Did you know there has been a debate for over 20 years about whether mayonnaise is better than miracle whip? Seriously, I kid you not. There are dozens of articles and even books about this issue. Who knew that people care so much about a condiment. Well, given the “importance” that this condiment holds in our society, I have to ask, which do you prefer? Now, before you answer, let me give you some “helpful information”. Some writers suggest that you can tell a person’s socioeconomic status or level of sophistication based on their preference for mayo or miracle whip. I know, I know…don’t shoot the messenger. But, it has been suggested that miracle whip is the preference of the less sophisticated. Insane right? Sorry miracle whip lovers, you are apparently less socially savvy than some of your peers…that’s gotta sting. Again, NOT my words…but notice how I left myself out and said “you”?
Now, before you mayo lovers get all snooty and pat yourselves on the back, let me be clear that I am not your sister in mayo loving heaven either. See, I actually hate them both. Yep, you read that correctly. Even as a kid, I would throw away anything with mayo or miracle whip visibly on it…and would violently dry heave if I mistakingly ate one or the other. In full disclosure, I can’t even tell the difference between mayo and miracle whip…without the labeled jar. In fact, I use mayo to refer to both condiments…it has fewer syllables. So, when I say “mayo” I am referring to both mayonnaise and miracle whip.
I don’t know what it is, but for as long as I can remember I have ALWAYS hated mayo. I can’t figure out if it is the taste, smell, look, or consistency…I simply hate it. I even hate things that look like mayo or could be mistaken as mayo. I hate white cream filling in donuts or cupcakes (I actually have a thing about food hidden within food), overly thick white icing, and white foam, and other thick white blobby type things. Dear God, I am dry heaving as I type this because it is forcing me to envision myself tasting mayo. Yes friends, I am serious about my hate for mayo.
So, in a class system based on love for mayo, I shudder to think where I fall. I am probably the town idiot….uncouth as my grannie would say. I’m the weird person wandering around that no one wants to look square in the eyes. But, according to some writers, my disdain for both explains my in your face, tell it like it is attitude. Thank you mom for your budget conscious grocery shopping when I was growing up. Your thrifty shopping gave us a household where we consistently inconsistently used both condiments. I could’ve developed a pallet for both…but instead prefer neither. You mom, according to some writers, are the woman we all have to thank for my complete inability to keep my thoughts to myself. I AM UNCOUTH AND PROUD.
Despite my disdain for mayo, for some reason, the universe is determined to make it a big part of my life. The word “mayo”, in some form, has been said to me over 20 times in the past 2 weeks. The interesting thing is that the more I hear the word, the more fond memories come to mind. See friends, my relationship with mayo is not all bad…I have a few good memories involving mayo. For example, growing up I was a daddy’s girl. I used to have my dad stay up with me for hours watching movies, playing cards, and talking about random world issues. He TOTALLY understood and encouraged my social activism…even as a kid. One thing I LOVED doing with my dad, more than anything, was eating hamburgers. It could be 11pm and he would say “imma throw some burgers on, you want one”. My answer was always a spirited “YES”! As I type, I can smell one of his burgers cooking…I call them kitchen burgers.
My dad would take ground beef and season it with seasoning salt and a hint of garlic salt. Once the meat was seasoned appropriately, he would ball the hamburger meat up into several little balls and flatten them with his hand. Once falttened, he neatly placed them in a black iron skillet on the stove to cook for 5-7 minutes on each side. After the burgers were all cooked, my dad would scoop them out of the skillet with a spatula, and place each hamburger on one piece of white bread. He would then add lettuce, tomatoes, and finish his masterpiece by placing a final piece of white bread covered in mayo (or miracle whip…he would use mustard for me) on top.
While I hated mayo growing up, and still do, a simple mention of the word makes me smile because it reminds me of burgers with my dad. Every time I hear the word I think about great times with my dad and his amazing burgers. Oddly enough, this fond memory was the one reason I was not immediately turned off when several friends recently suggested that I seek treatment at the world renowned Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN.
As I have previously shared, probably more often than some of you prefer, I have been experiencing some pretty significant health challenges since August. While my conditions are diagnosed, the way in which they manifest continue to baffle my doctors. Also, I seem to have yet another condition seeking identification and recognition. After months of invasive testing and several hospitalizations, I have decided it is time for a change of venue. I am done being violated at the local level, and think it is time for a more specialized review. So, I am headed to the world renowned Mayo Clinic in a few weeks. While I hate mayo the condiment, I plan to fully indulge in all the Mayo Clinic has to offer. And guess what, my dad is my travel buddy!!! Again, the word “mayo” saved by my daddy!