Life, you've probably figured out by now, is a series of Big Lies and Gradual Crushing Disappointments of Discovery. It starts out with the whole Santa Clause/Tooth Fairy thing, then progresses on to the Absence of Any Truly Trustworthy Authority bombshell, the You Can Be Whatever You Want if You Try Hard Enough fiction, and then the Soul Mate fallacy. I've always dealt with each blow with a stiff upper lip, because what choice do we have? But I've just heard something that is going change my life for the worse forever: Apparently olive oil, perhaps the most essential ingredient in my eating habits, is 100% fat! What!? How did I not know this until now? I feel like the rug has been pulled out from beneath me. Up is down. Black is white. The one true pleasure I have left, however misguided I've been, is being taken away from me. Butter on bread? No thanks, I'll just dip giant loaves of starch into this little warm pool of goodness. I thought I was doing myself a favor. They say it's "good fat" though. But that's something like "good cancer" isn't it? So now I have a choice to make: soldier bravely on, or cut and run. Of course sometimes clinging to a lie no matter how much evidence there is to the contrary is the only way we can get ourselves out of bed every day. I guess I'll pretend I didn't hear anything. Pass the oil.
Originally published in the Boston Globe.