Sweet Nothings

I was just trucking along, enjoying a nice day at work when it happened. A few co-workers passed me in the hall and excitedly announced there was dessert in the conference room, as they opened up their circle to usher me in.

“Oh, thanks so much—but I’m good.”
“What? Oh come on! A little sugar rush won’t kill you!”
“No, it won’t—I agree—I just don’t have a sweet tooth.”

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You’d have thought I just announced plans to vandalize a nursing home or light myself on fire and run through the building yelling “Pain is weakness leaving the body!”

They continued the interrogation.

“But you work out! I’m sure one piece of cake won’t hurt you that much!”
“Oh, it’s not a fitness thing—I genuinely don’t like sweets.”

Then they exchanged accusatory, almost condescending looks.

I continued, unsure of why I even had to justify anything, “I’m serious! Trust me, if I liked them, I’d be sunk. I have very little self control when it comes to spicy or salty foods. Just ask every waiter at every Mexican restaurant we frequent—they’ve learned to just leave the pitcher of salsa at the table.”

Then the group leader—we’ll call her CathyCarrotCake—took this information as a personal affront and resorted to the move I’ve seen a dozen times. She copped the, “Hey Everyone, I’ve got a HUGE announcement” stance and paired it with an endearing snarky tone.

“Oh, OK! OK! Hey Everyone! Annnnnna doesn’t like sweeeeeets! (She put “doesn’t like” in air quotes to indicate fraudulence.) Isn’t she just the bees freakin’ knees?!!!”

What? Why?! I’ve never understood why my not liking sweets elicits such ire in certain people. They might as well clink their glass for a toast and announce, “Hey Everyone! Listen up! Annnnna hates the Constitution and animal shelters!”

I don’t get it. I’m not keeping anyone from their Krispy Kreme donuts. I simply don’t like desserts—or regular food that’s sweet (I’m looking at you, sweet and sour meatballs). I don’t even like sweet-smelling candles. When I walk in a room that smells like wax-created caramel creme brulee, I become disoriented and start flinging myself in circles, shaking my head no-no-no as I feel around for the nearest exit. I can’t help it—my body simply rejects sweets.

On an unforeseen rare occasion, a cookie or cupcake (without icing) will look relatively appetizing. I’ll think, “Hmm. Well this is unexpected, but I really think I can do this.” It’ll even taste pretty decent at first, but 2-3 bites in and I’m pushing it away—rejecting its very existence.

Reluctant full disclosure of the week: I have found, for reasons that elude me, that I can put away some bread pudding—go figure.

It’s just that by and large, I never crave sweets and I’d never pick a danish over a salt bagel, a brownie over buffalo wings or cake over chips and salsa.

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I could understand people’s irritation if I claimed oxygen was overrated, but to get bent out of shape because I don’t want a snickerdoodle? I’m at a loss.

Tell you what—omit the sugar and replace it with wasabi and I’m on-it-like-a-bonnet. Bake a cake with Sriracha and I’ll polish it off without breathing or looking up. But hide your children because it won’t be pretty.

“Hey, wanna run to Sonic and get a milkshake?”
“Do they have pickle shakes?”
“Gross, no.”
“Olive shakes?”
“No—gag.”
“Then probably not, no.”
“They have chocolate and vanilla, stuff like that.”
“Can they replace the vanilla with Tabasco?”
“Get away from me.”

This reminds me of the time Jocelyn walked in the kitchen and I had my head back, slamming the last bit of pickle juice from a jar of baby dills.

“You know that’s disgusting, right?”
“Yes. If by disgusting you mean Liquid Heaven.”

All I ask is for some common courtesy or basic manners. I don’t go around saying, “What did you just say? WHAT DID YOU JUST SAY? You don’t like habaneros or anything above 8,000 on the Scoville heat scale? Why don’t you just stick an ice pick in my ear canal because I don’t want to hear this crap!”

Like, just be normal. We don’t have to like the same stuff. I won’t relegate you to an outer circle forever simply because, unlike me, you have met an olive you don’t like. If the most heat you can handle is ketchup—no problem—more heat for me. I’m not gonna pin you down and make you explain yourself to the group.

That would be awesome though. Imagine me physically pinning you down—yelling, “Say it! Tell everyone why sodium and cayenne aren’t in your diet, CathyCarrotCake!!! Tell them what you said about Frank’s Hot Sauce! Explain to this lovely group why you don’t like your bloody marys spicy!”

You laugh, but that’s sort of what it feels like when someone gets all haughty about sweets and dessert. For some reason, they assume I’m being prim and proper. But really, I’m pretty sure eating fresh serrano peppers is more badassy than eating macaroons. So who’s really the goody-two-shoes here?

And on that note, it’s time for our monthly birthday celebration at work, where I’ll go pretend to eat a brownie, while actually just chewing on cinnamon gum.

I’d love for you to join me on Facebook … it’s good for your health.

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41 thoughts on “Sweet Nothings

  1. I’m grateful that our friendship bridges this great divide—that you can sit on your side eating buckets of salsa, and I can sit on mine plowing through a stack of cookies—and there’s no real animosity. Besides, when you put BritBrit in your post, I’ll always be your #1 fan:)

    • The only time it was shaky was about 3 days into our friendship, when you said you didn’t like olives. I ceased breathing for a few seconds before I decided we could PERHAPS overcome this. And hey … we did! I still hold out hope that one day olives (and capers and pickles) will capture your heart 😉

  2. My cousin and I used to go to Friendly’s for lunch…she’d get the mammoth ice cream sundae that I could only eat a spoonful of (at best) and I’d order fries. I feel the same way. I’d take a hunk of cheese over a cookie every day of the week. People do treat you like you’re trying to be haughty too. I’ve experienced it repeatedly after admitting quietly that I don’t eat cake. OMG! I might has well have strangled a kitten. jk of course but that was the reaction.

    • WHAT? You don’t drink? WHAAAAAT? Heyyyyyy Everyone, I’ve got an announcement!!! Rosssssss doesn’t driiiiinnnnnk!!! Rossss hates newborns!

      Thanks for reading!;)

  3. First of all, Britney expressions win at life. Second, I don’t like cake. Gasp. There, it’s out! Needless to say, I appreciated this post thoroughly! LOL. Now, where’s that McClure’s Bloody Mary Mix at …

    • The day (Miles) FedEx brought me McClure’s was like the first day of my life. Forever indebted to you, Trix! Wait – you don’t like cake? Does RiRi know this?

  4. People say that you are what you eat. That can’t be true – otherwise you would be sour and and spicy. I would be bland and we all know that’s not true. Well, I DO love a good bowl of oatmeal! Give me a good piece of bread over a piece of cake any day. But just so you know, when you make hot sauce that you have to throw away because it is too hot to eat, that doesn’t mean you have mastered the art of salsa. Hey, I remember the look of utter satisfaction on your face as you were pouring it down the sink. What was it you said? “Daddy, this is the best I’ve ever made! It is so good we can’t eat it!”
    In my world bland beats spicy or sweet every time.

    • Daddy, Daddy, Daddy – I’ve heard this story now 94 times and still have no recollection! Here is the best I can come up with. I made the delightfully spicy salsa … the rest of us ate it and nearly killed ourselves (but we DID eat it) and then I decided we’d done enough damage and destroyed it so no one would go for a second round the next day. Or maybe, just maybe … you’re making the whole thing up. 🙂

  5. They are just jealous, because like me, they wish they could say no to sweets! I have the will power of a baby with a lollipop being dangled in front of their face when it comes to sweets. Except carrot cake – I HATE carrot cake – YUCK!

  6. LOL, love this! At the roller skate rink here in Yakima, WA they sell a drink called a “Pickle Fizz”. I used to get them at every roller skating party in elementary school. They. Are. Bomb.
    Full strenghth commercial pickle juice mixed with 7-Up. Delish!

    • Are you serious? Is this a true story? I’m drooling. Just the IDEA of Pickle Fizz entering my life has made me one happy chick. 🙂

      • Yes, true story…they used to be my favorite thing at the roller rink, too. It was even a prize giveaway, and every year I managed to NOT win it….but I always got it irregardless.

  7. Anna!!! I’m loving this but must say I’m a little jealous since I am THE person that cannot believe some people don’t like sweets (I will try to not CathyCarrotCake the next person that confesses that to me). But apparently there’s a whole mess of non-sweet lovers from the replies on here…lucky people 🙂 I literally run lots of miles every week just so I can eat sweets (and drink wine). Also loving that you worked “badassy” into your blog!

    • Tammy!! So the take away for you is this … don’t CathyCarrotCake people. And YES, that’s why we work out – so we can eat all the dessert OR sushi and mexican food and Wing Stop we want! Thanks for signing off on “badassy” – it’s truly underused 😉

      • I had WingStop a couple of nights ago and silently dedicated my meal to you 🙂 Loved it but didn’t love the 32oz of water I guzzled before bedtime due to your beloved saltiness 🙂

  8. Don’t you just love being ridiculed for not eating sugar? I’m diabetic and people talk to me like I’m an idiot because I stopped drinking wine… Sorry, if I don’t drink the bottle in one sitting then I’m wasting it.. We’re in a recession for the love of God…

  9. Oddly, I’m jealous. I wish I had your natural self control, but I’m virtually bonding with you on the bread pudding. =) Terrific post!

  10. You know when the ribs guy is grilling out and offers you a plate and you say “no thanks, I’m a vegetarian”, it’s no problem. When the girls are out for a drink, nobody questions when you say “I’ll pass on the drinks, water’s fine, thanks”. But to say no to sweets?! Oh – my – gosh you badassy girl you!!

    Just a thought… I make a hot pepper strawberry jam that kicks some butt. How do you feel about some sweet with your heat?

    • Hi Karen – you know, I almost with I could say yes, but it almost makes me madder when it’s mixed! Laughing, but it’s true – I feel swindled!

  11. You crack me up! Thank you for the laughter! The pickle juice bit gave me a visual of Joss’s looking at you! Love it. Please keep em’ coming! 🙂 Tam

  12. i’d choose salty over sweet anyday, but my hubby is a sweets person. it’s works out….at the movies, he eats (oy) while i toss pickled jalepeno slices (that are for hot dogs, but who cares) in my little tub. (try THAT!)

  13. Pingback: Say What? | Anna Lea West

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