One of my odd quirks is that I don’t like chocolate. Being honest: I detest its taste.
This personal preference has provoked the most extreme reactions from people. Being vegetarian (which I am) is nothing compared to admitting to people that you don’t like chocolate – especially if you’re a woman.
I remember one guy being particularly shocked. We were part of a group of grad students going on a bus trip. “I thought all women liked chocolate,” he said. I don’t think he realised that about a dozen pairs of female eyes narrowed in his direction.
“I don’t,” I responded.
He gave me a look that implied he’d always suspected I’d been in drag the whole time. “It’s supposed to be a sex substitute, right, something to do with hormones?” I shrugged, and at this point the temperature in the bus seemed to plummet. He looked around–his breath almost visible in the frosty disapproval–took his seat, and clammed up.
Women have expressed open-mouthed astonishment at my chocolate-phobia. The word freak has been uttered on more than one occasion.
As it happens when I was a kid and a teenager I liked chocolate. I ate a lot of it. But, I took a break from it in my late teens, and when I tried it again I’d somehow broken my ability to enjoy it. The taste became overwhelming, and deeply unpleasant.
Every now and again I try it again. So far, I haven’t been able to re-adjust to the taste.
There are just some things you outgrow, and once that indefinable shift occurs, there is no going back.