Loathed At First Sight (or bite)

The Chicks love so many things — books, fans, mystery conferences, wine, cookies — and each other, of course. But it turns out there are some things we absolutely don’t love and can’t abide. (SPOILER: Dinner with us might exclude the fish and soup courses, and a certain herb).

(The winner in the GIVEAWAY for Curses, Boiled Again! by Shari Randall, who was our guest Chick this week, is Sue Farrell. Congratulations, Sue!)

Cynthia Kuhn

cynthia So this is admittedly weird. During both of my pregnancies, I could not be around soup! I couldn’t stand to smell it. I couldn’t stand to eat it. I couldn’t stand to see anyone else eat it. I couldn’t watch a commercial for soup or look at a can of soup. I couldn’t even consider the concept of soup without becoming instantly nauseated. Happily, as soon as the kids were born, it went away, thank goodness. Now I’m just back to avoiding mushrooms because I don’t think I’ll like them. And no, I don’t need to try them to be sure. 🙂


 Ellen Byron


There are two things I have a super strong aversion to. The first is cilantro. I used to say that it tastes like wet gym socks, then the soap analogy came up and I was like, yes, that’s it! What’s the soap analogy, you ask? Well, someone once told me that if you’re  allergic to cilantro, you find it tastes like soap. I don’t know if the allergy part is true, but I do know there’s a deep divide about loving or hating the… herb? There’s even a celebrity chef, Ina Garten, who refuses to use cilantro in recipe because, yes, to her it tastes like soap.

My second aversion is more controversial and much more rare. I DESPISE the taste of coffee in any way, shape, or form. There are people who won’t drink coffee but are happy spooning up some coffee ice cream. Blecch!! I hate the taste of coffee so much that if I accidentally bite into anything coffee flavored, I not only spit it out, I have to rinse out my mouth. The only time I’ve ever taken a sip of the stuff is when a psychic made me drink some Turkish coffee – laden with sugar – so she could read the grinds. Her predictions have yet to come true.

Vickie Fee

vickieTruth be told, I have several phobias, er, I mean…aversions. But the one I sometimes get teased about is: hotel sheets. I always pack my own. It doesn’t matter how many stars the hotel is rated or how high the thread count, hotel sheets creep me out. I think I can trace the origin of this aversion back to a family vacation at a hotel where they had made up the beds while the sheets were still slightly damp. Those clammy sheets made my skin crawl—and I never quite got over it. Plus, I’m a bit of a homebody and don’t always travel well, so the comfort and familiarity of my own sheets just helps me sleep better. My husband doesn’t mind that I pack our sheets, but he does rib me about hiding the fact from housekeeping by stuffing our sheets back in the suitcase before we head out of the room for the day. What can I say? I don’t want the maid to think I’m casting aspersions on her cleaning.

 Lisa Q. Mathews

CotC Word balloons

Okay, you guys are never going to believe me. But I CANNOT abide the sight or smell (let alone the taste) of any kind of fish. My shellfish allergy is well-documented (don’t ask), but fish…not one single bite has even made it past my mouth. And yeah, plenty of well-meaning folks have assured me this is only because the fish wasn’t “fresh,” or prepared incorrectly–but this aversion started in grade school when the cafeteria alternated tuna rolls and fish sticks on Fridays. Oh, the horror…I started to gag by 10 AM when they fired up the ovens and the smell permeated the halls. (Don’t even ask about my horrifying summer camp story, when two misguided counselors decided they’d try to trick me into eating it.) Interestingly, none of my three children can tolerate fish, either—although each of them valiantly tried to prove otherwise. My son took a job on a sailboat through the Mediterranean one summer and came home 30 pounds lighter.  No no no no no no NO!!!!

Readers, drop us a note in the comments below!

What about you? Any silly or serious aversions? Foods that make you clamp you lips shut, places or situations that make you run the other way? Please share in the comments.

22 thoughts on “Loathed At First Sight (or bite)

  1. I can also offer an aversion of the non-food variety to my fish phobia: touching styrofoam. To me, it’s way worse than nails on a chalkboard!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Okay, I just loved reading about all my Chicks’ aversions.Cynthia, I didn’t hate on anything when I was pregnant, but I had two weird cravings. One was for Abba Zabba bars, which I hadn’t eaten and had barely seen since childhood. The other was for the Baskin-Robbins mini sundaes with peppermint ice cream. Vickie – every day you strip your traveling bed? Every single day you’re in a hotel? Good thing they all ask you to be environmentally correct and re-use sheets. And Lisa, you’re not alone. I worked with several people who refused to eat fish. One was Steve Levitan, creator of Just Shoot Me and Modern Family. When people quizzed him on this, he’d just repeat, “If it comes from the sea, I don’t eat it.” And LOL re: your son’s valiant attempt to get over this!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Ellen, yes, I strip and remake the bed every day in a hotel. The maid comes in to tidy up and bring fresh towels even if it’s a hotel that options not to change the sheets daily –and I’m embarrassed for her to see that I’m eschewing her sheets! Btw, this aversion to coffee you speak of is something I can’t imagine!:)

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Vickie, have you tried those travel sheets? Super lightweight to pack and you just slip them over the hotel sheets. Easily removed and stashed and the maid will never know!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. The cilantro aversion has to do with your genes or something; to some people it really does have a noxious flavor (my mom and brother have it, too). But know that to us non-gene-carrying folks, it really does taste good! (There’s another gene-food thing that’s interesting: some people carry a gene that makes them smell asparagus in pee. Apparently everybody’s pee smells like that after consuming the veg, but only certain people smell it. So there.)

    As for my aversions, I’ll eat pretty much anything except kidneys. Yuck.

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  4. Lisa, I love fish in any form, but I can’t stand the smell of fish cooking, and I JUST KNOW three days later if someone has been cooking fish. The aversion is so strong, I have to leave the house or, if absolutely necessary, hang out next to an open window. Makes no sense, and I wish it weren’t so, but as it is I only eat fish at a restaurant.

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    1. Wow, Kate, maybe your experience proves I wasn’t actually crazy with that Friday lunchroom nausea! (I had to stay in from recess for refusing to eat my fishsticks, by the way.)

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I can’t stand fish – even the smell of fish.

    And I also can’t stand the taste of coffee in anything at all. Fortunately, I love the smell of coffee, which was good when I had roommates who liked coffee. But I don’t care how much you try to disguise the coffee with, it is all I can taste if it is in anything.

    Liked by 2 people

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