Just like those two foods, sometimes fate hands us things deemed good for us whether we believe, accept, or like them. Whenever anyone asks me what my most disliked foods are these two top my list. There isn’t a third-place food since I think two hated foods are enough for anyone’s lifetime (especially these gems).
I can remember my parents fixing liver on rare occasions, usually via some stealth cooking method intent on disguising the obvious. Such subterfuge never worked whether breaded, smothered, marinated or whatever: I always saw through the ruse yet choked it down, praying never have to eat anything so disgusting again. But then I met a lima bean I didn’t like, which instantly got my vote for the most disgusting ingestible green thing. In San Antonio one time my Dad and I were served chicken fried steaks with veggie of the day and some tasty fries. The platters came out with their generous slabs ‘o beef breaded nicely with thick, white gravy horrifically compromised by nasty lima bean juice, some fool’s sick veggie-of-the-day joke. Needless to say, the kitchen fixed us replacement plates. Lima beans in and of themselves are nasty, but to conjoin lima bean juice and chicken fried gravy? Well, let’s just say it was fortunate this event happened before it became legal in Texas to carry sidearms, or we might have made the 11 o’clock news.
As a kid I disliked quite a few foods that later moved to my “like” side: sausage, bacon, cheese, broccoli to name a few. And I’ve seen a similar evolution in food acceptance (both good and bad) in my two boys as they’ve grown up. Seems like a natural thing for our taste buds to change selectively as we age, although certain foods (oh say, liver and lima beans) still remain far off my radar screen and will never, ever pass these lips again.
We do things as adults we sometimes don’t like doing, are subjective to restrictions, limitations, and choices that may not be of our doing as well. Given a mature attitude, sometimes it just takes a “cowboy up” mentality to push through the unpleasant. And such a moment is upon me, an event looked on with trepidation for the last 3 or 4 years, a seminal moment in the life of…my teenage son Ryan. Yes sports fans, I speak of a Dad’s worst nightmare: adding a teenager to the car insurance policy. I can’t remember whether my Dad went through the same torture I am trying to convince my sane side that this act makes sense, that the driving statistics don’t include kids like *my* son (like all fathers, of course, I believe my boy is different than the others, thus will not, can not, would not, do the same stupid things I did when I was driving at his age…or at least I hope I passed on my lucky gene that kept me from getting caught).
Ryan begins college in less than a month, and he’ll need a car to commute to school. Even though he’s had his license for over a year now he has not driven during that time, not even around the block. He elected not to work to pay for the insurance, thus dooming him to a year of mooching rides from friends, but it didn’t seem to bother him nor cramp his style. But with college commuting looming, I need to add him to the policy so he can reacquaint himself with the rules of the road and thus become a safe teenage driver (an oxymoron if ever there was one…) when I finally get him a student car.
I don’t really worry about him speeding or getting into accidents, because he is technically a good driver (according to him a better driver than me, since when he rides with me he points out the various road rules I’m constantly breaking, so I know he knows the “rules”). But he’s still 18 and inexperienced so things can happen. What’s more horrific in this equation is the windfall I’ll provide to my insurance company through adding Ryan to the policy. Compared to other companies, AAA has the best rates, but it’s still a cool thou per year to have him as a secondary driver on my Toyota. Add a junker for him to drive and that cool thou looks like a real bargain: the rate with a second car zooms to $2,500 per year for the privilege of him driving his own car. If ever I wished I was a kid again between 18 and 25, this isn’t one of those times! But it could be worse: Ryan could have a hankerin’ for home cooked liver and lima beans. Think I’ll be grateful he doesn’t and write AAA a check this afternoon. After all, it’s “cowboy up” time:
> Well, dust yourself off, get back in the saddle
Give it one more try.
Sweatin’ blood, it takes all you got,
‘Cause the road to heaven is a hell of a ride.
The tough get goin’ when the goin’ gets tough
‘Cause they know they gotta cowboy up.
– Ryan Reynolds