Olive Toil: Learning To Love The Olive

There’s a world of different between being able to tolerate something and actively seeking said ‘thing’ out. A world of difference.

Yesterday. 10pm. I get home late. I’m buggered. My intentions for the rest of the night are simple: fall face first onto my bed and lay there in a coma-like state until morning.

But then I realise — I haven’t eaten today’s olive.


See, that’s the word right there: bugger.

On the whole, thus far, I feel as though I’m making solid progress in my quest to enjoy olives. What once were violent, stomach-heaving retches have now been downgraded to buggers and shudders. I shake my cheeks once said food stuff has gone down the hatch, like my body’s become cold ‘olive-a-sudden’ (sorry), but then I get on with the rest of my day.

In fact, at the beginning of last week I had a slight revelation. After eating my olive for the day I thought to myself: “if someone were to say I had to eat a second, it wouldn’t be a complete disaster”. There would have been absolutely no enjoyment. But I could have easily tolerated it.

But when do I break through the barrier? When do I make that next step? I’ve gone quickly from outright repulsion, the violent kind, to a grudging type of respect for the olive. I feel like a woman in a BBC costume drama — I haven’t been allowed to marry for love — I’ve married for love or a dowry. My husband doesn’t disgust me, but I must learn to love him.

I’m wondering if it really is all possible? I feel as though time is getting away from me. I’ve been eating olives for 16 days now, and I have about two weeks to go. Things aren’t progressing.

On Saturday I ate an unfamiliar olive. My wife and I ordered Crust pizza. After realising I’d forgot about my daily olive I stole a full Kalamata olive from my wife’s veggie effort.

And I felt like I was back at square one. I hadn’t eaten one of these olives before. The taste was more intense. More olive-y. More rancid.

I asked myself — if I was forced to eat this pizza, would I pick the olives off? My answer was a simple, resounding yes. Without hesitation.

I may have learned to tolerate olives, but I’m not sure if I can learn to love them.

Kotaku editor Mark will be filling us in on his attempts to overcome his olive aversion every week throughout January. If you’ve got any useful advice to get him through the process, share it in the comments.

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