Monday, February 10, 2014

To Like Something New

For my entire life it has been nothing short of a monumental challenge to get me to try something new; especially when it comes to foods. I talked about this during my Sunglasses Experiment when Olive Garden changed their menu. But yes, ask my parent about food and they'll just shake their heads as I would want the same food over and over and over and over again.

It's rather difficult for me to try a new place or something new because there are so many unknowns. Will I like it? What will I order? Will I stumble in my speech trying to order because I don't know what I'm getting? There's more to trying a new food, at least now in my life, than just the food itself. There is safety in knowing I already like something. However, what happens when I try something new and like it?

About a month ago I got my flu shot at a Walgreens and afterwards I was rather hungry. My food supply at home was low so I was going to get something out. Across the street was a burger place but I'm trying to cut back on that type of food. Then, I remembered that there was a sub shop next to the Blockbuster video I had taken a picture of (and blogged about it) so I decided to go there which was an odd thing because, well, I hate subs.

This place was a favorite of the former USAC Developmental Director and I had gone once in Indianapolis the night I flagged a late model race at Lucas Oil Raceway Park so perhaps there was some associative memory system playing into my reasoning for going. However, I hated what I got the first time so why I went back, well, it was close to Walgreens and I was hungry.

I walked in and saw the gigantic menu and was instantly overwhelmed. There were cold subs, which I despise, and warm subs but nothing looked the least bit appetizing. I remember why I hated the place, but then my eyes scanned left and there was a section for wraps and I looked at each one and then I came across the Baja Chicken Wrap which has, obviously, chicken but also salsa, lettuce, and jalapeno peppers. I've hated spicy things my entire life but I decided to try it and I ordered something completely out of character.

The cook grilled the chicken, then wrapped it all up, I paid and headed home with this new food. I got home and took out the wrap which at this point I was scared. Yes, scared is the right word because to try a new food brings about fear as the thought of a new sensation of taste is, for me, on the brink of being overwhelming. I fought through the fear and took a bite and chewed a bit and thought, "Oh my goodness, this is heaven in the form of a wrap!"

I probably devoured the wrap a little too fast and it was gone too fast as I never have enjoyed a food as much as I enjoyed that wrap. It was new, fresh, and something I had never tried before. When it was gone the spice was enough to bring tears to my eyes (also might have been tears of joy... okay, probably not) but I didn't care as this was something so refreshingly amazing that I wanted more so the next day I went again, then again, and then again.

When I like something new I don't just like it a little but really it becomes like everything else in my life; it becomes something I want to exclusion of everything else. It's now to the point, in just these several weeks, that when I enter I'm asked, "Baja Chicken wrap?" as they know my order. Here's the thing about liking something new though; just because I tried something new once does not increase the odds of me trying something new again. Look at this Baja Chicken Wrap, I've been to that sub shop now at least a dozen times and I've ordered the same thing each time and I have zero interest in trying anything else on that gigantic menu because I know what I like so just because I try something new once you can't use the logic of, "Aaron, you tried that new wrap and loved it so why don't you try this instead..." It just doesn't work that way because when I like something new quickly becomes a routine so since I love that wrap more than I have loved any other food from a restaurant I must ask, "Why would I want to try something new? What was new is now the best, I know what I like so why venture out?"

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