Judge John Hodgman on Eating Mashed Potatoes


Ruth writes: I don’t really care that my spouse, Jesse, insists on eating his mashed potatoes with a spoon, but I do care that he insists this is normal. Surely his Mennonite mother, who knows all things about starch and butter and who has excellent cooking skills, taught him better. Please order him to admit that he’s an outlier, not me.

Mashed potatoes are deeply personal, one of the most powerful Proustian triggers, and at the risk of being gross, pretty sensual. So I could see how your husband could develop an unusually close relationship with his potatoes, spooning them into his mouth, all alone, (I’m going to say) in the dark. I’d be curious to know what his mom thinks about all this — show her this column and let me know! Until then, I’m going with Miss Manners here to say a fork is preferred, at least in mixed company, and don’t bring your kink to the table (I added that last part).