As I set out in life as a young woman, I was taught that “almost any good man and any good woman can have happiness and a successful marriage if both are willing to pay the price,” but always remember that “financial, social, political, and other situations may seem to have a bearing.”
Even though most obstacles are surmountable, I knew beginning with similar beliefs and traditions can make marriage life a little easier. Before we married, I knew my husband and I were starting in the best place possible. We were the same religion, grew up with similar socio-economic backgrounds, both agreed on child rearing, discipline, family size, and in-law treatment. But, 12 years later, I wonder why I was never warned about culinary traditions?
Many problems we were able to work out early in the marriage. Milk? He converted to 1% and eventually we both made the decision to become more devote skim drinkers. Soda? As I grew up with no ingrained system, it was easy to follow his Diet Cole drinking, although I am not as devoted and without his influence, would easily sink back to not drinking soda much at all (and truth be told I’ve had Pepsi a few times and prefer it, but not enough to unbalance our soda buying system). Fast food? Luckily, we agreed on this important subject: fries are best at McDonalds, but if you are craving the hamburger, it is Burger King all the way.
But on one solitary item, we have never been able to come in agreement. I hate Miracle Whip and he thinks mayonnaise has no taste. Being young and naive, I initially thought it was just a matter of time before he converted. Not realizing the passion of his taste devotion, I only bought mayonnaise. Why did it really matter, anyway? When he informed me of my mistake, I tried to convert to his way, but I can barely choke down anything covered in Miracle Whip. Unwilling to take the only other available path (not using either one), the culinary battle commenced.
After a dozen years, we have come to an uneasy truce. We have just accepted that we will always be a dual condiment family. I try to keep track of the amount of Miracle Whip in the fridge so that, though I don’t ever use it, we don’t run out. The only losers in the story are our children, always being asked to choose between their father’s and mother’s way of life. It is with great satisfaction that I can tell you, although they have made forays into my husband’s sandwich making ways, they have always come back to mayonnaise.
Of course, as their taste buds grow, and the option is always there before them, perhaps as teenagers they will choose their father’s culinary beliefs. They may even marry into a Miracle Whip family and, already exposed as impressionable children, convert. But the fact remains, unless they also find themselves in a dual condiment marriage, either Peter or I will be bringing our own jars with us when we come to visit.