this is a post about tomatoes. i’m starting to be concerned that maybe i am not, in fact, going to win a pulitzer.

I am ordering a cobb salad at a cafe for lunch. But add avocado, and no tomato, please. Her hand hovers over the buttons and she lifts her face to eye me incredulously. This is also the face I get when I order bacon on my veggie burgers.

“No tomato?”

No. I say. No tomatoes.

“Are you allergic?” Skeptically.

No. I just don’t like them.

Frown. Really? “Ok. Fine. No tomato.” You degenerate.

I have a slew of pet peeves. I don’t like people who overuse their car horn. I don’t like it when someone makes a show of correcting other peoples’ grammar or pronunciation. I hate when the DVR won’t let me fast forward through commercials. (I’m already exhausted trying to follow the erratic character development in Glee, ok? I truly do not need to see the same movie trailer 18 times in a row.)

But the thing I hate the most – my number one pet peeve – is when people get mad at me because I don’t like tomatoes.

You’d think that would be a relatively small number. Who possibly cares about such things?

Well, it isn’t a small number. Apparently, America is made up almost entirely of rabid tomato fans.

“You don’t like tomatoes?” They gasp in horror. “But how? Why?”

I dunno. I give some vague answer about how it’s probably a texture thing; you know the slimy inside and the crispy outside…and the seeds? Actually, I don’t really know why I don’t like tomatoes. I just don’t. No, not cherry tomatoes either. I am largely indifferent to sundried. Yes. YES! My God! I know about organic heirloom tomatoes at the farmer’s market! Stop telling me! I don’t like those either!

They regard you with exquisite dismay. Sigh heavily. “Well,” one of them will inevitably say, “my mother grows heirloom tomatoes in her garden and I can tell you, they are the best thing ever.”

Worse than the incredulity, are the people who want you to “grow up” and accept tomatoes as a regular part of an adult diet. This depresses me beyond measure. Adulthood means I am forced to eat all the things I dislike? Isn’t that what childhood is about? I thought becoming an adult means you have a certain amount of autonomy. I mean, we agree that it turns out you don’t actually get to do everything you want all the time, as we believed when we were ten; you still have to get up early to go to work, and and attend weddings of people you hardly know, and drive a safe car with passenger side airbags instead of an open Jeep with a surfboard in the back (that was a hard one to let go of). At the very least, however, was the promise that you didn’t have to eat stuff you hated and you could have ice cream cakes on completely random occasions if you felt like it.  So, I eat my fair share of veggies and pay my taxes. I have a mortgage and no longer wear miniskirts in public. I exercise regularly, drink quite moderately (drunken Ken Burns experience was an aberration, I assure you), sit through the entire baby shower, separate my whites, line dry my jeans, read “classic” books instead of trash, foreswear white zinfandel, grimly endure an annual showing of the Oscar documentary “shorts”.

However. There are some lines to be reasonably drawn.

“Stop picking off the tomatoes,” these people will snap, “you are such a child!”

Oh, screw you, I think, as sweetly as I can manage, which is not very, and by the way, I’m having ice cream cake for dessert.

Worst of all, however, are the people who insist you will love tomatoes if only you will try their “special recipe”. Their “special recipe” invariably consists of sliced tomatoes, basil, and fresh mozzarella, drizzled with olive oil. First of all, I find myself explaining, in slow, even tones, that is a caprese salad, and it is in every Italian restaurant in America, if not worldwide. It is not your “special recipe”. And secondly, there are only 3 major ingredients in this salad, and one of them is tomatoes. I don’t like tomatoes. I’m not going to like this salad.

“Try it!” They insist. “You will love it! I’m telling you!”

Indeed, I will not, I warn them.

“Trust me! Just try it! Try it!” Etc., etc., and finally I give in and say, fine, I will not like it, but I will try it for you and they are so pleased and I take a bite and they look at me expectantly and say, well? And I say, yeah, no. I don’t like it. And then they get mad.

Those are the worst.

No, wait! Actually, the worst might be the people who give you such a hard time, and then turn out to dislike something fabulously delicious that no sane person would ever willingly reject…like, say,…cheese. Who’s the wackjob NOW?

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. angelaperalta
    Feb 01, 2012 @ 21:13:30

    PS – Seriously. Stop &*^% telling me about the organic heirloom tomatoes. I know. I KNOW.

    Reply

  2. Katie
    Feb 03, 2012 @ 18:50:20

    I don’t understand people who don’t like chocolate…or more so…desserts. What?! is this trendy? because I don’t actually believe you can decide to dislike a course…”yeah..me? not really into antipastos….”

    Reply

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