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Back in my youthful days, I was a rather picky eater. Sometimes I wouldn't want to eat whatever my mother, bless her heart, put upon the dinner table for us. One day, I asked her for a PB&J sandwich instead of, who knows what it was, probably a quiche, so my dear mum made me a nice sandwich: two slices of whole wheat, one with crunchy store-brand peanut butter, one with seedless strawberry jelly. (I didn't like preserves back then, either.)

Turns out that I wasn't interested in the sandwich, either. But waste not, want not, as we learned in the Great Depression. So, I had to sit at that darned table till I finished my dinner. "No," I decided, "I'd had enough to eat," all one bite of it. I took my plate, sandwich and all, into the kitchen and put it in the sink with the other dirty dishes to be washed.

My father said "No! Finish your sandwich!" He always did the dishes; it was relaxing for him and a convenient excuse not to start the work he had brought home earlier. My parents made me sit back down at the table and eat that sandwich -- that icky, soggy sandwich, the bread falling apart, the plate tasting faintly of soap.

For years after that, I couldn't eat a PB&J sandwich. Sure, two pieces of whole wheat, jelly spread, and a spoonful of delicious hydrogenated peanut butter? A delicious lunch -- so long as they didn't mix till my stomach!