Barbecue Sauce

September 20, 2008
By Lizzy Smith, Springfield, MO

I walk into the kitchen and smell the most disgusting scent in the world. About three times a week, I look outside my bedroom window and see smoke floating towards the sky. No, the house is not on fire. It is my dad hanging out on the back porch, cooking something on the grill. Most likely it will be ribs that he is grilling, for that is what he is most famous. According to almost everyone that has ever eaten them, my dad makes the best ribs around; everyone that is, except for me.
It’s time for dinner, and my dad sets a plate of food in front of me. The nauseating smell makes me plug my nose and look in the other direction. My dad often gets offended when I refuse to eat what he cooks for dinner. His only daughter in the whole wide world doesn’t like ribs. What he doesn’t seem to understand is that it’s not the meat that I don’t like, it’s the sauce. Barbecue sauce.

Growing up with a dad who loves to grill, barbecue sauce has played a pretty important role in my life. Whenever I walk into the kitchen, the orange barbecue bottles are everywhere. In the refrigerator, sitting in the middle of the kitchen table as if they are a centerpiece, and empty bottles stinking up the trash can. They even have their own designated cabinet, an entire cabinet with nothing but multiple bottles of barbecue sauce.
I used to like barbecue sauce. When I was little, I would sit down at the dinner table next to my meat-loving older brother and scarf down just as many ribs as he did. But the older I got, the more I began to dislike it. I don’t remember the exact day I stopped liking it, but I do remember the sad look on my dad’s face the first time I refused to eat his ribs. The less I ate ribs, the less I started eating other meats, too.

In eighth grade I decided to become a vegetarian. My barbecue-loving family was of course, extremely disappointed and for a long time refused to support my decision. Eating meals with my family was always very difficult, considering my idea of what to eat was always completely different from theirs. After two years I decided to quit vegetarianism and told my family the good news. They immediately assumed that over my non-meat years I would have forgotten my distaste for barbecue sauce. But to their disappointment, it was still the most disgusting thing I had ever tasted.

To my family, I am a very picky eater. When it is time for dinner, I can very rarely eat the same thing that everyone else is eating. It’s not because I’m picky; it’s because the one thing that I do dislike is what my family likes to eat everyday – meat coated in barbecue sauce. To everyone else, I’m the least picky of them all. I’ll pretty much eat anything that someone sets in front of me, as long as it has nothing to do with a certain kind of condiment.

If I hadn’t grown up with a family who is obsessed with grilling, would I like barbecue sauce? Would I be able to breathe in the scent without having to gag? If there wasn’t a cabinet designated to nothing but barbecue sauce in my kitchen, would I still dislike it? My personal opinion is that it’s my dad’s own fault that I don’t like barbecue sauce. Maybe if I hadn’t been around it so much throughout my life, I would be eating barbecue sauce covered ribs.

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