Of Tomatoes and Duke Basketball
I don’t like tomatoes. Actually, to be more precise I hate tomatoes. The phrase “no tomatoes” has been an essential qualifier when ordering food for as long as I can remember.
My initial distaste for tomatoes was, in fact, a literal distaste. But twenty years later, I’m introspective enough to realize that my continued disdain may not be entirely gustatory. If I were to give tomatoes another chance at age 27, perhaps I would actually come to like them. After all, for a long time I didn’t like lettuce on sandwiches… until I did.
But here’s the thing, I don’t want to stop hating tomatoes. I like hating tomatoes. Judgmental glances and snarky comments about my childish pickiness have long ceased to bothering me. I don’t eat tomatoes, it’s one of my idiosyncrasies.
While this viewpoint would make a terrible Buddhist, deep down I believe everyone needs a few things to hate categorically. My hatred of tomatoes doesn’t consume my life, nor does it act to disenfranchise any particular group of people — except perhaps tomato farmers. Ultimately, in the wide range of things people hate in this world tomatoes are pretty damn innocuous.
Which brings me to Duke Basketball. You see, I hate Duke Basketball.
There was a time during my days as a student in Chapel Hill when this hatred was specifically aimed at certain things — the way Coach K carried himself, the smarmy countenance of Jon Scheyer, and the vague concept of Duke Elitism. But in the years since my graduation, my hatred for Krzyzewski and his players has given way to begrudging respect (okay I still hate Quinn Cook and his stupid face). What’s more after four years of medical school, I now count among my friends several Duke alumni.
But my hatred for Duke Basketball endures, unfettered. I can’t help it, I just love hating Duke Basketball. I hate Duke basketball when they win. I hate Duke basketball when they lose. I hate Duke basketball when I see someone with a “Duke” bumper sticker on their car. I’ll hate Duke basketball if Carolina wins Sunday night and I’ll hate Duke basketball if Carolina loses.
I hate Duke basketball like I hate tomatoes — irrationally and unapologetically. Don’t expect either to change any time soon.