Give Peas a Chance

ENOUGH! Alright, kids. Listen up. I’ve been listening to you whine and complain the entire evening, and I haven’t said a WORD until now, but enough is enough. No — no interruptions. I’ve had it up to here. You have all made your position on peas extremely clear. You do not like peas. You think they’re gross. They make you gag. They make red splotches appear on your cheeks and your lips swell up. Message received, drama queens. Loud and clear. But the groceries have been bought, dinner has been made, and you will sit quietly at the table and until you finish your meal.

Besides: all I’m asking is that you give peas a chance.

Do you think peas were my first choice? No. Of course not. Truth be told, if it were up to me, we would be having citrus tonight. I campaigned for citrus the entire drive to the store. But the crops did poorly in Florida this year, and here we are. No citrus. And at the end of the day, when it came down to either peas or cauliflower, I went with the lesser of two evils. I chose peas.

But even though peas aren’t my favorite, you don’t see me complaining, do you? You don’t see me stomping and whining and throwing tantrums. That’s because I’m an adult. Peas are what’s in front of me, and so I’m going to give peas a chance. And you can argue all you want, you can yell at me until your eyes are glossy and your lips turn blue, but they’re your vegetable too.

Look. We fought and fought in the grocery store. Going to the store is never fun, but this time was more contentious than it’s ever been. We all said things some nasty things. You said you wished Uncle Bernard was your real dad because he’d let you eat ice cream and candy for every meal. I said, “I don’t care if you have a life-threatening allergy to peas.” But that’s over now. What we needs more than ever is unity. Likoe I said to the checkout clerk who wanted a high five: we both need to reach across the aisle.

And why do you keep pointing out that the brand we bought is called Murder Peas? Sure, it’s a little brash, but I find it refreshing. Aren’t you sick of feeling judged by “grass-fed” this and “organic” that? What do those words even mean? Quinoa … acai … spirulina … I can’t even pronounce half of those. What the hell is a chia seed? I’ll tell you what it really is: alternative flax. So when I read a label that says, “Murder Peas: You’re All Gonna Die When You Eat These Peas” … honestly, it’s nice to see a food company say what they mean in plain English.

Let’s also not forget that the family took a vote, and we chose peas! Okay, yes: technically, cauliflower won 3 votes to 2, but I’m the mom, so my vote carries more weight. You don’t get to complain about it now — that’s the way it’s always worked.

Yes, severe allergies to peas run in our family. Yes, we have a long, ugly history of pea-related death dating back to your great, great grandfather. Yes, when you were younger you were diagnosed with a lifelong incurable pea allergy. But that was in the PAST. In order to move on, we need to look forward, and most of all, we need to stop dwelling on whatever doctor did or did not say about your certain pea-related doom.

Also, in all of your histrionics, I think you’re vastly overestimating the power of peas. There’s a reason we also have a protein and a starch as part of the meal — it balances everything out. So please try to remember that instead of clutching at your throat and wheezing. Everything is going to be fine! I know your siblings are getting you all riled up, filling your head with ideas, but overreacting and yelling things like, “He’s not breathing, mom, please do something!” is exactly the reason that peas won in the first place.

Stop telling me that I don’t understand just because I’m not allergic to peas. I find that offensive. In my opinion, that’s a reverse allergy, and you know what — that’s almost as bad as regular allergies. Maybe even worse.

And dammit, don’t you even come near me with that bottle of O’Douls. That is fake booze.



Written by Riane Konc

Riane Konc

Riane Konc is a writer whose work has appeared in Shouts & Murmurs, McSweeney’s, The Washington Post, Reductress, and more. You can find more of her work at rianekonc.com and follow her on Twitter @theillustrious