Friday, January 23, 2009

Question of the Week: Trying

If you went to a dinner party and were offered a dish you had never tried, would you want to taste it even if it sounded strange and not very appealing?

While Sam I Am and his grumpy, unnamed friend taught us the importance of trying new things in the literary classic Green Eggs and Ham, that's just not the kind of person that I am. Generally, if something looks odd or smells strange, I'm not going to try it. If I'm over at someone's house for a party and they offer me something that looks weird, there's a good chance I'm gonna make up some excuse like, "I had a big lunch" or "I'm just not feeling very well."

Of course there are the odd moments where I'll allow someone to convince me to give something a try. I did taste some pretty decent sushi at Jen's insistence while I was in California. I didn't make a meal out of it, but I did give it a shot. And you know what, it wasn't bad. But those moments are very rare.

And I'm fairly certain that I can blame my mother for this. You see, when I was quite young, the extended family had gathered at my grandparents' house. After we had eaten dinner, the kids separated from the adults to play whatever game it was that kids played back then. After some time, we were all treated to an array of desserts. Mom called for me to come to the kitchen, she had a pie she wanted me to taste. Now, at this point I still trusted my mother. I would shortly learn better of it. I asked what kind of pie it was that she had on her fork. It looked harmless, but the smell should have tipped me off. Why, to this day, I didn't recognize the odor, is beyond me. She didn't tell me the kind of pie, just insisted that if I tried it, I'd like it. Liar. She put the fork in my mouth and I quickly made my way to the bathroom (which felt like miles in distance) in order to throw up. My mother, knowing that in my entire short life that I had never liked peanut butter, force fed me a piece of peanut butter pie. Not only did she know that I did not like peanut butter, she knew that I actively despised it and would even, at times, gag from the smell of it. That's why I'm confused about the smell of the pie before I tasted it. I don't remember smelling a strong peanut scent. Maybe I had a cold at the time.

That's why I don't try new things. It's also why I tend to not trust people when they tell me I'll like something if I'll just try it. Liar.

*Question of the Week comes from The Book of Questions by Gregory Stock, Ph.D.

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