My take... Come on, you can't eat brussels sprouts tossed in butter and bacon? OK. But do you make your child eat/drink outside his/her taste preference range? Do you refuse to listen to the pre-selected radio stations in someone else's car? Feel free to re-program blue grass for country, which you might think isn't a big difference unless you're privy to some of my family's 3+ drink debates on "How can you like country but not blue grass?" "How can you like blue grass but not country?" Don't like the hospital's brand of sanitizer? Forego using it, right? You like single-malt scotch with a heavy peaty taste, which you think licenses you to scoff at non-peaty, blended scotch when your Academic Dean's (boss's) wife offers it to you on the heals of your tenure proposal decision. You get the idea. Eat the damn brussels sprouts--at least 2 of them.
On the other side of my tirade is the host who asks for a full report on what remains on your plate. I've done that. I've done that recently. No good comes of it. I recently asked a family member why she didn't eat the mashed potatoes and relievedly accepted her excuse that she was just too full on the other yummy creations I'd whipped up. Without thinking, I imagine, she then proceeded to accept dessert (which I didn't make). Frankly, it serves me right. Cooks and hosts need to let it go. Provide. Offer. But don't demand.
And if the NY Times Mag is looking for a contributing writer, please, refer them to this pithy commentary.