A confession and a rant

I am a picky eater.

Let me rephrase and reemphasize:

I am a VERY picky eater.

I do not mind being a picky eater. I eat what I like, and I like what I eat.

What does bother me are other people’s inane reactions to finding out I am picky.

For some reason, this is what people hear when they find out I am a picky eater:

Hi, I’m Sarah, and I have an illness. A very serious and dangerous illness. In fact, I’ll probably keel over and die any day now because of my horrendous condition. I identify as a picky eater. Please! Please, help me. Please make me itemize the things I eat and don’t eat. Tell me to try new things, right now! Tell me how much I’m missing out on. All. The. Time. Any chance you get. More often if you can. Basically, do everything in your power to make me feel like a freak. Oh, and bonus points if you can do it in front of an audience.

Can you tell that it bothers me? I sure hope so.

There is almost no quicker way to make me resent someone than for them to handle my pickiness in this way. There are people who only do one or two of these things, and there are people who do all of those things every chance they get. Something about being picky screams TEASE ME! GIVE ME A HARD TIME!! I LOVE ALL THE EXTRA ATTENTION!!

I dread meeting new people partly because of this. It almost always comes up, and not many people say, “Hey, different strokes for different folks. To each his own. As long as you’re healthy.” And then leave it at that.

Is it a quirk? Yes. But why do people get such a kick off of harping me on it? What kind of sick satisfaction do they receive in their dopamine receptors when they tease me about my diet?

Is it the healthiest diet in all of the universe? No. Not by a long shot. But guess what? I never get sick, and I am in really good shape. (I exercise like there is no tomorrow.)

I don’t get why people like shaming me about what I eat. I think I am going to start being more confrontational when idiots do this to me. My animosity is building, and I’m concerned I might explode at an inappropriate time.

My problem isn’t so much liking things, my biggest problem is having the guts to try something new. But believe me, I avoid mentioning thatat all costs.

OH, YOU’VE NEVER EVEN TRIED THIS?! HERE TRY IT RIGHT NOW! WHILE EVERYONE IS STARING AT YOU. GO AHEAD. WE WON’T TAKE OUR EYES OFF YOU.

I have a serious mental block (aka phobia) about trying new things. Not just food, but especiallyfood. And I am notgoing to try anything new with a bunch of people watching me.

When I try new things, I need a very controlled environment. Namely, only one or two people, and I have to trust them completely. Trust them to not laugh at me, and trust them not to make a big deal about my reaction either way. Also, I need a big cup of water handy.

Now, there are some people who handle it well. They are encouraging when I try something new, whether I like it or not.

I have one friend who adores trying new things, and she encourages me to try new things more often. But, she doesn’t do it in front of other people, and she doesn’t do it maliciously or to condescend me. I can tell she doesn’t exactly approve of my diet (nobody approves and I don’t blame them), but she also respects my quirks, my pickiness included.

This may seem like a fine line, but it really isn’t. She doesn’t do it contemptuously or to make herself feel better. She doesn’t tease me about it like other people do; she genuinely thinks there are things out there that I would like if I would only try them. And I believe her, I really do, it’s just easier said than done.

Food has to pass many tests before I even consider trying it. And, even once I do try it, just because it tastes good isn’t any guarantee I will like it. I’m a big texture person as well. And yes, that is really a thing.

Quirks canbe funny, and I know being a picky eater is weird, but that doesn’t make it okay to embarrass someone or make fun of them derisively because they are different from you.

This obviously goes for all quirks or differences between people.

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