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Sunday, November 05, 2006

A Grain of Rice


They’re great aren’t they and there are so many to choose from. These days, the media remind us of a whole slew of new ones that none of us knew existed. Things like Social Phobia or Social Anxiety Disorder. It’s not that I’m belittling them, I just find it fascinating that more of them keep appearing. The best thing about such disorders is that there are magic pills to make them go away, what better medicine could there be. It’s fortuitous timing, discover a disorder and it’s cure simultaneously, how lucky is that? Each time a new phobia is announced I just want to shout ‘hooray’ I don’t have that one, I must be sane after all, which is always very gratifying. Personally I think the best test of good health is to count the things that you don’t have rather, that fret over the ones you do, that way, even if you have a whole laundry list of ailments, you still know that there are millions of other’s that you’ve avoided.
Recently I came across another one that I was also ignorant about when I was reading a book. , called "neophobia." Have you heard of that one? No, neither had I. It was only because I was reading that particular book that I knew what it meant, but without any other clues, I would have remained stumped. There’s no clue to give you a hint as to what it might be, especially if you’re not familiar with ‘neo’s and quite frankly, I’m not, familiar with ‘neo’s that is to say. O.k. I’ll put you out of your misery, it means fear of food, or near enough for current purposes. Now I can tell that you’re bright and that you’re way ahead of me, but no, it has nothing to do with anorexia, bulimia or obesity, not that kind of an eating disorder. No, this is something really quite straight forward, it’s the fear of eating, or perhaps ‘fear of putting something in your mouth,’ might be a little more accurate. I know, you’re ahead of me again as Darwin’s been around a long time, but even without him, we know that if you happen to be afraid of food, you’re destined for a pretty short life span. There again, if that really is the case, then we don’t have to worry about that particular phobia, because anyone whose got it will be dead pretty soon. I’m inclined to agree with you on that one. Afterall, this isn’t one of those phobias you fix with a pill. Even if there was a pill, how is this kind of phobic going to swallow it?

However, here’s the thing, I have one of those neophobes, the genuine article I might add, living with me, in my household and what’s even more far fetched, is that he is actually alive and he’s all mine. I can tell that you don’t believe me now and it’s not because I’m not willing to share. Either I’m harbouring the body of what used to be a neophobe in my freezer or I’m just plain lying. But I’m not, honest.
He’s been on the planet for coming up to 6 years now, my own little neophobe. He used to eat only 3 things but now he’s up to 6, hovering on 7, just over one food per year of his little life. Isn’t that a triumph! Before you know it he’ll be into double digits. We’re aiming for 21, because then he’ll lose his ‘neophobe’ status and merely be a picky eater. Hooray! When my son becomes a picky eater we will celebrate, throw a party and serve all of his 21 foods at one sitting. I hope I don’t have to wait until his 21st birthday?

1 comment:

Jacqueline said...

Poor guy. Confronting phobias is hard work! I just had to go get a silly little flu shot and spent an hour or two before hand feeling panicky and an hour afterwards recovering, and that's only a mild phobia really. I tell myself that it builds character though, forcing ourselfs to do things that are scary for us.

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