenails of the elderly. I would do anything and everything He would ask me to do....
There is a box on her death certificate that captures the amount of time between the initial injury and the time of death. It reads "seconds." I wish it read "instantaneous" because she deserves a clever word like that.
Fast forward five years.... definitely taking MUCH longer than "…

Seeing Avery All Grown Up

One day I'll tell you about the freezing cold we left and the heavy bags we lugged, full of supplies and medicines. I'll tell you about arriving in Port au Prince and walking across a cracked concrete parking lot to board an old school bus with a flat tire. How the heat was suffocating after months of below zero Wisconsin winter weather, how the people crowded and walked too close to moving traffic as we searched for a tire shop that was barely more than a couple men sitting on overturned 5-gallon buckets on the side of the road next to a pile of old tires, everything covered in dirt.

I'll tell you about waiting on the bus while they removed the tire and I'll recall the loud explosion that rocked the bus and scared the life out of me and how I was relieved to learn it was just the tire blowing after being filled too far. (They didn't have any gauges.) And then I'll tell you about the fear I felt when I realized we didn't have a tire and we were stuck on th…

When Your Imagined Life is Nothing Like This One

There were so many ways I imagined my adult life would be....THIS is not one of them.
I posted that on my Facebook wall last night. It might have been seen as funny except my choice of hashtags gave me away:
treading water getting nowhere piles of disappointment not many successes worn out and exhausted out of options

I always imagined my life would be thrilling. Full of exciting adventures and people from all over the world. I would dine at Ethiopian, Thai, and Indian restaurants. I would write books, teach English, coach forensics and direct the play. My husband would be charming and funny and not care about gender roles when it came to household chores. He would beg for at least six kids and I would fall in love with him all over again each time I caught him giving good life advice.
I would take photographs and travel the world documenting the people I came across. I would adopt a sibling group of three or maybe four and work on foster care policies because the ones we have aren't work…