Still Learning After All These Years

So, Randy and I have been together for over 26 years now. Not saying we haven’t had our ups and downs, but mostly, they’ve been great years.

One would think, after 26 years, we’d know all of each other’s stories. We don’t. We learned that a few days ago.

***Warning: if you are disturbed by maggots, read no further. I promise, no pictures or graphic details because they are goddamn maggots.***

Randy and I are on our 7 jillionth attempt to get into better shape.

We have had some good success in the past. This time isn’t so much a success as it is a leisurely attempt at not gaining weight.

We’ve been trying to cut some carbs and decided to try these weird ass noodles.

Miracle noodles or impossible noodles. Something like that. We still have a bag in the fridge. I could go check but that would require me getting out of bed. I think we can all agree that is not reasonable.

These noodles are strangely white and are in liquid in plastic bags. When you open the bag, they smell bad, vaguely of dead fish. But if you soak them for a while and then heat them up, they are fine. No odor at all.

So, we were in bed, watching TV and eating chili spaghetti with these weird ass noodles (don’t judge) and compared notes.

Randy: They’re too chewy.

Me: I don’t mind that, but I can’t get how white they are out of my head. It’s disturbing.

They were chewy, but not absurdly so. Like way less chewy than the calamari at an Olive Garden. 

Randy: We should research the ingredients a little more. We’ll probably find out that they’re made out of maggots or something.

You guys, my reaction was extreme. I think I sputtered for a minute.

I grabbed my plate and left the room in a definite huff.

Me: Why would you say that? Seriously. What the fuck?

I took my plate out to the kitchen and walked back in the bedroom.

Me: I could vomit right now. Just why?


Randy: Okay?

I threw my hands up in the air and left the room again.

I paced around in the living room for a minute and it dawned on me.

He didn’t understand. He had no idea the profound revulsion I feel if I even hear the word “maggot”. Just writing maggot makes me shudder a little. I’m not phobic, because I’m not afraid of them. I am repulsed by them. I mean, that still may be phobia. I don’t know.

I just know it’s more primal than fear. I’m afraid of some things. I am afraid of flying in airplanes, but I will. I just hate it and have to drug myself. I am afraid sharks.

I still don’t swim in the ocean though because that’s just dumb and asking for shark trouble. Also, I’m fairly sure I’m delicious so why would I risk that?

But I digress.

Anyway, I took a few deep breaths and went back to the bedroom.

Me: So, you have no idea why I freaked out over maggots. Have I ever told you my maggot story?

Randy: Noooo. I don’t remember any maggot story.

Me: Okay, when I was around 10 years old, I was playing on the sidewalk in front of my house. I had this pair of leather loafers with a weave. They were brown. 48 years later and I still know exactly what they looked like.

Randy: Yeah, I don’t know this story.

Me: Anyway, I took my shoes off and they were on the sidewalk. Some kid grabbed one and threw into down the sewer in front of my house. I laid down in the street and started to reach into the sewer to get my shoe back.

Randy: Oh god.

Me: Dude, the sewer was filled with maggots. I’m talking tens of thousands. I’m talking a mound of maggots. My shoe was completely submerged. In maggots.

Randy: Okay, so I’m feeling bad about the whole maggot comment now.

Me: So, I lost my shoe.

Randy: How come you never told me this?

Me: I don’t know. I don’t think about it much. And if I do, it’s not something I want to talk about. I can barely say the word maggot. I mean, if I see a snake I’m probably going to scream a little and run away. But if I see a maggot, I’m going to curl up in a fetal position and rock for a while.

Randy: Damn.

Me: I remember specific scenes in shows and movies solely because someone said the word “maggot”.

Randy: That’s pretty bad.

Me: Anyway, about those noodles. Maybe, if we chopped them up rice sized they’d be easier to eat.


Me: Like little maggots.

I seriously have no idea why there is still a bag of those noodles in my refrigerator.

The point to this post is this: Even if you’ve known each other for decades doesn’t mean that there aren’t still things to learn about each other.


Image by Horacio Lozada from Pixabay

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  • As soon as I got to the part about those noodles, I knew the maggots and the noodles were going together. Why? I had a bag of those noodles in my refrigerator. Loved-One ate them when I was out of town. Some things look too much like grubs, parasites (or maggots) to put in my mouth.

    You were braver than I. Especially when you have such a horrid maggot story from your childhood.


  • Well lemme tell you, you’re braver than I am. Even something that looks remotely bizarrely like a m….t (in deference to your repulsion, I shan’t repeat the word) won’t find refuge in my mouth. Too creepy. Nope. Not gonna do it. So I commend you for eating them in the first place.

    Soldier on. Without m….ts.

  • Gahhhh! Maggots!
    I have one as well–not nearly as graphic as yours and mostly imagined. Still, Because of one of my brothers, I couldn’t eat rice until I was technically a grown-up. (Or raisins, either, but that is another–gag–story.)

  • I have a story like that involving tape worms and one of my cat’s butts right up to my face, but I’ll spare you the details. And the hysterical muted scream that freaked out not only my husband but the poor cat. There wasn’t a flea anywhere near him (the cat) but I locked him out of the bedroom until I could get him to the Vet who couldn’t figure out why I was so freaked out. I still shudder to this day when I think about it being so close to my own body.
    I completely understand and am sure Randy is completely contrite for ever having mentioned the “m” word.

  • I use those Barilla “Ready Pasta” bags because I don’t have easy access to a stove to cook my own, and yes, they are a little tough for my taste, but that may be because I tend to overcook my pasta a little. A habit I never lost from being a line cook for a few years.
    When I worked at Tumbleweed, they got an infestation of rice weevils from a return, and they somehow made it halfway across the warehouse to the Lundberg aisle. I found them one morning and had to eradicate them, which was easier than I thought it might be because they couldn’t get into the sealed plastic bags, and it turned out to be a good way to throw out all of the rice in compromised packaging.
    But that wasn’t enough to get rid of them all, so I took an empty spray bottle and filled it up with the 1% pyrethrin liquid that we used as a fogger where a quart would be enough for the entire warehouse and had to be done after hours when nobody was around, and carefully sprayed every inch of the floor under the aisle, then threw away the pallets they had been sitting on.
    Anyway, years later after they went out of business I got to take home a 25 pound bag of rice on my last day at work and before I could eat it all there they were. I sorted the rice kernel by kernel for a while, but it got to be too much and I just threw out the last couple of pounds of it.

    Now a short play, from when I lived in an artiists’ collective called Mirthworks:

    Andrew: What happened to the green garbage can?
    Sean: I threw it out. I’ll get a new one this afternoon.
    Andrew: Why?
    Sean: Maggots.
    Andrew: OK.

    • A few years ago, I had to deal with a cat dish in the garage that got maggots in it. I sort of stepped outside myself, dealt with it and then spent the rest of the day in a shuddering haze.

  • You know the scene in Indiana Jones & The Last Crusade where River Phoenix falls into a box of snakes and that explains why Indy hates snakes so much? You had a similar experience but with maggots which are already fucking terrifying. Even if I fell into a box of snakes I’d be cool. I’d know they’re just snakes and as long as I didn’t make any sudden moves I could get out, as long as they weren’t cobras or some weird Australian snakes that can kill you with their eyes.
    But maggots…okay, I won’t say anymore because I’m already freaked out enough and I don’t want to make things worse for you either.
    Enjoy the noodles, and I bet they do go well with chili.

  • This is so true. We always find stuff to talk about. I too, would have been traumatized by the scenario you recounted. Just euww. So sorry that happened to you.

By Michelle


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