I think, for the urgency of this conversation to make any sense to laypeople (a.k.a., people who have never been forced to live with me), I need to provide some background. Here it is: I hate mold. It’s ridiculous and annoying, yes, but I figure I’m allowed my one silly phobia. I’m the person who vanquishes the millipedes while my friends stand on chairs and shriek. In return, I’ll occasionally ask them to deal with moldy food. It’s symbiotic.

The other night, I waited until Shu came back from work and I asked, “Hey, when you get a moment, could you throw out the blueberry muffins that’re on the counter?”

(They were in an opaque container. I hadn’t checked to see if they were moldy, but they’d been sitting there for a week and a half so it seemed a fair bet that they’d passed from the land of the edible.)

Shu: The muffins you made? Why didn’t you eat them?

Which is a fair question. Usually I am careful to either eat or freeze the things I make before they go bad.

Me: I forgot that I don’t like blueberries. No, wait. I knew I don’t like blueberries, but convinced myself that I do.

Shu: Haha. What?

Which rather succinctly summed up the crux of the problem. What, indeed. I do this sort of thing, occasionally. Back in high school, for a month or so I successfully convinced myself that I like cantaloupe, despite all evidence to the contrary. I ate some with lunch every day, until reality caught up and triggered my gag reflex. Then again, that eventually happened to just about any food that I ate for lunch everyday (which speaks more about the sorts of things I was stuck eating for lunch than about my ability to eat the same thing every day ad infinitum).

But this is not a discussion about bread which manages to be cold, stale, and soggy at the same time. This is about blueberries.

The fact that I don’t like blueberries has puzzled me for most of my life. I mean, they’re a fruit and, generally speaking, I tend to like fruit. Plenty of other people don’t have a problem with blueberries. In fact, I’ve never heard a single other person go “yelch, blueberries!”. I know why I don’t like cantaloupe (the taste is unpleasant). I know why I don’t like pears (the taste and consistency are unpleasant). I can eat a food involving blueberries without any problems. However, by eating that food with blueberries in it, I have decreased my likelihood of ever wanting to eat the blueberry version of that food again. This works with waffles and pancakes, breakfast bars and dried fruit, muffins and bagels and coffee cake and scones.

So I made blueberry muffins. I ate two or three. And then I completely and totally lost my ability to want to eat more. I had fresh muffins sitting on the counter, and I instead defrosted muffins from earlier, blueberry-free batches to eat as a snack. My eyes and thoughts slid off the container of muffins until I subconsciously decided that enough time had passed that, instead of thinking I should probably eat those when they caught my eye, I could instead think:

Those fuckers are probably moldy.

Shu oh-so-kindly confirmed my suspicions, and then took the trash out for good measure. I think the image of moldy blueberry muffins which my mind has so helpfully conjured will serve as a deterrent to blueberries in general. At least until I manage to, once again, convince myself otherwise.


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