Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Of Milkshakes and Ice Cream

If I’m going to have one of those breakfast shakes, I want it to be strawberry. Chocoholic that I am, the chocolate is… too chocolate. Too sweet, or something.

Or maybe it just reminds me of the sleepover where we baked chocolate chip cookies the night before and had chocolate chip pancakes the next morning. Just thinking about it makes my stomach heave>

No, it’s about more than that, because whenever I go to Peter’s Drive-In, I always have a banana shake or strawberry or blueberry…

Never chocolate.

If we’re talking ice cream I never have strawberry. Or banana. No. I don’t think they make my favourite anymore – peanut butter and chocolate. After that, it’s mint chocolate chip, tin roof sundae, heavenly hash, cookies ‘n’ cream, cookie dough…

It’s funny to me how our tastes can be affected by form. I’ll eat apples, and apple crumble is delicious. But applesauce? Yuck.

It’s also funny to me how our tastes change over time. When I was a kid, asked what my favourite kind of pie was, I would probably have said apple. Assuming chocolate cream pie wasn’t an option.

Now? Pumpkin. Followed by strawberry-rhubarb.

Things like this can be hard to explain to other people. “But you like chocolate and you like breakfast shakes…”

“But I don’t like chocolate breakfast shakes.”

Well-meaning man walks away, shaking his head, because he doesn’t get it and I can’t explain it.

It just is.

I’ve been wondering about this for a number of reasons. Some might make more sense to you tomorrow. One I’ve wondered about for some time is whether or not we read books by people we know differently.

What I mean by that is, because I know the author and can talk to him, am I more critical? Looking for the things that can be commented on for improvement?

Or am I less critical, and only inclined to say what I like about the work?

I mean, if you’d never e-mail up an author you don’t know and tell them of a quirk of theirs that you don’t like, why would you mention it to a friend?

These are all the things to ponder. Sometimes, getting review copies can be a curse. An even greater curse is the manuscripts. See, I’ve learned not to pull my punches, because doing so isn’t helpful at that stage of the game.

But I’ve also learned to silence myself on more subjective areas of criticism. If I don’t like the name Tracy I’m going to keep it to myself if that’s your protagonist’s name. I mean, what good does saying anything do? Are you going to take a poll for a new name? Man, talk about torture. Ask 100 people, you’ll probably get at least 102 different answers…

I’m going to go back to mulling over tastes and form.

And moaning because the only breakfast shake left in the fridge is vanilla.


norby said...

Yeah, I get you. We just finished a carton of cookies and cream ice cream last night, so mom says 'Oh we'll have to get you some more tomorrow.' Uh, no. That's the flavor I wanted last time. Not next time. 'Kay?

She doesn't get it, she likes the same flavor every time.

I swear I'm adopted.

Sandra Ruttan said...

The other side of the 'my parents are aliens' mantra. I hear you.

RAC said...

When we deal with friends, we tend to make the walls a bit lower, to speak our minds more freely--which often leads to more truths being shared (or half-baked ideas, depending on the day.)

JamesO said...

I used to like prawn risotto. Makes me feel sick now just thinking about it. I've no idea why.

But vanilla's the best breakfast smoothie, so you were obviously saving it for last.

norby said...

You're really worried about this prawn risotto thing aren't you James?

Maybe you just ate it too many times. That happened to me when my mom made me eat tuna noodle casserole too much as a kid.

JamesO said...

Nope, that's not it, norby. It's a delicacy, something we only have once every three months or so. I pig out on chilli pretty much every fortnight and don't have a problem with it at all.

Hang on, shouldn't we be having this conversation over at Sir Benfro?