I have suffered from chronic migraines since I was a kid. Something important for every migraine sufferer to know are their “triggers”. Triggers are the things in your life that are most likely to start a migraine. For some it may be extreme heat, for others it’s stress and for me it’s salt. I can’t have a lot and if I do, a migraine will start almost right away. Due to this I can only have chinese food every once in a while and I have to be very careful to read labels for sodium content. Migraines hurt like a MOFO but can also send to me to the ER, which is expensive.
My EX MIL (I’ll call her Karen) loved to cook and added too much salt to everything. It didn’t take me long to notice that right after eating a meal prepared by her my head would start beating like a drum. We had dinner with them every Sunday so my Ex went to Karen, explained my situation and asked her to tone down the salt.
Karen was not happy. She thought changing the ingredients of her food would alter the taste too much. She agreed to cut back but the very next time we had dinner with them I went home feeling like my head was going to explode and I knew she hadn’t. My wife asked her about it later and Karen said she’d originally cut the salt but after tasting it decided it wasn’t flavorful enough and added it back in. She told my wife she wouldn’t sacrifice flavor for me so that’s the last time we had Sunday dinner there.
Months later we had to go there for a birthday party. We arrived early, hours from dinner so Karen hadn’t yet started cooking. I was in the kitchen getting a beverage and saw her precious salt shaker sitting on the counter. I picked it up, went into the pantry and hid it behind some boxes of cereal. While there I saw the round refill container, grabbed that and hid it too.
Hours later Karen is cooking and we hear a commotion. She’s upset she can’t find her salt shaker. She goes into the panty, complaining that she also can’t find the large container either. My wife and I were sitting outside, acting like nothing was out of the ordinary. She ended up cooking all the dishes without salt and bitched the whole time about how terrible everything tasted.
Karen was in a very bad mood as everyone dished up. It wasn’t long before they started complimenting her on the food. People were saying it was some of the best she’d ever made, and from her face you could see she was shocked to hear that. Several people said to her, “This is great! Did you tone down the salt, you use a lot you know, this tastes like you used the perfect amount” to which Karen hissed, “It has NO SALT because I can’t find my shakers.” Nobody else was bothered by this, they just nodded and agreed it was amazing. The more they complimented her, the more upset she got.
For some reason, she never thought to ask anyone if they had purposely taken them. We ate and then got up to leave not long afterward. On our way out, we went by the kitchen to take some leftovers home. While there I pulled the salt shaker and container out, put them in our bag, took them home and trashed them. It was the first time I had eaten a meal with that family and not gone home with a migraine.