When I was little, I used to watch my mom dip whole jalapeno peppers into fiery hot chili paste and eat them like she was dipping celery sticks into peanut butter, and I would scream because the peppers were so spicy that MY eyes would be watering and I wasnâ€™t even eating them. She would say, “no, that is not spicy.” But her entire face would be covered in sweat and her eyes would be full of tears, so I think it was spicy, but she didnâ€™t want to show weakness.
I couldnâ€™t tolerate anything spicy as a child, which is hard if you are Korean. My mom had to dip my kimchee into a little bowl of water before I could put it into my mouth. Of course this gave me a kind of spice inferiority complex that I had to somehow fix in adulthood. How I dealt with it was to push my senses as far as I could, seeking out the hottest peppers, the hottest hot sauce, the hottest everything. I doused everything in Tabasco, so much so that I once got a free table caddy filled with every kind of sauce that Tabasco makes, because I was such a loyal, vocal and famous customer. It sits on my dining room table permanently because I am always going to use it. I have even been known to keep Tabasco in my purse, which has sadly been left behind since the TSA now regulates liquids and gels in carry on luggage. I just have to trust that they will have it where I am going. Fortunately, they usually do.
Lately, my husband and I have been getting into Thai food which if done right is incredibly spicy. Hereâ€™s some folksy wisdom, if it hurts going in, and I assure you, it hurts coming out. I donâ€™t think I am happy unless pure pepper spray is coming out of my ass. I could get another job escorting young women out in the streets at night because I am like a walking mace dispenser. I think I like it when my asshole is on fire. I donâ€™t see any other explanation. And it always is on fire. When I wake up, the first thing I say to my husband is not â€˜good morningâ€™, or â€˜I love youâ€™. Itâ€™s â€˜fire in the holeâ€™. Just so he knows to get out of my way because I am going to make a big, flaming, acidic burning dispatch into my long suffering toilet. If you live like me, and your dinner requires its own safeword, then you understand. I am, the hotness.