It seems like Ash Wednesday comes earlier every year.  I knew it was imminent, though, when I saw that McDonald’s was offering cheap Filet-o-Fish Fridays again.  You would think most Catholics would give up eating at McDonald’s for Lent, but you can’t blame Ronald for trying.  Actually, I think just about every Catholic I know hates fish.  (And I do know my share of Catholics–and former Catholics.)  Each traces his or her fish aversion back to Lents of yore, when their childhood homes were filled with the unrelenting stench of poorly-prepared fish, or alternatively, fish sticks.  Which is a shame because now they will never know the joys of salmon poached in coconut milk with swiss chard and tomatoes.  Beats hell out of Filet-o-Fish, anyway.

Sugar Daddy likes to mock my food aversions.  He’s really confused and frustrated by my hatred of olives.  “You like pickles,” he says.  “Pickles are just like olives.”

“No, they’re not.”

“Yes, they are.”

“No, they’re not.”

“They’re plants soaked in brine.  They’re exactly the same food.”

“Then why don’t you get pickles on your pizza?”

“Because it’s a different texture.  Is it the texture you don’t like?”

“I don’t know how I feel about the texture because the taste makes me sick before I have time to consider the effects of the texture on my palate.”

“You eat things with olive oil in them.  How can you like olive oil when you don’t like olives?”

“Olive oil doesn’t taste like olives.”

“It’s made from olives!”

“I know, I don’t understand it myself.  Why don’t we cook things in pickle juice from now on?”

He’s also disturbed by the fact that I don’t like canned fruit.  He thinks I’d be a lot more relaxed and happy if I just ate more fruit, and every time he opens a can of fruit, or more properly, “fruit,” he offers me some, which I almost always refuse, and then he lectures me about my bowels and tells me not to blame him when I have a heart attack or whatever because I didn’t eat enough fruit.  I try to tell him that canned fruit doesn’t contain any nutrients, so I’m not really missing anything, but he doesn’t believe me.

The thing he finds really amusing, though, is my Cheerios phobia.  I admit that this is a little irrational on my part.  I say “a little” because while I recognize that Cheerios probably ought not to inspire the fear and loathing that they do in me, I still think, from an objective standpoint, that those little oat circles are just plain disgusting.  As a mother I encounter plenty of gross stuff on a daily basis, which I just take in stride, because hey, that’s what moms do.  It boggles SD’s mind that I can catch my child’s vomit with my bare hands, but I become completely unhinged at the sight of a wet Cheerio.  ::Shudder::

I think the reason I find soggy Cheerios so much less appealing than vomit is that I can’t get my head around the fact that people actually eat this stuff.  (Cheerios, that is.)  I mean…gah!  How can you stand it?  And don’t you dare make any comments about how you like to let your Cheerios get soggy before you eat them, or ask any philosophical questions about vomited Cheerios versus soggy Filet-o-Fishes, because my sensibilities are quite delicate, and you may never hear from me again if I get grossed-out to death.  The vomit, so to speak, will be on your hands.