Quarter-Life Crisis: Tastes Change

My tastes have been changing over the past few months, and it’s freaking me out.

I’ve never liked spicy food, but now I crave it. I put red pepper flakes on everything. And don’t even get me started on my newfound love of sriracha…

Hot Pants

Been there, done that, bought the leggings. Hot pants, in the most literal sense.

When I first started working at this pizza shop, there was one pie that had roasted chicken, tomatoes, and Spanish onions that were marinated in lime juice and topped with cilantro. I ate that pizza every day for at least a month. It was my number one favorite. Okay, number two, behind tomato basil pesto, but we have like 30 pies. So it’s still significant!

Then came the dreaded day when I took a bite of my beloved roasted chicken, and swiftly spat it out into a napkin. What the feezy! Why did it taste so ew? I took another bite, figuring it was something in that first one that I didn’t like. But the next bite tasted just as terrible. It tasted…soapy. I talked to my coworker about how confused I was. She said it was probably the cilantro, which she can’t stand. She was right. But I never had an issue with cilantro before. Now I can’t eat anything with cilantro without gagging. It’s rather upsetting.

Nobody that I share this with seems to care. It’s just part of this thing called “getting older.” But see, that’s exactly the problem. You grow up hearing how your tastes change when you get older. But older sounds so far away when you’re a kid. Your parents are pretty much ancient-years old as far as you’re concerned. It’ll be forever before any of those symptoms of getting older hit you, if they ever do. But here comes one of them, smacking me in the face, and let me tell you, I do not appreciate it. Not one bit. I can’t accept that I’m at that point in my life already. I’m not old! My mind isn’t an adult yet. I lack the physical capacity to be an adult, so I’ve recently discovered. This isn’t happening. It can’t be. No.

But here I am, accepting half a banana from a friend one morning, and not throwing up. Eating almonds,walnuts, and cashews, when I used to joke about being a ‘food lesbian.’

Get it? Get it? Food lesbian?! HAH, I’m a riot, I know. Now calm down, it really wasn’t that funny.

Wait, I think there’s still hope. I’m not getting older. Maybe my tastes aren’t even changing. I’m just being more open to trying new things and retrying foods I said I didn’t like. Because I was a ridiculously picky kid. I used to just declare to dislike certain foods because they looked weird or somebody I liked said they didn’t like them.

I used to like bananas. I ate them everyday. But my mom told me that one day I just made a grand declaration of banana-hate, and acted as if I hadn’t eaten one just an hour before. And I’ve disliked them ever since.

I remember learning two separate, unrelated facts, and then merging them together to make my own wacky conclusions that somehow made sense to my kid-brain. Like,

Athlete’s foot is an infection caused by fungus           +          Mushrooms are a fungus

\                                                                           /

mushrooms grow on feet and people eat that…eww.

And…

Raisins are wrinkly          +          Old people are wrinkly

\                                                              /

There’s really no correlation besides raisins just reminding me of old people. Actually, I kinda thought they were harvested liver spots that fell off or something.

I was a strange child, I’m not going to act like I wasn’t. Leave me and little me alone.

I remember when I was a munchkin, my mom would always give me broccoli to eat for dinner, because it was one of the only green foods I would eat, except I didn’t like to eat the stalks. I ate them raw, and dipped them in ranch dressing. My mom wouldn’t let me leave the kitchen until I ate all of the stalks, because I’d eat the floret part and leave the rest on my plate. Whenever she’d walk out to go to the bathroom or answer the phone, I’d do everything I could to get rid of them.

Dog wouldn’t eat them.

Cat would lick off all the ranch dressing and then walk away.

She’d see them in the garbage.

I had to put them somewhere, and it wasn’t going to be my stomach.

Oooh I thought, she wouldn’t think to check the basement…

So when we moved out of that house, a year or two later and my mom was packing up all of our things, she noticed a really foul odor coming from a small pocket of space downstairs. The smell led her to this old vase in the rafters of the ceiling, filled to the brim with rotting broccoli stalks. Yeah, I got in big trouble.

I’m better about that now, though. I still don’t have a pet that will help me eat broccoli, so I’ve dealt with eating them in their entirety. So yeah, I’m not getting older. I’m just trying this new thing called “trying new things.”

And don’t even start with me, trying to say that’s a part of getting older too. No! I’m just an open-minded, young individual. I’m not getting older. That’s not a thing. Not for me.

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