Get-to-Know-Jennie Week, Day 1

If we’re going to keep being friends there are a few things you should know about me.  I wanted to do this all in one post, but the first item on my list took so long to explain that I’ve decided to spread it out over a whole week.  Talking about myself is so much easier than talking about other things!

I hate condiments.  Ketchup?  Yuck.  Mayo? Double yuck.  Mustard?  I can’t tell you how disgusting I think mustard is.  I eat my hot dogs plain.  And my sandwiches dry.  Don’t think for  a second that somehow if I only tried these things I would like them.  My mother used the same strategy when we’d eat lunch at Kmart*.  This was the only store my mother shopped at when I was growing up, and after a long day of Blue Light Specials she’d “treat” us to a bag of ham sandwiches (they came five to a bag, stacked up like bagels).  I would beg, beg, for a sandwich without mustard.  But my Mom always dismissed my request like I was asking for a sandwich plated in gold.  I was left to choke it down or go hungry.  After a few times I got wise and spent my allowance on candy, choosing a much more satisfying lunch alternative.  

I have tried to raise my children to be normal, ketchup-loving kids because not eating condiments can cause a lot of ridicule. But, people, it’s a lot like being gay. I didn’t choose to not like condiments; I was just born that way.  I’ve tried to deny my nature and eat the burger with everything on it even though I told the lady at the drive-thru that I wanted it plain.  But I can’t do it.  I just can’t go the other way.

*If you think WalMart is disgusting, you haven’t shopped at Kmart.  At least the Kmart where I grew up in Detroit.  It was in the same strip mall as a liquor store (a “party store” in Michigan parlance) and a XXX movie theatre (called, charmingly, “The Pussycat”) I remember wondering as a kid why we never went to see movies there. I mean, what little girl doesn’t want to see movies at the Pussycat Theatre? Sounded great to me.


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21 thoughts on “Get-to-Know-Jennie Week, Day 1

  1. Yes, Kmart…gross! My parents thought it was a treat to bring home those stacked ham sandwiches for the land of the blue lights. (Our Kmart in Kalamazoo, MI was next to an A&P grocery store. Still eew! )

  2. i hope you were wearing cut off shorts and a wife beater at the kmart.

    my sister is the same way. hates condiments. and salad dressing. and sour cream and cream cheese. i think she's crazy. she think i'm crazy for liking them.

  3. Your dislike of condiments is one of the first things I noticed about you. I remember eating lunch with our kids at your home and my kids being amazed that your kids ate fries without ketchup. I often say that ketchup is the fifth food group around this home.

    I do have another friend who hates condiments as well. So, you're not alone in this quest to live your life just a little bit differently than the rest of us.

    As for Kmart- I refused to be seen in that store as a kid. I guess that was a very Lake Oswego thing for me to do.

  4. I should show this to my husband. I'm thought strange because I'm a one-condiment kind of gal – mustard on hotdogs, ketchup on hamburgers, only one topping for my oatmeal at a time. When I'm not around and Larry's in charge of the meals, it's a regular condiment-fest here. Pancake breakfast doesn't happen without applesauce and maple syrup and brown sugar – all 3. Hotdogs demand ketchup, mustard, and the good Lord knows what else. My kids even eat cauliflower dipped in ketchup. It's a sickness, I know…

    But no condiments at all? That's Spartan.

  5. I seriously thought I was the only one who ate hot dogs plain. You have opened up a whole new support system for me. 🙂

  6. Oh I like this getting to know Jennie week idea. Is this just a great way to pin all of our downfalls or flaws on the parents or what.

    Just kidding, well kind of. I know that when James and I got married he only ate mustard on hot dogs, I was kind of grossed out by that, but sometimes it is just what we were raised like, and for the rest, maybe we were just born predisposed to certain sandwich and dressing tastes.

    You make me laugh, and I am happy to hear that the Kmart you grew up by was just as shady as the one that was by us.

  7. Bringing back the memories…My step mom always shopped at Gemco, I don't know if anyone remembers that place.

    As for condiments, I'm with you on everything but mustard, I do like mustard on my hot dogs. No Mayo, EVER!

  8. I am not sure before now I had met a person who disliked all condiments. I didn't like mustard until high school, but I am pretty ok will all the toppings.

  9. My husband grew up putting ketchup on roast. When he did that to a roast I cooked, oh man! Talk about insulting the cook.

  10. I remember those Kmart sandwiches. And even though I like mustard, I remember them being just overpowered by it. I can still taste it in my mind, 25 years later.

    I don't remember the Pussycat theater, though. Are you talking about the Kmart at Tel-12?

  11. Yeah, Jennie, I don't remember the Pussycat theater, either. We had a K-Mart on 3 mile road (Schoolcraft) and the freeway when we lived on Greenview and Paul, then one at Tel-12 after you were 5. (Remember when that fat guy dropped dead right behind us at the K-Mart exit doors?) Where was this gracious place near the Pussycat?

    As for the Michigan "Party Stores" how could we escape them?! they were on every corner, and half way between corners as well (Every form of liquor, every form of tobacco, every form of porn, a few chips and dips, pop and candy, newspapers, XXX rated magazines and video rentals, and probably assorted drugs and lap-dancers in the back room!!! What a PARTY!) (Why do people think all that stuff is "fun," I wonder.)

  12. This is TOO funny! I don't eat condiments either! My sandwiches are bread, meat, cheese, bread. NOTHING else and it tastes good to me. People think I am so strange when I order cheeseburgers plain too!!! Glad to know I'm not alone!

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