Three things I can’t stand that everyone else loves

Bella: Republicrat or Demolican?

I’m trying to be a better person. Shed the negativity, be more tolerant, don’t yell at the lady who can’t figure out how to get her Hyundai Elantra out of the parking spot at Staples (I mean, she got in there, so why is it so hard to back out?). That kind of thing.

This week, I’ve noticed a lot of bloggers are talking positivity. It must be the post-election realization that we all got a little inflammatory at one point or another in recent months, making nasty generalizations about the Whigs or the Greens or whichever party had it all wrong in our minds. One WordPress blogger said she decided, when her preschool-age daughter asked her if Mitt Romney was a vampire, that maybe it was time to tone down the rhetoric around the dinner table.

Unless they’re Twilight fans at her house, in which case it might be a compliment.

So anyway, today I shall purge myself of negativity by getting it all out at once. I’m going to name the three things I absolutely can’t stand that everyone else seems to love. I invite you to follow suit in the comments. Think of it as Primal Blog Therapy.

Three things I can’t stand that everyone else seems to love

1.  Coffee

This also extends to iced coffee, mocha-flavored deserts, gourmet Jelly Bellies, and any other food item that has been violated by that dark-brown devil known as the coffee bean. The very smell of the stuff makes me wretch. It is beyond my comprehension why people think it tastes good. That is all I have to say about coffee.

The silver lining: I never get accused of failing to refill the coffee pot at work. You coffee people are always looking for someone to blame! You should cut down on the caffeine maybe.

2. Lemonade

The phrase “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade” does not really resonate with me. Lemonade is alleged to be refreshing, but I am always ten times thirstier after I drink it (which I rarely do, and even then it’s only to be polite). What’s in that stuff, a bag of potato chips?

Whenever I buy a crate of vitamin water or an energy drink mix or other flavored beverage that comes in a variety pack at Costco, the lemonade-flavored edition always outnumbers the others. I’m pretty sure warehouse stores bundle the top-selling flavors of a given brand in those crates. So why is lemonade so popular? Because you lot keep buying it. Put down the lemonade! It’s not refreshing.

A few months ago some kids in my complex were selling lemonade by the side of the road (actually it was Gatorade, but my story will be ruined if I tell the truth). I stopped the car, rolled down the window, and said, “Any idiot can make lemonade. You whip me up a Long Island iced tea, top shelf, and then I’ll be impressed.”

I still don’t know why their mom called the cops. I was trying to help their business get off the ground.

3. Sweet potatoes

Well, it’s that time of year again when I have to insult a family member by declining to taste the sweet potatoes. “But you like sweet things,” she’ll say. I’ll say, “Yeah, hand me a bowl of Oreos and I’ll prove you right.

Really, sweet potatoes are not a suitable alternative to cupcakes, cookies, or iced cream, so who are you trying to fool? Regular, not sweet, potatoes are just about perfect, and they aren’t nearly as mushy. I don’t like mushy. It reminds me of the gruel I was forced to eat at the orphanage.

By the way, I’ll also insult somebody this Thursday by declining the pumpkin pie, another thing I can’t stand. I didn’t make a separate entry for pumpkin pie, mostly because I don’t like it for the same reasons I don’t like sweet potatoes: It’s mushy, and regular pie (AKA “apple”) is just fine. Also because lists of three are rhythmically pleasing, while lists of four are awkward and ungainly, like a junior high school kid. I dislike lists of four so much that I thought of adding that to this list, but then I’d have four things, and sweet sweet irony is not what I’m going for here.

Whew! Consider me purged of negativity for good. If you want to get started on some positive energy yourself, how about not bagging on Twilight fans anymore? Not all of us understand the appeal of this book and film series, but it’s harmless and makes fans happy. Let them bask in the glow of Breaking Dawn Part 2 raking in $141 million dollars at the box office this weekend! Way to go, Twilight.

Disclaimer: Any impression given that I mentioned Twilight multiple times in a crass attempt to lure additional clicks is purely coincidental.

Your negativity purging begins below the image.


Hey, sailor. You clicked on my picture to get here, so you might as well stick around and read the whole post.

35 responses to “Three things I can’t stand that everyone else loves

  • fictionalpenguin

    Here’s one. It’s a mix of disdain for Twinkies and the irrational hatred people seem to foster toward them. On one hand, I’ve never been enormously fond of this particular spongy snack-cake.

    I don’t exactly hate it, as the worst it’s done is left a bad taste in my mouth; they’ve never broken into my home and murdered my family (that’s what apples given out on Halloween night do; remember that, people), but I’ve never been able to see them as more than just more junk food.

    Conversely, I can’t understand how people can actually get angry–like, Hulk-smash angry–over Twinkies. The most prevalent argument, it seems, and the one that’s the most obnoxious is how Twinkies are a leading contributor to the obesity epidemic and so on and so forth. Maybe, I fear, that stems more from people being unable to put down the Twinkie and pick up, say, one of those homicidal apples I mentioned earlier.

    • ericjbaker

      Word. I think the obesity epidemic is caused not by Twinkies but by people eating too many of them.

      If I want to blame a foodstuff for the extra 11 (23) pounds I’m carrying around, I will look no further than the Oreo mentioned in my story above. But how can I be mad at Oreos WHEN THEY ARE SO DAMNED GOOD?

  • Storkhunter

    I feel like I should add my threepence worth, but you kinda took my three. Coffee – yeuch – can’t stand it. Lemonade – nope, just don’t get it, it’s too sweet and not thirst quenching and sweet potatoes – what is it supposed to be – a dessert? a side dish? I don’t know.

    • ericjbaker

      Yes, you captured the inherent wrongness of sweet potatoes in a few short words: What are they?*

      *inflection on the “are”**

      ** how come I can’t figure out italics in the comments section. I’ll bet I can go back and edit later, can’t I?***

      *** of course, there’s n point editing this comment, because it’ll seem like gibberish of I do****

      **** it probably does seem like gibberish already, doesn’t it?

      • Storkhunter

        I have a gibberish decoder 🙂
        Yep, I have no idea how to create special effects in comments. Bold, Italics, Underlines, Links, don’t know how to do ’em. My comments will just have to remain boring – with the occasional smiley 🙂

        • ericjbaker

          The ultimate measure of a blogger’s comment quality is not where he/she/it stands in regard to text effects, but by the content of his/her/its character! And willingness to say silly things.

  • valzane

    When I saw the title “Three things I can’t stand that everyone else seems to love” I thought for sure I wouldn’t fall into the category of ‘everyone else’ BUT I’m right there with the majority on these. I love coffee, lemonade and sweet potatoes… actually I think I even love them in that exact order. I hope we can still be friends. 😉

    • ericjbaker

      If I avoided friendships with everyone who liked those three things, I think it would be me and Storkhunter (see previous commenter) against the world.

      Nah, I think you’re just as cool as before. It’s your coffee-drinking, lemonade-chugging, sweet-potato consuming character flaws that make you who you are.


  • Janna G. Noelle

    I dislike coffee as well – I find it incredibly bitter, even with sugar, plus I thoroughly dislike the idea of being that reliant on something to reanimate me every morning. Oddly enough, I actually like the smell of it, though. At least while it’s brewing – that smell is rather homey and inviting to me. I do hate the stench left on your clothes after even five minutes spent inside a coffee shop.

    I love lemonade – so long as it’s the homemade kind – and find it super thirst-quenching: it kept me hydrated (that is to say, alive) during my trip to Phoenix this past August.

    As for sweet potatoes, the most annoying thing about them is how everyone where I live insists on calling them yams when yams are clearly an entirely different thing.

    I also dislike pumpkin pie, not because of the texture, but because I don’t really like the pumpkin pie spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, etc.

    • ericjbaker

      Ok, I have to admit that coffee smell from a distance (distant enough that if I took three steps back I couldn’t smell it anymore) reminds me of my being at my grandmother’s house as a child, but I’m not one of those touchy feely bloggers who talks about stuff like that.

      The only beverage I find thirst quenching is human blood. I guess that makes me like Bella and Edward, the main characters of the number one movie in America, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2. Oops, am I being crass again?

      I’m with you on the sweet potatoes vs Yams thing. Everyone knows Yams are shaggy, two-headed mountain llamas indigenous to Nepal.

  • feistyredhair

    Arrrghh, sweet potatoes are SO misunderstood! It’s all in the prep. I hated them for years, but then I read an article in Fine Cooking on how they should never be boiled because they lose all good texture and nutritive value. Roasted as sweet potato home fries, they’re quite divine. Sadly, I also cannot agree with your dislike of lemonade and coffee, both of which I adore. That’s okay, I do like your writing style!

    • ericjbaker

      Blogging bridges the divide between coffee drinkers and non. Blessed be WordPress!

      My dislike for sweet potatoes does not extend to the fries. Those are the bomb.

      Thanks for the complement on my writing!

  • nrhatch

    1. Coffee. Yummy. Only in the morning. And only with vanilla soy and sugar.
    2. Long Island Iced Tea wins hands down. Even if it’s not top shelf.
    3. Sweet potatoes. Yummy. Roasted, not boiled. Smashed (with buttah), not whipped. Hold the marshmallows . . . save them for S’Mores.
    4. Pumpkin pie. Ick. Make mine pecan or double chocolate mousse. Or, better still, cheesecake. Or baklava.
    5. Twilight. Ick. Double ick.

    Now . . . pass the STUFFING and MASHED POTATOES! Let’s get this party started.

    • ericjbaker

      A new bar opened recently near my place. The LI tea nearly knocked me off the chair (well, the second one did). Not that watered down version you get at the chain restaurants.

      Favorite pie: Shoo Fly. If you haven’t tried it, get yourself to an Pennsylvaina Dutch market. My dad is from Amish country, so I naturally grew up on the stuff.

    • nrhatch

      I love Shoo Fly pie . . . but it’s been awhile. Which I should rectify since there are LOTS of Amish around here. And they love to bake!

      Two favorites are Yoder’s and Troyer’s. They bake some Good Eats!

  • Val

    As previously stated, I love sweet potatoes. That said, this is my favorite way to eat them: Take whole sweet potato (wash first and stab like you would a real potato you’re planning to bake), lightly drizzle olive olive oil on the skin, roll in coarse sea salt, wrap in tin foil, bake at 375 for about 40 mins (more or less, and keeping in mind that as with all things in life: size matters). When done, cut open, let the steam escape and then very lightly drizzle with REAL maple syrup. Yum!!!!!!!!!

  • B.L.W. Myers

    1. Big Bang Theory; the show, not the actual theory.
    2. Doritos; I used to love them, back when they tasted like Something Other Than Salty Orangeness.
    3. Christmas before Thanksgiving; I’ll take my holidays one at a time, please.

    • ericjbaker

      I’ve tried to like that show. I’ve tried. My co-workers all discuss it (when they aren’t talking about Game of Thrones, that is). I can’t make it through an episode. It’s a comedy, they say.

      I had a brief fling with Doritos many years ago. Now they seem kind of powdery. Either they changed the production method, I’ve gotten more sophisticated (doubtful), or my taste buds are dying.

      It seems like Thanksgiving is becoming more and more a bump in the road on the way to Christmas. Black Friday is fast becoming Black Thursday. A lot of stores are having “pre-Black Friday” sales. If we all dressed up as elves and reindeer for Halloween, we could get the party started even earlier.

  • Pat

    I’m almost with you on this. Don’t drink coffee – especially not that instant yukky dried up dust stuff that you put hot water on. I can sometimes be persuaded to have an Americano in the right place. Like maybe Italy where they know how to make it.
    Don’t drink lemonade either and can’t stand sweet potato or pumpkin. They are not sweet, just weird.
    BUT I make the best (she says modestly, but rightly) sticky toffee puddings and they have a tiny, tiny, tiny bit of coffee in that you would absolutely never know was there unless you read the recipe – or I told you, so I suppose now I’ve blown it.
    But I think you’re very restrained. I can be negative about lots of things on occasion. Twilight might easily be one of them, except that I have never read or seen anything of it, so probably shouldn’t comment.
    Nice post.

    • ericjbaker

      Toffee pudding. Hmmm. Never had it. I think I can be persuaded without too much arm twisted. Especially if they are The Best.

      Being a non coffee person, I never heard of an Americano until I picked my Korean brother-in-law up at JFK airport a few months ago and he ordered one at the coffee stand. Starbucks is like a strange world where they speak a language I do not understand.

      • Pat

        Hmm. Starbucks. Not sure about them. Not sure about this strange world of the ‘barista’. But I have worked in a ‘coffee house’ and I can make both espresso and cappuccino with the terrifyingly noisy espresso machine. Can make ’em, can’t drink ’em.
        And yes, the whole thing is a different language. Also a different coinage. People who happily pay up to £5 for some peculiar variety of coffee that comes in a bucket? I do not get it.

  • Tuesday

    First, I have to admit to loving both coffee and lemonade – although, I have to also admit that I only started liking coffee AFTER I started working at Starbucks {it was another lifetime ago}…heck, they were signing my paychecks, I figured the least I could do was drink their coffee. After seven years I was addicted. It took me seven more to wean myself off. I thankfully no longer consider myself a coffee snob.
    But here are some things I do hate that everyone else seems to love: (1) Dressing/Stuffing – I don’t care what you call it, I call it ICK. My parents have been trying to force feed me this disgusting mess of carbs and spices since I was a kid. I didn’t eat it then. I won’t eat it now. I advise all my Thanksgiving guests to bring their own…and take it with them when they go. (2) Green bean casserole: what is that slop? I can’t even bring myself to taste it because it looks so…ewww! Sorry. (3) Family Guy – yeah, that show that I always hear everyone howling over. It’s not funny – and I’m not one of those offended types – I just don’t find the show amusing. Deal.
    To end on a positive note, I somehow managed to marry a man who loves all the things I seem to loathe and yet there is {almost} always harmony in our home. It’s proof that we all can just get along. 🙂

    • ericjbaker

      I guess working at Starbucks can give you an appreciation for the craft of coffee making, since you need special training (according to a friend who worked there… unless she’s just yanking my chain).

      I am a fan of stuffing.. if it’s not too dry and not too mushy. Just call me goldilocks.

      Green bean casserole… meh. Not a big fan of bean casseroles, carrot salads, or cooked veggies in general. I’d rather pick my own green beans at a one of those do-it-yourself farms and eat them raw.

      Family Guy… I thought the early ones, before it was cancelled, were funny, but in retrospect, I think we’d appreciate it more if it stayed that way. I’m of the opinion that TV shows have a short shelf life. We’re still watching Star Trek, and that was only on for 2 and a half years. But I’m talking art, not commerce.

      By the way, did you figure out how to end that chapter you were stuck on?

  • Lichanos

    I love strong coffee and sweet potatoes, but so what. Negativity isn’t worth one’s time, though I waste a lot of mine that way. …So, from a man whom I have been known to bash, here’s a good one:

    I do not want to wage war against what is ugly. I do not want to accuse; I do not even want to accuse those who accuse. Looking away shall be my only negation. And all in all and on the whole: some day I wish to be only a Yes-sayer.

    F. Nietzsche The Gay Science

    • ericjbaker

      I kinda wish I’d read that earlier today (long story). A lesson for next time.

      Thanks for stopping by. I look forward to your next post, mostly because it will surprise me, no matter what.

  • feminineocean

    I so enjoyed this whole blog, seldom read comments, was just curious. As for three things I dislike: In the food category I dislike beef – once you’ve looked into a cow’s sweet eyes how can you eat beef! – 2. Potato chips (baked or fried) and 3. Coke – my husband drinks them like water and every once in a while I’ll take a swallow for a caffeine jolt. But, the story is – when I was in my 20’s I was in a friend’s car and saw some pennies on his console, I tried to pick them up and they were glued to the console. Asked him how and he said he spilled coke over them. So I figured anything that can glue pennies to plastic in the heat isn’t good for my already sensitive digestive system. And thanks for following me.

    • ericjbaker

      Ahahaha! Good reason not to drink coke indeed. You should see what that stuff will do the the outside of the car.

      I go for long periods, maybe 2 or 3 years, without eating beef, but every once in a blue I get a craving for a McDonald’s cheesburger (the 99-cent ones). But, for the most part, it’s better for us not to eat beef, and definitely better for the cow!

  • Kate MacNicol

    Oh, LOL. I gave you a BRAVE mini-lecture and I really don’t think you needed it. Anyone who can crank on coffee, lemonade ( and stop his vehicle to rag on children at a lemonade stand on the value of making a good Long Island Ice Tea) and sweet potatoes is brave in my book. Seriously, you hate sweet potatoes??? Fun post and great blog.

    • ericjbaker

      Welcome, Kate. Thanks for reading and commenting.

      Your sound advice can be taken on more than one level. I took it as, “Don’t hold back in your storytelling.” I’ve had a habit of pulling punches in my fiction, which I am in the process of breaking. Still, we all need reminders from time to time.

      I look forward to your next post.

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