I once had a boyfriend who thought that I might be poisoning his food. When he first confessed his fear, it was only after much prodding by me while I watched him push the beans and rice I had made around on his plate.
"What's up?" I asked him.
"You won't hate me if I tell you what I'm thinking, will you?" he said.
"It depends on what it is."
"I sometimes think that you might be drugging my food. Or poisoning it."
What was even stranger than this admission was that I didn't feel insulted or offended by it, but then I was sort of prepared for this kind of behaviour. I had been in that situation myself. When I was a child, I believed for a while that bay leaves were less about adding flavour to my mother's macaroni soup and more about her poisoning me slowly over time in order to avoid detection.
"You should give your friend Vino a call," I suggested. "Tell him what you think might be happening and what your symptoms are, if there are any. He'll be honest with you."
Vino was a refugee from paranormal forces who had gone AWOL from a psychiatric hospital while avoiding army duty in eastern Europe and was well-versed in all manner of pharmaceuticals, poisons, and hallucinogenics. If anyone could deal with left-of-center paranoia, it was Vino.
My boyfriend made the call, and after a short explanation and a lot of nodding and mm-hmmms, he hung up the telephone.
"Do you feel a little better?" I asked.
A reserved little "yes" slid out of his mouth.
"I know you feel a bit better after talking to Vino, but do you feel better about eating this food?"
He remained quiet.
"Tell you what, how about you do all the cooking for the next week or two until you feel better?"
"That would be great," he said. "I don't want to break up with you. I'm just having some weird thoughts lately. Part of me knows that you wouldn't poison me."
"I know," I said. I told him about my mother and the bay leaves in her macaroni soup.
"Was she? Poisoning you, I mean?" he asked.
"Not that I know of," I answered. "although, I did cut my tongue on a bay leaf once. Those things are sharp."
I think our relationship lasted another three months. That did surprise me.
I am a participant in NaBloPoMo 2008, a challenge to write 30 posts in 30 days during the month of November. "National Blog Posting Month is the epicenter of daily blogging!"