How Broccoli can Ruin a Friendship

May 4, 2008

I have never been a very picky eater. (I don't think. I remember one episode with baked potatoes, but that is neither here nor there.) I will usually eat just about anything plunked down in front of me. Easy to please, that's me! Be that as it may, I have just recently decided that I don't really like broccoli. We are always buying it - it's one of Richard's favorites - and I always had such a hard time getting myself to cook it. I thought I was just lazy (and I very well may be. Again, neither here nor there.) but turns out that it wasn't so much that I didn't want to cook it, it was that I didn't want to eat it. Hey. I am 30 years old now. I don't have to like vegetables if I don't want to. Not liking vegetables is what makes America great! Still, I didn't say anything to Richard about my new self discovery. I couldn't say why for sure, but I kept it to myself.

We went to Red Lobster a couple nights ago and I ordered some fresh Alaskan Salmon. With a sweet and spicy glaze. Mmmm. The waiter said to me, "What about your side dishes? It comes with broccoli, but do you like broccoli?" to which I answered "Not really." and Richard audibly gasped. I finished ordering without making eye contact with him. He really likes broccoli. I knew it would be hard for him to hear. I guess that is why I hid it from him for so long. When the waiter finally left I knew t'was time to face the music. I was tired of living a lie. I looked up into his hurt and betrayed face,

"I'm sorry. I only just realized how I felt. I didn't say anything because I know how much you like it. I didn't want to hurt your feelings." It was pretty tense. He shook his head but wouldn't say anything. The silence started to build up around us. It was oppressive. It was also freezing in there and despite the uncomfortable silence I felt lighter after unloading my secret. So as we nibbled on our Red Lobster biscuits I geared up for another confession.

"Richard..." I said meekly. "While I am being so truthful I may as well tell you something else....." His eyes met mine. I took a deep breath. "These biscuits are a little too salty for me." His jaw dropped. The floodgates opened.

"What?!! You always loved these biscuits! You used to talk about them all the time! And when has anything been too salty for you!?"

"I know!" I said, "My tastes changed. I'm sorry. I hope we can still be friends"

His reply broke my heart: "You lost me at broccoli."

Things between us might never be the same again.