Tuesday, September 29, 2009

For the love of sorbet

The last time I was in Louisiana, as I often do in Louisiana, I went out to dinner with Wendy's parents. I've had the pleasure of eating at some of the finest dining establishments in the state and highly recommend the food and, in my particular case, the company.

On occasion, though, we have some interesting interactions that make me wonder if I see things just a little differently. We were in a nice, local restaurant and had enjoyed a wonderful meal when it came time for dessert.

I noticed that the menu contained mango sorbet. Being one of my favorites I commented aloud that I thought I would have to indulge in the mango sorbet. My father-in-law informed me that he had had it once and it was horrifically bad. The comment caused me to pause for a few moments and I decided to go with some chocolate something-or-other rather than risk the horrendous experience that surely awaited me with the sorbet.

The waiter soon departed to gather our desserts and the following conversation ensued:

Me: "What was so bad about the mango sorbet?"
My father-in-law, Robert: "I don't like mango."
Me: blink-blink-pause-and-think-before-speaking-blink-some-more
Me: "If you don't like mango then why in the world would you order mango sorbet?"
Robert: "I thought my love of sorbet would outweigh my hatred of mango."

Now, this wasn't the first time I experienced this type of interaction. No, no, no. I was fully prepared by the very person who gave me life, my mother.

I don't like strawberries. I never have and probably never will. I remember when, as a child, my mother would bring home popsicles and my sisters and I would eagerly eat our dinner and wait for our luscious treats. My mother would go to the kitchen, open the freezer door and bring a single popsicle for each of us. I would reach out for my reward for being a dutiful son and as it got closer I would snap my hand back after realizing the wrapper said strawberry flavored.

We would typically have the following conversation:

My dear mother:"Don't you want your popsicle?"
Me:"I hate strawberry."
Mother:"But they don't taste like strawberry."

For years I wondered about that conversation with my mother. It wasn't until my experience with my father-in-law at the restaurant that I finally understood. My mother assumed that my love of popsicles would outweigh my hatred of strawberry.

There's only one possible conclusion that I can draw from these experiences: it's not everyone else, it's me. Apparently, creating a frozen treat out of a fruit changes its flavor.

I love both of them dearly but, from now on, I'll pick my own desserts, thank you very much.

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