DEAR MISS MANNERS: I find myself amazed by people’s preconceptions about finicky eaters. I was once told, point blank, that I was a spoiled, snobbish little girl whose parents let me eat whatever I wanted instead of “making you eat what you are given.”
This stunned me completely into silence. My mom made sure my eating habits were healthy. She did not, however, try to force me to eat anything I couldn’t stand. It was not me turning up my nose at food; it was the fact that certain tastes and textures make me literally nauseous.
There is no way to force myself to choke down something without suffering horrible stomach cramps and the possibility of other, even less palatable, results later in the evening. I hope you will post this to help your gentle readers understand us “finicky eaters” a little better.
GENTLE READER: Although there is no doubt that the person who called you spoiled and snobbish was being rude, Miss Manners finds herself wondering what you were saying that these insults silenced.
If it was, “Thank you so much, but no thank you,” you have her approval for your stony silence, in addition to her condemnation of your attacker.
If it was, “There is no way to force myself to choke down something without suffering horrible stomach cramps and the possibility of other, even less palatable, results later in the evening,” she is forced to point out that your own behavior was not above reproach.