I hate oatmeal. The problem is I can’t remember I hate oatmeal so, every few years, I try it again. Like I did this week.

I had oral surgery last Thursday and have to be on a soft food diet for two weeks. So, I made a list of meals that would qualify, including some instant oatmeal. At the store, even though the package promised lots of fiber and protein, the photo wasn’t very enticing. Still, I knew I have always liked Cheerios, which are made from oats, so how could I dislike this? To be safe, I got the one flavored with maple syrup and brown sugar, because what can be bad with those flavors?

The answer: oatmeal.

I prepared a bowlful as per the directions, microwaved it for a minute, let it cool for a few seconds, then took a taste. Feh! Despite the sweet aroma from the artificial flavors, it was like having a spoonful of sand in my mouth. I told myself not to judge it based on a first impression, so I took a second. Nope, still terrible, just as it was every other time I’ve tried it over the years. I was going to add some banana slices to make it more edible, but opted not to ruin a perfectly good piece of fruit, which became my entire breakfast instead.

Now I’ve vowed to never repeat this mistake. Ever. Or until I forget again how much I hate oatmeal.