Monday, November 9, 2009

Peanut Butter Crackers

Growing up, I had a dirty little secret. I tried to hide it all the time but it was painfully obvious at family get-togethers or vacations.

I was (and well, still am) a horribly picky eater.

I remember vaguely my mom asking our doctor once if I was going to be ok, since all I ate was peanut butter crackers. She assured her I'd grow out of it. Which I did, kind of. I didn't eat meat from age two until a month before my 21st birthday. I can attempt a list of foods I ate during my grade school years...

Peanut butter on crackers (NOT on bread- that's gross), green grapes (not red), American cheese (and it had to be yellow), carrots sometimes, raisins, pasta with butter and salt (no sauces or anything in the pasta), plain cous cous or pastini (sometimes with milk in it), PLAIN PIZZA (and plain from the start... I wouldn't let someone peel of pepperonis and call it "plain"), waffles with powdered sugar (but not pancakes, and definitely no syrup), Cheerios, yogurt (but nothing with any texture to it like fruit on the bottom- had to be a flavored kid's yogurt or Dannon vanilla or lemon), plain or salt bagels, apples (without the skin, preferably with honey for dipping), and that's probably it. Of course I also liked sweets but what kid doesn't?

Picture proof...

Yea, that's me in a really cool dress. And I think I did my own hair. But check out my milk mustache, and my green grape / American cheese dinner. I can't believe I survived!

I also had (and in some cases, still do!) and aversion to fruit textures. See below:

Looks like that bowl is untouched. Red grapes? No way. And what is that, melon? Not a chance!

I grew out of a bunch of these dislikes. However, it became a real anxiety/phobia for me. I won't try foods in front of random people or even friends- I have to be comfortable and no one can watch me. At my horrible old job my boss grilled me about it at a convention dinner, and I started tearing up. The thought of trying new foods gives me so much anxiety that I shut down. (She later gave me an etiquette pamphlet for dinner events... thanks.) I've been brave and now I eat chicken, hot dogs, pepperoni, and bacon, as well as hummus, pasta with sauces (marina AND vodka!), apples WITH skins, things like onions, tomatoes (normal salad or pizza topping ingredients!), pancakes with syrup, all cheese except bleu and ricotta, and even "weird" foods like chicken sausage. Some things haven't changed though, like my dislike of any texture in my yogurt, aversion to strawberries, dislike of sandwiches on soft bread slices, or my prejudice against red grapes.

When I started dating, I kind of freaked out about my food dislikes. Most of my family and friends were understanding, but meeting someone new it's like having to admit a scary secret, but on your first date... while ORDERING food. Some guys were cool, some guys weren't. But all guys noticed. Mr. Pug has been great about making me comfortable to try new things. I want to be a "good try-er" but sometimes, my anxiety gets the better of me. This is coming from the girl who sat at the dinner table alone until bedtime- in the dark- since I wasn't allowed to leave the table until I ate my full portion of steak. We're talking a bite about 1/6 the size of a normal bite. So when Mr. Pug tries to sing the praises of a well-cooked steak, I have a hard time going along with it.

Usually it's not a problem for us since he is understanding, and I've been making small but steady strides. Every once in a while though, Mr Pug gets bummed. Once, we talked about trying a new tapas bar downtown, but Mr Pug was apprehensive since tapas = sharing, and he knew he'd have limited choices due to my dislikes. Last night, when we were planning meals for the week, he got upset while going through a cookbook and realizing he couldn't make a bunch of the recipes because I wouldn't even try them.

I feel horrible that this anxiety comes between us sometimes, and hope that I'll continue to improve by a few foods each year. But to be honest, the thought of liking every food out there is severely overwhelming.

Did you have a secret you were nervous to divulge to your significant other? Does he have something like this that he brought into the relationship? How do you deal with differences, whether it be tastes in food, music, religious differences, or something else?


  1. I was the exact same way as a kid and I've overcome some of my food weirdness with my fi over the past 6 years. When I was a kid all I would eat for lunch was applesauce and dinner I would only eat spaghetti. As an adult the fi has turned me on to raw fish (sushi), mustard, lunch meat and he's still working on all spicy foods and pickles. I think the last two are never going to happen, but he still tries to talk me into "trying" them every chance he gets. LOL

  2. So you're saying we wouldn't do well as a team on The Amazing Race, Survivor, or Fear Factor? Oh well, I could see "Blogging Buds" under our names now. :) Don't worry... I couldn't do it either. I was such a picky child as well and has somehow found a love for a lot more things since my last boyfriend (before Mr. Mojito)... I think you've done fantastic and although I can understand Mr. Pugs frustrations I'm sure he's seen you grown SO much in your food likes since you've been together!

  3. You're amazingly honest, which is great. I'll be honest - I get annoyed by picky eaters, even if it's a for real anxiety or "just" pickiness.

    And wouldn't you know it - I'm marrying a picky eater.

    He won't eat greens (WHO doesn't eat greens?), whoel wheat anything, pasta sauces, unusual fruits, etc, etc. Basically a meat & potatoes kind of guy, the plainer the better.

    Gag me. I only cook with me in mind now, and if he doesn't like it, he's a grown man who can make something he does like.

    But at least you're trying and your fiance is trying and it's a issue you're working on together. That's great!

  4. Miss Pug you know I'm a picky eater too! I agree, no strawberries because seriously that outside texture is GROSS! If someone wants to peel my strawberries, which Rick has actually done before, they're fabulous :) I don't like eating ham, fish or pork. I'll only eat steak at few select places and only started eating it because of Rick. I'm all about some chicken but please do not put any sauces over it, especially something weird. I don't like raw veggies - like in my salad, only romaine/iceburg lettuce with light dressing. No tomatoes, no onions, no peppers, no carrots. Good for you even going to a tapas bar, I wouldn't step foot inside for fear of not finding something to eat.

    Maybe we'll do a trip up to see yall and the boys can do tapas and we'll go back to Scotty's! ;)

  5. Awww Miss picky! :)

    I was thinking about my own crazy eating habits...I was a really picky eater as a child, but I've recently grown out of it and expanded my horizons (I would never consider touching an avocado, spinach, or any of those other creepy/weird veggies as a can't imagine a world without guacamole).

    The FI is very very very open to eating pretty much anything, so although I have "expanded" my horizons in the eating world, there are still problems. He has to deal with the fact that I don't eat any red meat (no steak for him...sorry buddy!), I'm creeped out by mushrooms, and I am extremely conscious of the nutritional value of my food. Going out to restaurants can sometimes be frustrating, because my order is always complicated (sauces on the side, veggies steamed, no oil, you get the point...). I'm thankful that he's so patient with me!

    I hope you slowly learn to try some more new food! :) If I lived closer, I'd be cooking for you! :)

  6. I completely understand. My family & friends have always given me a hard time for being the pickiest eater around, and alot of it still stands today. When I was growing up, most of my meals were cereal or ketchup & cheese sandwiches (disgusting, I know.)

    I still don't eat pasta, sausage, anything with mayo or sour cream, most vegetables, many fruits, and so many more. It's easier to make a list of those that I do eat.

    Props to Mr. Pug for being accepting & providing a comfortable place for you.

  7. hi miss pug!

    fred and i eat very different foods. he will eat anything and i am super picky too.

    this has never been an issue though because we really allow each other to be who we are right down to our menu choices. :)

    when fred wants to try a new resturarant, he is always happy with me eating what i like even before we go so that i am not starving and i usually then enjoy tea while he orders anything and everything at the restaurant. :)

    it has always worked for us! but you are doing great at trying new things. didn't you have chocolate covered bacon at the fair this summer? you are awesome!


  8. I'm still a REALLY picky eater. And I used to only eat 'spaghetti' with butter and garlic salt too!

    Ps- I gave you an award on my blog :)