My husband says he hates spinach, but he doesn't know what he's talking about. Just because he doesn't like it canned, frozen or fresh, he thinks that's a reason. I swear, people have a built-in prejudice about certain foods and they're just too stubborn to change.

The other night I served a casserole, and before I could put a spoon in it, he said, "I don't like spinach.""How do you know it's spinach?" I asked.

"Because it smells like spinach and it's green."

"There you go," I said. "You haven't even tasted it and already you have made your decision."

"How long have we been married?"

"Forty-one years."

"I have hated spinach longer than we have been married," he said. "Why are you so evangelistic about it?"

"Because it's driving a wedge between us. We share the same children, the same politics and the same religion. Both of us like Liza Minnelli's version of `New York, New York' better than Frank Sinatra's. So why can't we eat the same food?"

"Because we are not the same person."

"Just taste it. Would it kill you just to taste it?"

"I have tasted spinach salads, spinach soups, meats and pastas stuffed with spinach, spinach pizza and spinach egg rolls . . . spinach steamed, creamed, sauteed, fried, chilled, broiled and blanched, and I still don't like it."

"This is different. It's Spinach Surprise. It has cream sauce and hard-boiled eggs. Taste."

"You are turning into one of those fruitcake people - the ones who are always stuffing a piece of dough with 35 dead fruits baked in it into your mouth and saying, `But this one is moist.' "

"How dare you compare me to fruitcake people. They're sick!"

"You're getting there."

"You know, you really are something. You ate spinach at Harriet Toucan's house a few weeks ago and raved about it."

"Those were greens."

"Same thing."

"I don't know why you have dedicated your entire life to force-feeding spinach to me when you won't touch a piece of broccoli."

Aren't men amazing? If he can't tell the difference, I can't explain it.