I was eating raspberries the other day, and found myself looking through them very carefully before I popped them in my mouth. What was I looking for? Bugs, of course. You see, one time I was at a friend's house and she had made a beautiful salad topped with raspberries and blackberries, and I ate a huge helping of the healthy deliciousness. Later in the evening, I thought to myself that some of those berries would be delicious in my drink, so I picked a few off the salad and they floated in my drink so prettily and I thought "Girl, you fancy!" as I took a sip. I set the drink down and when I went to take another sip, there were quite a few drowned fruit flies that had floated to the top of my beverage. I realized they must have been IN the belly of the berries, and then I realized how many berries I had eaten earlier in the salad, and then my belly didn't feel so great. Lesson learned. Now all berries are inspected closely before consumption.
Totally related, I was reading a magazine article back in the day when we had to buy magazines because we didn't get our entertainment news from our phones. The article mentioned that one should carefully wash grapes because spiders tend to spin webs in vineyards and go home with unsuspecting consumers. Wouldn't you know it, later that very same day, I found a spider in my grapes! Now all grapes are inspected closely before consumption.
My parents took me out to eat one fine evening when I was just a darling little girl, and I ordered chicken fingers and fries as all kids do. When my meal came I was so hungry and I bit into a chicken finger as if I hadn't been fed in days. I chewed and and thought "that doesn't feel right" and looked at the remaining half of my chicken tender and it was completely raw in the middle. I spit it out and my mom (a former nurse with a strong hatred for all things salmonella) and I were both so upset. My dad had the waitress bring me over a fresh plate of *cooked* chicken tenders, which I properly dissected into teensy pieces before eating. From then on, I always order my meat well-done, take the temperature of every meat I cook, and cut into any meat I'm served to make sure nothing is left uncooked. Overcooked, dried out and tasteless? That's the meat for me.
I have a deep-seated fear of mice. It's genetic from what I can tell because my mom and sisters feel the same way. Or I guess that means it could be gender specific? Anyway, I'm not here to study musophobia, I'm just here to report on it. So imagine sweet little Colleen aged ten (I hope you're imagining her with huge buckteeth and freckles or you've got the wrong girl). She goes out to the garage and pulls her rollerblades off the shelf and pulls the first rollerblade on violently, as rollerblades need to be pulled on. She reaches for the second rollerblade and duplicates the procedure when all of a sudden she feels something squishy near her toes. She yelps and pulls off the rollerblade and turns it upside down to watch in horror and slow-motion, a dead baby mouse fall to the floor. Tears! Panic! Much yelling and jumping onto high surfaces! One of my brothers is assigned the task of getting rid of the deceased and I never wore those rollerblades again. Later in the day, I was laying on the couch in our family room and "resting my eyes" clearly emotionally exhausted from the finding of the day, when I opened my eyes to see my big brother dangling the dead mouse in front of my face. Cue dramatics yet again. Somehow I managed to forgive my brother eventually, but to this day, I will turn any boot (or shoe I can't clearly see into) upside down and shake it out before I put it on.
Friends came over yesterday to watch the football game and they brought over jalapeno poppers. As I ate one, I reminisced about the time I cut my first jalepeno to make a new soup recipe and then HOURS LATER while getting ready for bed, I took out my contacts and burned my eye so bad. I squirted saline solution in my eye and tried washing it with water but nothing would stop the pain. Phil googled what to do and he said that he needed to squirt milk in my eye, and I was like uh, no, that's nuts. But then a minute later I was like "WHY ISN'T THERE MILK IN MY EYE ALREADY?" and it actually did help after many milky washes. That was my first and last time ever cutting a jalapeno.
How about one last one? If I have to input a cook time on the microwave, a time for a timer, or set an alarm time on my phone, I can not for the life of me set it ending in a 5 or a 0. If I'm supposed to set a 10 minute timer, I have to do 9 and then add 1 later. If I want to work out on a treadmill, you better believe I'm choosing a speed not ending in 0 or 5. All of my alarms are set for weird times like 6:39 and the all food is overcooked in the microwave by 1 second. I'm not sure where that weird quirk came from but I'm sure there's a traumatic story hiding in my subconscious somewhere.
But as I tell my husband "One day you'll miss this."