The shameful MENU of a picky eater

It’s Friday night, and you and your friends hit the town for a “we survived the school week!” celebratory dinner. The restaurant choices are endless, and the menu choices? Talk about decision paralysis. However, for a select few—we, the picky-eaters—our menu stays the same no matter where we go. And it looks something like this:


1. Nachos: topped with cheese, meat, jalapenos, sour cream, etc. It’s too much of a hassle to do the usual “I’ll take _____, without the _____,” so I dig for the chips at the bottom, with a bit of cheese on them if I’m feeling adventurous.

2. Mozzarella sticks: with marinara sauce on the side, that I will inevitably take off the plate as soon as it’s given to me. I can’t possibly risk having a drop contaminate one of the sticks.


1. Chicken fingers: served with side glances from neighboring tables as I deny the offers of honey mustard, ketchup, or barbeque sauce and reluctantly hand over the kids menu I ordered from.

2. Hamburger: toppings include the embarrassment that comes with affirming that I want the burger plain (yes, just the bun and the patty), the anger at my dad for cracking the same “kids, am I right?” joke and the deep desire to slowly slide underneath the table as the waiter laughs at that joke.

3. Pasta: no sauce (although the red flush of humiliation in my cheeks is, ironically, the same shade as tomatoes). No butter (this interaction is anything but smooth anyway). Just plain (as in the vehicle of transportation I would gladly take to escape all the judgmental glances).


Eliminate everything with the words “peanut butter,” “pie” and “cheese.” What are you left with? Probably a scoop of ice cream or some sort of brownie dish. And forget about sharing—I’m forced to suffer my blandness in isolation.


Well, when all else fails, at least being 18 and a picky eater has its perks. Nothing saves money better than a boring palate. And, as my sister so gracefully pointed out, I’m a real cheap date.


Thank the lucky stars at night that you were not cursed with the appetite of an eight-year-old. For those of you who suffer along with me, find friends who won’t make fun of you (too much) for ordering the same thing every time you go out. And hang in there! According to Woman’s Day magazine, taste buds regenerate every two weeks—so maybe one day we’ll get some that work properly.