I was eating a bunch of clementines the other day, and one of them smelled off.
Last year, I got a bag of clementines with a number of fruits that were just bad. Eventually I ditched the whole bag–well, first I shoved it in the fridge and pretended it wasn’t there for a month. It got worse before it got better. In retrospect my reaction wasn’t the most rational.
This year, I had to force myself to try to eat clementines all over again. My initial reaction was to want to shove them in the fridge and forget about them. Or rather, first to forget about them, and then to shove them somewhere that I wouldn’t encounter them.
Disgust is a powerful reaction. So powerful that it erases itself, because not only do we not want to be disgusted, we don’t want to remember that we might be disgusted.
People who do disgusting and even appalling things use that reaction to stay hidden and safe. We don’t want to know. And our desire to want to not know spreads from the perpetrator to the victim.
The only real solution is to rip into some clementines and discover whether they are or are not bad, and to throw away the ones that are bad, instead of hanging on to them and slowly starting to fear opening the fridge at all.
And…probably I’ve posted something similar to this one before, but erased the memory of having done so.
Because it’s too close to the memory of disgust.