The Little Red Imposter Incident
When I was two, or maybe three, I had a strange habit of stealing food off adult’s plates. I’d walk around the table picking up bites of tasty food that were almost out of reach. Sometimes I couldn’t even see over the table and I’d just stick my hand up over the lip of the plate in hopes of finding something I’d like.
My dad loves telling this story, and most people in the family enjoy hearing it almost as much.
It was a summer afternoon and my family was out on my grandparent’s patio. We were having an outdoor picnic or bar-b-que. I was especially enjoying eating the fresh fruit which included grapes and melons, strawberries and probably pieces of banana (aversion coming later…).
I was the only grandchild at this point so I was constantly watched by someone. The first born is usually the center of most entertainment, especially before another child enters the picture.
My dad was watching me walk around the glass patio table sticking my hand up and snatching pieces of fruit off abandoned plates, and sometimes ones that were still in someone’s possession. But we were family so it wasn’t a big deal, my Dad just watched. I grabbed chunk of melon one after another, strawberry after strawberry.
Eventually I came to a plate and grabbed another red juicy piece of fruit off a plate. My dad just watched, knowing the imminent danger. I popped that cherry tomato into my mouth expecting the sweet strawberry juice to squeeze out.
After my first bite, father still watching thinking This is gonna be good! My eyes bulged, my face showed a hint of chartreuse. I gagged and out splattered that cherry tomato. I looked up at my dad with shock and tears in my eyes. I’m pretty sure he just laughed and picked me up. He found that afternoon quite comical.
Did you know I absolutely detested tomatoes growing up? I did, probably because of this moment. This traumatic moment that put me off tomatoes for life. Sure I eat salsa, and I try really hard to keep the tomatoes on my sandwiches and tacos but my insides cringe when I take a bite.