Skylar is delusional when it comes to food.

He swears that he likes really spicy food. And maybe he does. But you wouldn't know it if you watched him try to eat it. Because when he does, he inevitably goes into shock and then spends the rest of the evening searching for effective home remedies and emergency medical care.

Look. I wish I liked spicy food, too. I've wanted to like it for a long time. This is mostly because I hate that I totally fit into this Utah stereotype of not being able to touch anything spicier than a banana.

I legit think people who can eat really spicy food and like it are better than me. That's not hyperbole. I actually think these people are better than me. When I'm out with friends and one of them is like "make that extra spicy" after I asked them to let me pepper it myself, in my head I'm like, "yup. You're going to be more successful than me. And you deserve it. And I'm a weak suckface who doesn't deserve happiness."

And maybe instead of working on trying to like spicy foods I should instead work on loving myself. But I don't even want to love myself as long as I insist on being a 32-year-old man who still buys baby food and cries when he accidentally eats zesty ranch.

For years people have told me that if I just force myself to eat foods that are slightly out of my comfort zone, I will acclimate, and before I know it, I'll be eating like a grown man who deserves respect and gainful employment.

But these people are liars. Sexy, tough liars. But liars nonetheless.

Because I've tried. Oh, believe me, I've tried. When the waiter brings out the salsa and he's all "this is mild" I eat it and don't even stop when the skin from my tongue gets stuck in the back of my throat and then I can't taste anything until I go to confession at the nearest Catholic church. AND I'M NOT EVEN CATHOLIC.

And despite doing that, for eleventy hundred years now, there is still no difference in my tolerance levels.

So that's my situation. It's basically the same situation as Skylar's. The only difference: I'm not lying to you about it.

And I know that you think this doesn't affect me so I should stop complaining about it and just be grateful that my hair is so beautiful that they sent a locket of it in Voyager 1 so the aliens would know we are a peaceful planet. But you are wrong.

Not about the Voyager 1 stuff. About the Skylar's delusions not affecting me.

They affect everyone around him. Because the following happens to anyone who goes to dinner with Skylar:

Skylar: Let's see. I'll have the [absurd amount of menu items]. And make it a TEN on the spicy scale.

Waiter: Sir, the scale only goes to five.


Waiter: Do you not understand how numbers work?

Everyone else at the table tries to intervene. Because we all remember what happened the last time Skylar ordered spicy food. It's the same thing that is going to happen this time. He's going to eat exactly one bite, order milk even though it's not on the menu, eat a little of everyone else's food, and then take everything he ordered home in a box to rot in the fridge.



But does this even when we're like, "Skylar, at least order like a three or something. You're not going to be able to eat the level five." And we talk about it like he's attempting to navigate expert-level white water rapids without any training.

But he doesn't listen. And he takes offense to our attempts to talk reason to him.

One time I picked up takeout food and brought it to him and he was all hot and bothered that I ordered a medium level of spiciness for him but then he still had a hard time eating it and then refused to admit that I had done the right thing.

Look. I'm not convinced that Skylar is much different than all the people out there who order their food spicy. I don't think anyone actually likes it. They just know that when they do it, people like me assume they are better than people like me.

The difference between Skylar and those people? Skylar is not good at faking it.

~It Just Gets Stranger