Whenever people find out about this phobia for onion, they are baffled. They question me on if I had some kind of traumatic event where I was attacked with onions or if they were force-fed down my throat as a child, but unfortunately for this one, there is no catalyst moment.
Every since I was a child, I have hated onions. My mom did not cook with them because I hated them so much. The “fear” aspect of it began when I became an adult & began eating at other people’s homes & at restaurants on a more frequent basis.
I had always managed to keep my phobia under wraps from my friends. My family knew & hubby knew from very early on in the relationship. I was always very cautious of the meals I ordered, sticking mostly to chicken fingers and fries & limiting the times I would eat at people’s houses to occasions where I knew it wouldn’t be an onion infused meal. I did not feel the need to expose the onion situation to anyone.
Then it happened. We were in grade 12, and a group of about 20 of us were out celebrating a birthday at a local restaurant and ordering off my “safe menu”, I choose a standard choice of Fettuccine Alfredo. As our meals came out, mine was placed in front of me & the scent of onion hit me like a ton of bricks. I look down and on top of my beautifully tossed fettuccine alfredo, is what appears to be about half a white onion chopped and spread over the top. My instincts kicked in and I had to launch the plate across the table. That was the day that my onion phobia was out in the open & my friends have been nothing short of a-hole’s regarding the onion phobia since then.
For me, it is the smell & the texture of raw onion that is the basis of the fear. The biggest culprit of onion madness is Subway. As one of my favorite restaurants, I visit Subway relatively frequently – there was even a time where I ate it every day for a good 2 months (note: I get my lunch paid for). Whatever genius at Subway decided to put the chopped onions, next to the lettuce container should be shot. During a Subway, visit is when my onion anxiety is at its peak since the likelihood of a rogue onion appearing in my sub is off the charts. I have to thoroughly inspect every sub that I get to ensure no onion has made its way into my sub, it is a meticulous routine that I could not bite into a sub without doing. If the person before me had onions on their sub, I make the sandwich artist change their gloves since I know the flavor of the onion would carry onto my sub.
My worst experience with onion was at the hands of a friend on a weekend away at a cottage. After the restaurant experience, there were various attempts at forcing me into having onion or touching an onion, that was completely unsuccessful until the worst possible prank was executed.
We were enjoying a BBQ dinner and I had prepared my hamburger to my liking & turned around to put the ketchup back into the fridge. I found out later at that moment, my “friend” Mike had slipped an entire slice of onion into my burger. As I took the first bite, I could smell onion but assumed it was the person next to me, and as I went in for the second bite, I felt the slide of onion across my tongue. To put it mildly, I freaked right out. The next half hour included some tears, a lot of scrubbing with my toothbrush & even a shower. To this day, that is the worst onion day of my life. I can still feel that onion on my tongue, I can still taste the flavors.
I have hopes that maybe one day, I will be okay with going to someones house when they say “We are having lasagne” (the meal I avoid the most at other peoples houses!), or being able to bring onions into my house so my future children can maybe experience them.