It’s My Loss: Fear of “Real” Food

I was driving home from our cottage, about 100 miles north of home. The rolling fields with recent crew cuts and more cows than I could ever count made me realize that I’m missing out on one of the joys of life.

I don’t like fresh “real” food.   When a friend offers me a sun-ripened tomato from his garden and says how much he looks forward to eating them freshly picked, I can’t relate.  The only tomatoes I like are crushed beyond recognition in a smooth marinara sauce, hidden under a thick layer of cheese.

It’s my loss and I would love to just be able to get over it.  So many people really enjoy the art of a talented chef or fresh finds in a farmer’s market   I wish I could be one of them.

I am a picky eater. The history of this is detailed in an earlier post:  Secrets of a Picky Eater

Texture is a big part of the problem.    Real food is unpredictable and often has mixed textures of firm and mushy.  Fear of the unknown is another big issue.   I imagine taking a bite of something and being unable to swallow.  Real food could have worms in it or other hidden horrors.

I know these fears are unfounded, but it doesn’t help me to enjoy the fruits of nature’s bounty.

My husband wanted to stop at a restaurant.   I would much rather stop at a convenience store to pick up something quick.  Restaurant meals prolong the act of eating.  I suffered through many unpleasant restaurant meals in my childhood and the scars are still with me.  I’m happier to satisfy my hunger in the most-expedient way with predictable packaged, processed foods.   I know what to expect from them.

As you might imagine, I’m not much for home cooking either.  When one compares the preparation time with the time it takes to eat and clean up, it doesn’t seem worth it.  I can tolerate my own cooking, but dread an invitation to a dinner party or picnic.   Then there are restaurants that specialize in “home cookin’.” When they omit the g, I know they are serious about it.  Those places are picky eaters’ hell

So I was feeling a bit sad for myself last night. I realize that I am missing out on something wonderful.   I am denying myself one of life’s great pleasures.   I reject the banquet to eat garbage.

I have made some progress since childhood.  I eat bananas and berries and celery, but I would never choose those things over a protein bar or a bag of pretzels.  I want to try harder to make better food choices and to taste new things.   In slow, cautious steps, I hope to make changes one unpredictable bite at a time.   I want to know what I am missing.