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I’m Defective

May 9, 2011

There are Twitter memes that work their way around…#randomfactsaboutme #100factsaboutme #ttymomnkab (ten things you may or may not know about me), and I’ve somehow managed to avoid all of them. Well, except for #moobie / #boobiewed because, let’s face it, I’m a bit of an exhibitionist. I love reading these from other people, but despite my “I’ll write anything about myself” attitude, I don’t see John trivia as interesting.

Except for this one thing…and some of you may want to read this sitting down.

I don’t like chocolate

I’m used to blank stares & complete disbelief after this reveal.

I didn’t always despise chocolate like I do now. I remember thinking it was ok when I was a kid. I could take it or leave it. And because I love food1, I’d leave it more often than not (because leaving it meant that I could eat other things).

As my palate matured (because we sure-as-hell know that my sense of humor has done no such thing), chocolate grew increasingly in disfavor. I remember going to Switzerland with extended family when I was a freshman in high school . . . I came back claiming that “I only liked really good chocolate” because I certainly did enjoy some of the chocolate on that trip. Not having “really good chocolate” stashed around every corner back home, though, I went months between bites of the stuff. And each time I had some, it was worse.

I’d love to answer the question “well, then, what does chocolate taste to you?” because I’m asked it a lot. But, I don’t know how to answer it. My answer of “rotten calf’s liver sprinkled with feces” isn’t ever believed, but that’s probably the best I can describe it. Seriously, the slightest portion of cocoa on something is enough to make me gag.

There have been times that my wife, a chocoholic, has asked me to try something because she absolutely cannot believe that I wouldn’t like it. Just as many times, I’ve looked for something, anything, to get the taste of out of my mouth. I’ve resorted to wrapping my tongue in a paper towel.

In fact, my wife very nearly dumped me early in the “Johnny comes a’courtin'” phase because of it. Seriously, she didn’t know if she could trust someone who didn’t like chocolate.

Of course, there’s the good side to this. For one, by not eating chocolate I leave more chocolate for the rest of the world. This may seemingly be a “tiny drop in a huge bucket,” but I’m pretty sure that my taste for asparagus has caused a global price increase.

Then, I don’t ever have to worry about the “need to have it” craving that, supposedly, comes with this substance for those of you “normal folk.” There are certainly foods that I covet and obsess about (cheese curl, anyone?), but always in a “I’d really like to have” sense, never thinking “if I don’t get this, heads will roll.” I can go on & on & on about my diet & my battle with my belly, but not having to worry about finding room for a couple of hundred calories a month in the “make the stress go away and I can’t have wine right now” budget makes watching what I’m eating that much easier.

One of my best friends doesn’t like beer – and, it’s not a “doesn’t like hoppy beer” or “doesn’t like dark beer” thing. He just, plain, doesn’t like beer. For years, every time he came over, I asked him if he wanted a beer2, and he’d double-take when I’d steadfastly refuse a square of fudge, or a brownie or a chocolate chip cookie or the fabled “chocolate cake with peanut butter icing.”

So, I’m defective. I’ve come to grips with this – but I felt you, my readers, needed to know this about me. I’ll understand if you don’t come back.

Oh, and just so you know, the most evil thing to do to me? Place a chocolate chip scone in a bin of blueberry scones. Once, I stopped for a treat on the way to church (to, ahem, play with my organ) – I had my coffee, the sun was out, Will Shortz was on NPR, I was in a great mood. Then I bit into the scone.


1 that I love food may be the understatement of the century

2 if you come to visit me, I’ll always ask you if you want a beer, or wine (because of this friend…though you might have to be prepared for boxed wine). I’ll ask this even if it’s 9 o’clock in the morning. Unless, of course, you’ve been over enough to know where the beer & wine is and can get it yourself and maybe I’ve had enough that I shouldn’t navigate stairs

  1. Cheese puff please. For real.

  2. Damn you. You now have made me crave chocolate. I think I’ll have some M&Ms. Boo on you…I’m suppose to be dieting!!

    And Beer…ICK. I hate it too. People tell me it’s an aquired taste and it’s only aquired for me when I am SUPER drunk…then I don’t really even taste it.

    Perhaps you should get SUPER drunk and see if you like chocolate??

    • The issue is that, when I get truly & super drunk, adding food to my system really isn’t a good idea, and then we’d add “that time I puked red wine & chocolate all over everything” to the list of reasons why I don’t like chocolate . . . which would be a setback in the “try to get John to eat chocolate” battle.

      The smell is a very pleasant smell, so there’s some disconnect between the taste & the smell for me.

      Can we at least agree that coffee is a “must have” between the two of us?

  3. I despise seafood. All of it. I live in Delaware, right next to Maryland and all their crabby glory, so everyone is all, “WHAT??” But I grew up in Michigan. Land of the ‘Red Lobster’ is high class seafood. So I blame that. But really? HATE it all. You can’t dunk lobster in enough butter (or dark chocolate) to make me like it. But I’ll totally have a beer, thanks.

    • You’re in Delaware? The most transformative days of my life, November 4-10, 2009 occurred in Delaware. We need to get together when next I’m there! Of course, my immediate thought was “there are great crab houses” (which sound like houses of ill repute & worse sanitary practices), but then again, there is Dogfish Head πŸ™‚

      I eat fish . . . salmon & tuna, mostly, and I enjoy them. But, that’s all the meat I eat. While I do eat some shellfish, I kind-of wish I didn’t because, um, they’re bugs from the sea.

  4. Now I want chocolate and beer.

  5. I’m okay with this, John. It means I’ll never have to share my Nutella and banana crepe with you.
    And what is this, someone doesn’t like beer? Well, that’s just blasphemy. (though lets be fair, is Natty Light or Coors really beer? I think we need to begin a campaign to educate the masses on what is BEER!)

    • My wife has a brother who is 10 years her younger. One year, we went out of town for New Year’s & he “watched the house” for us while we were gone (this included the very necessary task of feeding & caring for the dogs . . . obviously, this was pre-children). He invited a few friends over, who invited a few friends . . . and there was a raging party at the place. He cleaned up as well as he could, and repaired what damage he could, but, well, teenagers are teenagers.

      That summer, to show him that we trusted him and that “stupidity can be forgiven”, we offered to let him stay there as we went on vacation. He, again, had some friends over & drank a few beers, but nothing like this epic New Year’s party (the neighbors still joke about it – one set actually invited themselves over, claiming to be Uncle Frank & Aunt Jane, just to see what the hell was going on). Of course, I had no issue with this.

      When I came back, there was a six-pack of Natty Light in my fridge. Duffy called him, claiming that I was beyond pissed off. He started trying to figure out what was going on – what was wrong. “How dare you bring this crappy ass beer into my house” I yelled so that he could hear through the phone.

  6. I had the opposite experience! I grew up despising chocolate, then developed a tolerance over the years.

    The good thing about disliking chocolate during my formative years was that I never got into the who-gets-the-candy-bar squabbles with my siblings. When I did a good job at something, my mom got me black licorice and I never had to worry that one of my siblings would nab it before I did. πŸ˜€

    • Black jellybeans: my mom loved them, but I was convinced that she taught herself to love them because nobody else wanted them, and, you know, sometimes it’s easier to just not fight. I was very surprised to find out that I actually liked actual black licorice – just not black licorice jellybeans. I think it’s mostly the texture.

      I’d actually prefer a chocolate tolerance . . . seriously, an accidental bite can absolutely ruin a meal for me. Icky.

  7. No blank stare or complete disbelief, but I may have twisted my head to the side a bit like a confused puppy. Nah, I’ve met people here and there that don’t like chocolate. Because chocolate is pretty much everywhere, that seems like a hard one to dodge. My two most avoided foods are coconut and peaches, neither of which are nearly as prevalent as cocoa.

    • Coconut I can take or leave, but peach is an absolute “must have” flavor for me. It’s marvelous.

      However, my dad, in college, got sick eating peach pie (he may have been involved in a scheme to see how much peach pie he could eat . . . and he may have had a significant quantity of beer first, he won’t tell me), and now cannot eat peach at all. Well, he can eat an occasional ripe peach.

      I always bring peach cobbler with me when I go to visit him. :-p

  8. No chocolate? That’s awful!

    I don’t like ketchup. Can’t even stand to have to touch the stuff. We’re all weird in our own ways. πŸ˜‰

  9. I LOVE chocolate.

    But I don’t like beer or wine.

    • No beer or wine? Wow. Every now & then I love the fact that I don’t like chocolate because I don’t have to worry about avoiding it. If I didn’t like beer or wine, I’m near certain that I’d have the body that I want – alcohol takes up more of my weekly caloric intake than I like to admit.

  10. #TheWildChild doesnt like chocolate either. And you know what? I dont trust her either… #justsaying

  11. I’ll never hate on you for leaving more chocolate in the world for me.

    And I’ll never mislabel your scones.

    • “mislabel your scones” sounds like an especially delicious euphemism. πŸ™‚

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