The Onions and Eye

The Onions and EyeThe Onions and Eye

No, it’s not a strange pub name or a musical about a woman named Anna who falls in love with a bunch of onions. It’s about me, and how I love onions, or how I hate them, or whatever the complicated relationship is that I have with onions. It’s definitely a love/hate sort of vibe.

I do like onions. I really do. We get along, sometimes. I like onions on my hamburgers. I like onions in soup. I like onions flavoring my various foods. Onions on my chicken. Onions on my steak. Onions in my salad. Onions here. Onions there. Onions everywhere.

Chocolate and onions?

No, never. Despite all the things I can think of that would go wonderfully with added onions, chocolate is not one of those things. Prove me wrong, and you can give me some free chocolate. I’ll even eat it if it has onions in it, as long as it tastes good.

For some reason, the past several years has put me in Onion Hell. Onions have decided that I need torturing, a lot. I didn’t used to have this problem. Everyone gets a little teary when chopping onions, but not full-blown break-up-with-your-boyfriend-in-mustard-gas teary. That’s what happens to me. It’s just awful.

I’ve tried the gum thing. I’ve tried putting the onions in water. I’ve stood on one foot and summoned ancient onion spirits from Japan. None of it works. The tried and true method some people use, keeping your onions in the fridge, helps, but I still cry.

This is what happens. I start chopping onions.


There goes one end.


There goes the other end.


There goes the skin.

*Here come the tears.

First, there are tears, a bit of irritation.

Then burning. BURNING! Burning that is so bad I can’t keep my eyes open.

My eyes feel with tears. It’s painful. Really painful. More burning. My nose starts running. I can’t see at this point.

It’s only one to one and a half onions in at this point and I need four.

I blindly make my way to the sink where I wash my hands, without looking, because I don’t want the onion juice on my hands to get anywhere near my eyes. I wash my hands as well as a person who can’t see can wash their hands. I then splash water in my face. I wet a wash cloth to try to wash my face and eyes. I get some relief.

I invariably have to blow my nose.

I get back to work chopping onions, after more hand washing, of course.

Repeat. Seriously. Repeat. I go through the same ordeal, at least once more. If not two or three times more, just to chop four onions.

After a bout of chopping onions, I look like crap. It doesn’t matter if I take a shower or it’s hours later. I look like I was crying over said fictional break-up with fictional boyfriend all night long. I don’t plan to go out after chopping that many onions. I even feel under the weather for the rest of the day as I now have a runny nose.

Onions hate me and I don’t know why.

The last time I chopped onions, I put them in the fridge. I’m going to keep them in the fridge. It does help. It doesn’t make the awful experience go away entirely. I still have to pause my chopping and leave the room for breaks. I still have to rinse my eyes out. I still have to have that wet, cold wash cloth to blot my face and eyes with.

Darn you onions.

Why? Why me? I know everyone doesn’t react like this and I didn’t always have this problem.

So this is the story, or at least part of it, about why onions and I don’t always get along.

At least I still have all my fingers.


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