Picky Eater


I’m autistic and I grew up in a low-income household with parents who were too busy to do any “real” cooking.
[A young narrator is shown sitting at a dining table while his mother cooks at the stove.]
Narrator: Yay, mac-n-cheese again!
It would be more surprising if I hadn’t turned out to be a picky eater.

I don’t want to be this way. You think interactions like this are fun for me?
[Narrator and a friend sit at a restaurant table. A server stands nearby waiting to take their order.]
Narrator: What’s in the... uh... everything? [In smaller text:] Actually nevermind I’ll just have a burger. [In even smaller text:] Hold the mustard, onions, pickles...

And then something magical happened.
[The narrator stands proudly wielding a pot and a mixing spoon like some kind of fantasy knight.]
I learned how to cook.

Once I knew exactly what was going into my food, I felt safer experimenting with new flavors.
Some once-hated foods became new favorites...
Narrator: [holding a piece of bread with a heart floating over it] Mm, garlic bread!

While others continued to elude me, despite my best efforts.
[The Narrator holds a plate of pasta and looks disappointed, with a broken heart floating near him.]
But at least now I hate onions on my own terms.

A whole new world of food has opened up to me, and I finally feel a little less weird.
[Narrator holds a bowl, hearts floating in mid-air around him.]
Narrator: I made shrimp scampi!
Friend: Yeah, for the third day in a row!

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