I haven’t posted in a while… my priorities lately have not included blogging. Luckily I’m still getting plenty of hits from people who search 30 Day Shred, Annette Funicello, and “Gremlin Anniversary Wishes.” WHAT ARE GREMLIN ANNIVERSARY WISHES?
Anyway, I read an “open letter” yesterday that left me appropriately outraged. In case you don’t want to read the letter, here’s the synopsis: The author is pissed at her niece for being a “picky eater.” She believes her niece is missing out on the wonders of the world (including discovering that one type of tomato is apparently superior to another) and essentially pins the whole “problem” on her sister’s parenting skills/lack of ability to travel the world.
1. I am not a parent.
2. I am not an aunt.
3. I have a really big problem with people who confuse the two titles.
I’m a lifelong picky eater, so I have to take issue with this “letter” (and not just because I believe the blogger wrote it more to embarrass her sister than to impact her niece). I definitely took a long time to come around to some things, and sometimes my parents were really annoyed with my eating habits, for certain. My father once told me I couldn’t order salad at a restaurant anymore until I learned to use dressing. My friends teased me for ordering plain steamed rice at Chin’s (the local Chinese restaurant where seemingly everyone had birthday dinners). I actually CRIED when my parents took me to a Mexican restaurant… when I was 15.
Growing up, I called myself a purist and used as few condiments (seasonings, sauces, AND spices included) as possible. I was totally happy with it, and while my parents did make me TRY new things, they also knew that they could only change so much about my eating habits. They taught me to be polite and eat what I was served, even if I didn’t really like it, but they also didn’t try to force me to actually like the stuff.
Even now, I’m still pretty picky, but I’ve grown to like some things I thought I would NEVER like (and even some things my parents don’t like!). Did anyone force me into liking hummus or kimchi? No. I just kept being polite and eating what was presented to me… and, lo and behold, I began to like some new dishes. My husband still calls me “the lieutenant in the war against flavor” because I think peppers are gross and grits are terrible, but I’m working on it.
Anyway, back to the article.
One thing we picky eaters are is stubborn, and the best way to get us to hate (or refuse to try) a food is to try to shame us out of our pickiness. We are happy the way we are. The young niece of the author? Totally happy being picky, I’m sure. I don’t know her, but I don’t think she’s just sitting there waiting for her Auntie to ride in on a white horse to save her from her bland palate. If her aunt would just let her discover things on her own, she might grow to like them.
But just based on reading this article, I hope the girl plays the super-picky card anytime she’s at her aunt’s house for dinner. Hell, if I was the author’s sister, I’d be encouraging my kid to play it up just to bother Auntie Know-it-all. It’d serve her right.