I kind of have food issues. I've kind of always had them. There have always been a lot of things I wouldn't eat. I've grown out of some of these aversions, like to tomatoes and eggs, but some remain. Primarily, I can't even think about eating anything that has a gooshy texture. This category includes: cheesecake; custards; puddings; meringues; whipped cream; avocadoes... need I go on?
Anyway. When I started elementary school, my mother was at a loss as to what to pack me for lunch, so she fell back on peanut butter sandwiches. No jelly... right, the whole goosh factor thing. PB and no J. Day, after day, after day. Year, after year, after year. Always, always Jif. First grade through eighth grade. Every. Single. Day. I never tired of it, and I never complained, so why fix what isn't broken? I ate my peanut butter sandwiches, and I was happy.
Until eighth grade. Either my body's reaction to peanut butter changed, or I suddenly became aware of it for the first time. I began to realize, to my complete mortification, that every day, after lunch, I had an uncontrollable urge to fart (or, as my mother would say, to "expel gas"). And this urge did not go away after I indulged it once or twice; no, it came back repeatedly, for what felt like hours. If I was excrutiatingly careful - and believe me, I was - I could prevent the noise, but preventing the smell was beyond my power. And the very worst part was that we all sat in assigned seats, and in the seat just behind me sat Leslie Berger, a boy whom I now remember as having been rather sardonic and mean-spirited, but who at the time was generally considered by the girls to be cute. Every single afternoon, I sat at my desk, mortified, wafting my Jif-induced farts in Leslie Berger's direction. And somehow, during that never-ending year, I never associated my gaseous state with the peanut butter sandwich I had just finished eating.
Oddly enough, Leslie Berger, who was not shy with nasty comments, never snickered or said "pee-yew" or in fact said a word to me, or to anyone that I knew of, about my Condition. Maybe he had no sense of smell. I don't really know what the disconnect was, but I do know that it made it possible for me to survive eighth grade.
By high school, I had somehow figured it out. No more peanut butter sandwiches for lunch. But guess what? That doesn't mean I ever lost my taste for Jif. Why, I still bring myself a peanut butter sandwich (albeit reduced-fat) to work for lunch once a week or so. The difference is that Jif no longer seems to have the same physiological effect on me. And, even if it did, now I have my own nice big office, and nobody sits four feet behind me, in prime position to share any odors I might generate. See, kids? If you can survive middle school or its equivalent, life does get better!
Viva la Jif.