When my brother and I were small (10 and 7 respectively) the court had decided that we would be living with my mother and (brand-new) step-father going forward. There was so much to get used to; it seemed everyday brought new challenges for us to overcome. Until that point we had spent most of our lives on a farm in a remote town in southeastern Missouri. There was little there that was out of the ordinary; everyday was pretty much like the last.
But here in this very populous city in northern New Jersey everything was new. Most of it was good, of course, but there were some things that no matter how you approached them...well, just could not be handled. We knew early on that this step father thing would be trouble and we each had our own plan for dealing with him. I figured I would pretty much obey as much as possible and keep a low profile. My brother was more of the confrontational type...that could be because he was older.
Anyway, some of the new things that we were discovering was food; many different types of food. It didn't take very long for us to discover that even though this stuff was new, it wasn't necessarily tasty. After a couple of months we had made it known certain foods were just horrible. Mine was cottage cheese and my brothers was Lima beans.
Now, truth be told, I really loved cottage cheese but not the stuff you buy in the store...na uh uh that stuff could gag a maggot. My grandmothers cottage cheese that she made herself from the milk from our own cow; now THAT was cottage cheese. How my brother had developed this strong dislike for Lima beans was a mystery to me. I actually thought we had them once or twice at grandma's and I didn't recall anything unusual about them. Anyway, we voiced those opinions about the food and at the time I figured that was the end of it. We did the obligatory, eat a little bit but neither of us ever took seconds.
After some time went by this information was used as punishment for some infraction of the rules set up by our step father. We both found ourselves subject to it at one time or another. The punishment you ask; eat a large serving of whatever it is that you don't like. My brother had a nice big bowl of Lima beans. All he had to do was eat it and then he could get on with his life. I watched in horror, but it seemed he only sat there for 30 minutes or so before he just ate them all. I was really proud of him and secretly hoped I would never have to go through anything like that. But of course, my turn came too and I had that miserable cottage cheese. Oh, it seemed to take hours before I could get it all down, but I did eventually. Neither of us ever did whatever it was that brought on that punishment again.
Some years went by and I noticed that my brother was eating Lima beans at dinner one night and seemingly enjoyed them. I had to ask. How is it that he developed a taste for them when they were so repulsive a couple of years ago? He said he never REALLY disliked Lima beans but figured that one day he would be punished with nasty food so he 'made up' his dislike for Lima beans...man, I have to tell you, there is no body more crafty than my brother! So that was very cool. I still don't know how he knew there would be a food punishment down the road for him, but Lordy to put that in place ahead of time was pure genius! I, of course, was never that astute.
But just in case there is a nasty food punishment waiting for me somewhere down the road I want to let it be know right here and right now I REALLY, REALLY, REALLY HATE...NO DETEST...ROCKY ROAD ICE CREAM!!!