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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Mashed Potatoes, Black Olives, and Brussels Sprouts

Have you ever noticed there are two kinds of food aversions? With a natural aversion, the person seemingly is born with a dislike for a certain food. An example of this would be my hate/hate relationship with mashed potatoes. I have no memories of a time when I enjoyed mashed potatoes; I can’t stand their taste, their smell, their texture in my mouth. As far as I can tell, I entered life with a disdain for mashed potatoes.

Glut aversion, on the other hand, is caused by indulging in a surfeit of a particular food and developing a revulsion to that food as a backlash. An instance of glut aversion is my Aunt Jo’s hatred of black olives. At family dinners, she would visibly cringe as we kids piled our plates with olives and started munching even before we passed the serving dish. When I grew up enough to care about adult food preferences, I learned the reason for her repulsion—an olive-eating contest in her childhood, ending in a disgust for olives that she never outgrew.

One of the election results for me is that I’ve developed an aversion to politicking, with its mudslinging and personal attacks. Where I used to salivate at a charmingly crafted campaign speech, I now eye the latest oratorical offering with the sickly gaze of one being urged to eat a fifth piece of wedding cake. It may be beautiful, but I don’t like it! The same goes for political punditing and election forecasting. I used to devour it all. Now, thanks but no thanks.

Don’t misunderstand, I’m a responsible citizen. I research platforms and track records. I vote, but it’s the civic equivalent of eating my brussels sprouts: it’s good for me and a good example to others, but it only seems to affect my life in a far-off, slow-grinding way. Afterward, I drive home and return to my regularly scheduled life. Four years. I’m thankful for the breather. Maybe in four years, I’ll learn to like the taste again.

1 comment:

Trace-n-the-Grace said...

How nice to read your words. I have missed your insights. I, too, love a well-crafted speech. I was gushing over a speech and it's words, it's timing, it's eloquence, while my husband stared at me with one eyebrow raised (you know the look) and stated, "But he's not saying anything.." hmmm..