Monday, October 1, 2012

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...