I don’t do vegetables, and I don’t eat a lot of meat. I don’t eat Thai, Vietnamese, Spanish, Mexican… the list goes on. Why? Because I just don’t like it. Any of it. Vegetables especially. I was the kid who never ate their veggies and never ‘grew out of it’. I find the taste, texture and smell totally unpalatable. And that’s the end of the story.
Well… not really. And if it were, that would make for a very short and boring blog post.
Anyway. When I was kid, eating veggies- or not eating them, as the case may be, way a constant battle between my parents, my grandmother who cared for me while my parents where working, and stubborn little me, pushing peas around my plate and gagging on nearly cold mashed potato.
My dad used to say to me, half joking, “What are you going to do, when you’re a teenager and some bloke wants to take you out? Make him take you to McDonalds?”
I’m not sure if the intention was to shame me into eating my vegetables or just shame me in general, but it half worked. This played on my mind when I was a tween, all short but still gangly and achingly insecure. It kept me awake at night, worrying…. what would I do when I was older, and expected to be sophisticated? Being an unpopular nerd with low self esteem, my chances of finding a boyfriend were, as I saw it, slim to none anyway… this was just another deal breaker for Lori.
If I’m honest, until now, it’s never really come up. Dating before I was married was more casual, more pubs and clubs, more ice cream overlooking the harbor. Less three course meals with different wine to compliment each.
Now that I’m thirty, single and have kids, it seems the stakes have been raised.
It seems that every eligible guy out there has suddenly developed a flair for home cooking. And I don’t mean steaks on the barbeque, or grilled cheese on toast. I mean real food, with names like pate and brie and filet and other things I can’t even pronounce.
I’m blaming MasterChef for this “I’m a good looking, intelligent guy who can cook and that’s sexy” phenomenon. It certainly wasn’t happening six years ago. And it’s downright embarrassing for me.
Because no, I don’t eat Thai, or capers, or stir fry, or any kind of creamy pasta, or seafood. I try to glaze over the whole thing- “I’m a fussy eater…”- but a big guy in a cravat is screaming “Loser!!” at me in my head.
Add to this the fact that I don’t drink, and especially not wine– it gives me a headache and besides that it tastes foul- leaves most men thinking I’m both childish and kind of strange, and seems to put me on a back foot.
Not that it takes much to put a single mum with two kids under four on the back foot in the dating game… but me and my fussy eating habits certainly don’t help.