That dog's sneer directed at tomatoes is something I can relate to, as an eater who has long hated standalone tomatoes by themselves, in salads, on pizza. I remember first telling friends about this hatorade I was sipping and most of my friends couldn't wrap their heads around this dislike of their fave veggie. Especially my Italian friends.
But that's the thing about taste. It's difficult for us to conceive that what we adore and find oh so flavourful could be someone else's mouth-swamp. While I notice this happens a lot with food, this imbalance in taste acceptance also targets music, film, mode of transportation and even place-of-residence preferences.
For example, a colleague once told me he couldn't understand why I live downtown. "The chaos, the smell, all those people!" he opined quite unconvincingly. I told him I thought the same about those who live in the burbs, but the issues I highlighted were boredom, lack of arts venues, cookie-cutter neighbourhoods, a disconnect with your community, auto culture and so on. He scoffed and said he much prefers that to the dirtiness of downtown living.
Someone's been watching too many movies.
Here's the rub: I was doing the same thing I detested other people do. Judging where someone lives is foolish, because they like what they like, you like what you like and it's as simple as that. Some folks feel more comfortable in completely different settings than you do, so why speculate aloud their motivations or criticize them for preferences far from your own?
I think I know why. We like to "other" people, even if they are our friends. Maybe it makes us feel more comfortable in our own routine. My friends who love tomatoes couldn't understand why I hate them, so they wanted to make sure I was "other" to them, someone who chose to leap outside the circle of normal and acceptance.
The next time you hear about a preference or distaste that isn't in line with your own character, don't be so quick to dismiss them and wonder in faux awe how they came to this mind-bending conclusion. You'll be better off recognizing that taste is just one of the many stars in a person's solar system.
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