In the movie Runaway Bride, Julia Roberts’ character has no clue as to how she likes to eat eggs. Engaged to be married a handful of times and ditching each schmo at the altar repeatedly, she is a woman who morphs into her “man”. In each relationship, she conformed her own “likes” to whomever she was attached, assuming their preferences as her own. I remember watching this movie and thinking she was retarded. How do you reach adulthood and not know the answer to this simple question, “How would you like your eggs?” Again…”How would YOU like YOUR eggs?”
The problem for a person like myself is that I know how I like my eggs. At least, I know how I have liked them for the last 30 some odd years. I ate them scrambled dry. Except….I now like over-easy and poached and hardboiled. At seventeen when I went off to college, I had never eaten raw tomato slices on a sandwich. We’d eat fried green tomatoes but to add a thick slice of beefsteak tomato to a sandwich was foreign. It’s something I learned from my college boyfriend and still love to this day. My point is that even if I have always liked something a particular way, my tastes can change. In fact, I want them to change. It means I continue to develop and differentiate. It also means that that people can’t assume that they know me, at least not by how I DO things. They also can’t wedge me into a place and demand I perpetually do things the same way I have always done them. I didn’t drink coffee until medical school, I was indoctrinated into the Band of Bean while in my third year of med school. There was a Dunkin Donuts just outside the emergency room of Jackson Memorial where I did my ER rotations. This was pre-SB and D2 ruled. I love coffee now. But I don’t drink tea and for a southern girl, not drinking sweet iced tea is comparable to being ignorant of the ways of the Moonpie. It’s just southern blasphemy.
I want to explore new places. I want to re-examine those things and beliefs even I have assumed are just my standard operating procedures. If I change how I eat my eggs or I learn to eat sushi (the real stuff and not just the sushi-esque crab rolls) or I stop speeding when I drive or I stop fearing the dentist or I consistently floss my teeth or I stop expecting absurd levels of productivity from myself or I learn to drink bourbon…..these are genuine changes from how I have been for a long, long time. And it doesn’t mean I have changed. It just means I am learning new tricks. You can teach a dog new tricks. The key is to TEACH and not expect the dog to learn by osmosis.