Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Lessons You Can't Teach an Optimist

The other day someone told me I was too charitable. I disagreed, especially in the context in which I was told this.

On further reflection, I realized there may be a kernel of truth in that statement.

Some lessons I haven't learned no matter how many times I've been taught them.

Take food, for instance.

It seems there are a few foods I don't like. I'm not a picky eater, so the list isn't long.

(Random musings: Why is it that someone who reads lots of different books can be widely read but a person who eats a variety of foods can't be widely eaten?)

When I was a little kid, I didn't like watermelon, popcorn or lobster.

Eventually my taste buds changed and I grew to love lobster, tolerate popcorn and sometimes enjoy watermelon.

Perhaps because of this change in tastes, I have always given my dislikes the benefit of the doubt. (Then again, maybe it was just too many readings of Green Eggs and Ham.)

"Maybe I've changed my mind," I think. "I'll give it another try."

This doesn't apply strictly to food, either. It could be art, music or even people. (Thus, from the friend's point of view I can be too charitable.)

Today I have decided to learn a lesson. In order to learn this lesson, though, I need to talk to my future self. (Bringing me to the full range of Talking To Myself, within blog.)

So, Self, please remember this:

I really don't like okra and I really don't like Milky Way Bars.

This hasn't changed in over half a century.

It is not necessary to keep trying them to see if maybe I've changed my mind, because unless the slime is genetically altered out of the okra and the recipe for Milky Way Bars deletes 70% of the sugar and adds some nuts, this won't change.

Nor does it make a difference that it's in a different recipe or that the company has changed CEOs. You really won't like them and if you try them, you'll feel like punishing yourself for forgetting this lesson.

So please, Self, resist the temptation to "Just try it" this once.

Just don't.

Thank you, thank you, Sam I Am.

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