When I was a kid, I never understood why my mom insisted on forcing me to continue to eat things that I didn’t like. Looking back, I think she must have had a “try it three times and I will leave you alone” rule that was, for good reason, unspoken. After somewhere around the third try, she was great about accepting that you just didn’t like it and making something else or taking out whatever you didn’t like.
For me, that meant she would separate some of the cooked hamburger when she made sloppy joes, and add mustard to it. She also stopped making me eat chipped beef (it still makes me gag) and would let me eat a sandwich or something else instead.
After I moved out and started making my own food choices, I found myself sticking to things that I knew I liked and very rarely venturing out of my comfort zone. I think I was just blinded by what I thought were, at the time, the best foods in the world.
At least I was predictable. Andrew could go to a sub shop and knew exactly what I wanted every time – roast beef on italian with provalone cheese, mayo, a little bit of lettuce, and peppers; banana. jalapeno, bell peppers, cherry peppers, or roasted red peppers. It didn’t really matter which. That is as daring as I was. We could go to a restaurant with friends and they knew if I would be OK with the place as long as they served chicken strips.
This, of course, also applied to beverages. I discovered I enjoyed sangria when I tried one at a restaurant, and for the longest time, no other wine would do. I also tried a few different beers, usually a sip of whatever Andrew was drinking, and decided that I absolutely hated beer.
Years later, I sometimes have to laugh at how things have changed. When we go to restaurants, I try to make a point of ordering things that I wouldn’t have normally gotten before. Some of those things literally terrified me before, like octopus (and yes, I hated it.) But I have still been overly cautious about beer because, in my mind, it all just tastes like dirty, bitter water.
Andrew loves beer and I hate it. We have even gone to a few beer crafting classes and I always chose not to drink anything, despite the beer being free. I accepted the fact that I would just never like beer. It wasn’t for me, and that was fine.
Then I recently found myself at a restaurant ordering a beer, and willingly finishing it. As in… to the last drop! And as I excitedly ordered my second, all my beliefs went up in smoke.
My friends, I quite literally found Elvis in the bottom of my glass. And as I sat here today, wondering what I wanted to write about for NaBloPoMo, I had to laugh at the fact that I had no idea because all I could think about was wanting a beer. And I realized something. Maybe my mom wasn’t being mean. Maybe she just knew something that I didn’t; that if you just keep your mind open to liking something, one day you might be surprised to find that you actually do. If that isn’t a metaphor for life, I don’t know what is.
I’d like to give a special shout-out and thanks to BrewDog for opening my eyes (and my taste buds) to delicious beer. If you are ever in Columbus, Ohio or in any of these UK/International bars, be sure to stop by and give it a go.