I was a kid I was a picky eater. The battles between me and my dad over whether or not I was going to eat my green peas are legendary and epic. (And yes, now I love green peas and harass restaurants that don't serve it often enough, an irony that is not lost on my father.)
As a teenager I pretty much lived on peanut butter and cheese sandwiches. As a young man I became a vegetarian and for a time a vegan.
Picky, picky, picky.
But raising kids in general and particularly picky eater kids changed me. Watching them turn up their noses at stuff they'd never even tasted or picking their food apart because they thought they might have spotted a microgram of an onion or something else from the vegetable kingdom in it convinced me that I did not want to be a picky eater any more. I wanted to learn to love more food, all food. In just the past two or three years I have learned to appreciate beets, plums, bananas, figs, peaches, fish, shrimp, pumpkin, broccoli, kale and quinoa. I eat beef and pork now too, although every time I eat it I know it means I'm going to have to spend a little more time in either Hindu or Muslim hell, respectively.
But there are still a few things I haven't worked up the courage or the desire to try -- shellfish, mostly. And I can't get out of it any more by reminding people that God hates shellfish. (see Leviticus chapter 11, verses 9-12) . I might as well include the Christian one in my afterlife tour of hells. (Although the bad thing about the Christian hell as opposed to the Hindu hell is that it's forever, Hindu Hell is temporary.)
Anyway, this weekend we had a party for my father-in-law's 60th birthday. And it was an oyster roast. And I knew I had to give the slimy mucus creatures a chance.
The first one was not as revolting as I thought it would be, i.e. it didn't make me hurl immediately. But it was gooey and unappetizing. Someone said they didn't want gooey oysters (the only kind there was as far as I knew) and the next batch was cooked longer. And I tried one of those two and I can tell you that a chewy oyster is worse than a gooey oyster.
But I proved I'm not picky or afraid of shellfish hell.