I've always wondered why we love certain foods and turn up our noses at others. When I began dating my husband, Duane, he told me he didn't like hot cocoa. In fact, he hated it. He didn't even want to be in the same room with the beverage, hot or cold. This was quite a shock. Chocolate is one of my favorite food groups. I realized I'd have to let go of some of my romantic fantasies if I stuck with this guy. We would never sit in front of a blazing fire enjoying mugs of hot cocoa together. Ever.
In spite of this incongruity, Duane and I have been happily married for many years. He was deeply touched one year when I gave him an anniversary card that read, "I love you more than chocolate." Of course I do! But he appreciated the reassurance.
Duane also had to compromise on favorite foods he couldn't share with me. The first time his family introduced me to their Dutch family treat of grilled cheese on raisin bread, I recoiled. Raisin bread was for breakfast, not lunch or supper. And it should be toasted, not grilled. "But it's so good!" Duane said. "Try a bite."
I tried a small bite and managed to swallow it, but it tasted as awful as I imagined it would. I've never eaten one of those sandwiches again. Poor Duane. We have never sat in front of a blazing fire eating grilled cheese and raisin-bread sandwiches together.
Duane faced his greatest challenge when he introduced me to his favorite breakfast dish, a cereal concoction he invented as a child and appropriately named "Glop." He's never convinced me to try even one bite of it. He begins with a bowl of cooked Cream of Wheat and sprinkles a little brown sugar on top. Perfectly normal and delicious. But then he stirs in a heaping spoonful of peanut butter and a handful of Grape-Nuts, and melts a pat of butter over the whole sticky mess. Then he actually eats it.
When he introduced this dish to our first two daughters as toddlers, they took my cue and said, "Ewww!" Our third daughter, however, was intrigued and was soon asking for her own bowl. She pronounced it yummy. My husband still offers me a spoonful once in awhile, certain that if I try one bite, I'll be convinced. It hasn't worked yet. In fact, I'm quite sure we'll never sit in front of a blazing fire eating bowls of Glop together. Unless, of course, he agrees to drink hot cocoa, too. Wouldn't that be romantic?