The Old Coot ain’t gunna love it!

“You’re gunna love it!” (You better!) Because people don’t like it when you don’t like what they like. It comes up quite often with food. “Taste this; you’ll love it!” But, you don’t. In fact, it tastes awful to you. Now you’re in for it. If you say, “I really don’t like it,” you get a “What’s wrong with you” look. And then you are told, “You don’t know what’s good.” This happens to me all the time. I grew up on a bland diet; I don’t like foods with a heavy dose of garlic, anything in the olive taste realm or hot spicy food. I get hissed at all the time. “You’re a finicky eater!” Because, PEOPLE DON’T LIKE IT WHEN YOU DON’T LIKE WHAT THEY LIKE!

It’s not just food. Movies too. “Oh, we loved the bla-bla-bla movie.” When I saw it, I thought it was stupid; a thin transparent plot, artificial, unrealistic characters, and a predictable outcome. I know better than to vocalize my opinions. I just say it was okay. I don’t want to get that look of, “What’s the matter with you?”

Books, places, people, TV shows; the landscape is full of things that people expect you to love because they do. It’s dangerous out there. It’s made me into a liar, or at least caused me to use half-truths when I disagree with other people’s opinion. I have two choices: tell the truth and get put on the “stupid, doesn’t get it” list, or give a diplomatic response that shelters my true feelings. I do a little of both. 

My first encounter with a really bad, you’re gunna love it, but hated it situation, took place in Keeseville, N.Y. in 1970, a small village in northern New York, a mere 70 miles south of Montreal. I lived in that area for two years. One morning I went fishing with the Keeseville Mayor. After we finished, we went to his house for lunch. His wife went into the kitchen, promising a gourmet treat, a lunchtime specialty of hers. “Lunch is ready,” she chimed from the kitchen. “You’re gunna love it!” There on my plate were three egg salad sandwiches loaded with sliced olives. I hate egg salad; I hate olives, but I was “Young” Lessler back then. That’s what everyone called me. I wasn’t an old coot who would have handled the situation differently, probably with an egg allergy lie. So, I choked down the three sandwiches and forever after lived in dread of those words, “You’re gunna love it!”

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