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?
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?