December 15 11

11:45pm. I just came back from a lovely dinner out. This is atypical for me. Usually by the time primetime rolls around on Thursday nights, I am in my comfy, elastic-waisted pants and am perched comfortably on my arse with a remote in one hand and an iphone in other watching something that takes very little brain power and has Leslie Mann in it. But tonight I put on my most uncomfortable pair of pants and headed to a restaurant that has exactly seven things on the menu and wine is a requirement.

I made my husband proud. I did not have to take any xanax before ordering, I managed to make only one change to my order, and I barely gagged when someone at the table was eating the marrow out of a giant meat bone, animal still undetermined.

This is pretty huge for me.

I grew up making picky eaters look adventurous. I ordered exactly one of three things at restaurants. Chicken fingers and french fries. Buttered noodles. Bread. Chinese? Noodles. Indian? Bread. American? Chicken. Italian? Noodles. Thai? Noodles.

And then I married a foodie. And he sure as heck wouldn’t take bread or fingers or noodles for an acceptable answer. So, I began to try things. Slowly. I ate my very first hamburger in my 20s. I tried Thai curries and veggie sushi and eggplant parmesan and quinoa and hot dogs. And these are now some of my most favorite foods in the entire world.

I still have my rules, of course. About strange spices. About certain animals. About things not being too, um, goopy. About things not touching each other. About where fruit belonged. About hidden raisins. Read: NOT IN DESSERT. NOT ON PIZZA. NOT IN YOGURT. NOT IN ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES. NOT IN SALADS. NOT IN JELLO. NOT IN FRUIT SALAD OMG SHUDDER.

There are, of course, a few exceptions.

Key lime pie. Yes.

Lemon squares. Yes.

Banana bread. Yes.

Orange-poppy cake. Yes.

Apple pie (but not actually the apples. I know.) Yes.

Wait…is pumpkin a fruit or a vegetable?!

Also, can we talk about fruitcake for a moment? Do people really even actually eat fruitcake? I thought it was like egg nog—something that comes out around the holidays but something that no one actually consumes. But then Twitter and Facebook told me that some people absolutely love egg nog, which just shocked me. Especially since it’s made of EGGS. Eggs do not belong in DRINKS. also, my friend Sam told me that the French name for Egg Nog is Chicken Milk. Chicken. Milk. Oh vomit.

So, when we go out, while I’m not ordering fruit or egg nog, I’m the one who is never ready when it’s my turn to order—and this is after reading the menu top-to-bottom at home before even stepping foot in the restaurant. I’m the one who requests things on the side. I need to make substitutions. I need to ask a lot of questions. I need them to hold the cilantro. I need meat to be overcooked.

I am Sally Albright, only with less Farrah Fawcett hair.

I’d like the chef salad please with the oil and vinegar on the side and the apple pie a la mode. But I’d like the pie heated and I don’t want the ice cream on top I want it on the side and I’d like strawberry instead of vanilla if you have it if not then no ice cream just whipped cream but only if it’s real if it’s out of a can then nothing.

Only, I’m pretty sure that Sally Albright is less difficult than I am. I mean, she eats fruit. Although I’m willing to bet that she also doesn’t eat MARROW.

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  1. I totally do the whole When Harry Met Sally ordering thing. They hate me at mexican restaurants. Fajitas! No onions or peppers! So basically just a big sizzling plate of meat and fried cheese. Uhhmm, cheese.

    [Reply]

    Comment by Kim on December 16, 2011
  2. I have a thing about stuff not touching each other on the plate too. But how do you feel about sweet kugel (with raisins?)? That is one of my favourites. Is that an exception? Or do you just not.

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    alimartell replied on

    I do not eat ANYTHING with raisins ;)

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    Comment by Jen on December 16, 2011
  3. I’m dying to know what you ate last night. I was so picky growing up that from ages two to four I ate exactly three foods: macaroni and cheese, hot dogs, and cereal. Now, I am a total foodie and would eat just about everything. I might even try marrow – everyone says its so good – but I would probably have to have a few glasses of wine in me first.

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    Comment by Jessie on December 16, 2011
  4. I am a picky eater. But after seeing this I feel like a very adventurous eater. I don’t like fish or sushi or weird sauces, things my husband adores. But he doesn’t like cheese or noodles. So I suppose we balance each other out somehow. Also, how do you stay so tiny when you only eat sweets and carbs? Jealous.

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    alimartell replied on

    Wait! I didn’t say I only eat sweets and carbs, did I? I hope I didn’t give that impression!

    I eat tons of vegetables and meat and proteins too! :)

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    Comment by Carrisa on December 16, 2011
  5. I LOVE LESLIE MANN!

    Fruitcake and egg nog are DISGUSTING. (Although my dad likes fruitcake and my husband and children love chicken milk.) (SHUDDER.)

    And marrow? Really? People eat that? I just … gross.

    … so you were a picky eater growing up? How did your parents handle it? I ask this because my four-year-old will eat peanut butter and jam sandwiches or Nutella sandwiches or cereal AND NOTHING ELSE AND I MIGHT GO INSANE.

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    Comment by Mrs. Wilson on December 16, 2011
  6. I used to be picky too as a kid. The only vegetable I ate was corn. And I didn’t eat fruit. It’s a wonder I’m still alive.

    But then when I started Weight Watchers the first time, and veggies were zero points and I needed SOMETHING to fill me up, I started trying all these veggies! And I like them!

    All this to say that I will try most anything now.

    As long as there isn’t fruit in it.

    [Reply]

    Comment by Kristabella on December 16, 2011
  7. Nice to know there are others in the picky eater club! :)

    Marrow’s one of those things that’s just weird. Once I got brave enough to try it, I really liked it and will fight off just about anybody for the bone, but it’s weird. Kinda like… dissolve in your mouth meat.

    I have massive issues with vegetables. I’m terrified of them. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve been trying to re-try everything I’ve said I’ve hated, but it’s been a slow anxious journey… I often find I like things now, but I can’t eat very much of anything or else my gag reflex kicks in.

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    Comment by nikkiana on December 16, 2011
  8. (a) We have found your Halloween costume for next year Sally Albright.

    (b) Raisins are nature’s candy, my ass.

    (c) There is no point in fruit being in a dessert. If fruit were meant to be in a dessert in fruit form, I would have a piece of fruit with a can of whipped cream.

    (d)Don’t get me started on fruit in chocolate. *full body shudder*

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    Comment by Sharon on December 16, 2011
  9. Chicken milk made me shudder. I can’t even TRY egg nog. I don’t get it! Also, disgusting, ugly fruitcake.
    I’m picky too, snd STILL only eat like 5 things. And my steak, in restaurants, always has to be butterflied and WELL done… did I mention well done? :)

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    Comment by Loukia on December 16, 2011
  10. Hehe This was funny. I have a hard time with picky eaters but just the fact that you were willing to try new foods makes me think there’s hope for some. You are a shining example to picky eaters everywhere! Also, bone marrow is just weird.

    [Reply]

    Comment by Taterz on December 17, 2011
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