Today's quirk: "Seafood Aversion"
Some may say that an aversion falls more appropriately under personal taste, rather than a quirk -- and that may be true -- but let me explain just how deep my aversion to seafood runs.
When I tell people that I don't eat seafood, I am almost always met with the typical response of, "Yeah, I'm not much for seafood either; just fish, clams, and oysters." I then usually choose to re-emphasize my previous statement: "I don't eat ANY seafood." Often times, this is met with a retort of "Right, I hear you. But you like crab and shrimp, I'm sure?"
At this point, my brow is furrowed. "What part of 'I don't eat ANY seafood' are you failing to comprehend?!"
"Now you're getting it!"
I'm not sure why, but most people just can't handle the fact that someone who does in fact eat meat, like myself, doesn't also eat any kind of seafood. I don't choose to not eat seafood for any religious or ethical reasons. I just don't freaking like it.
So how did this come about? Truthfully, I'm not really sure. The weird reality is that I've eaten most kinds of seafood before, so contrary to popular belief, I do have a clear understanding of what seafood tastes like. I used to love fish, especially tuna, and I've tried lobster, and various other kinds of seafood. My parents also tell me that when I was a baby, I stuffed my face with shrimp.
So why the sudden repulsion?
I think somewhere along the lines, the smell of seafood just started to gross me out, and the taste followed right along with that sentiment. To this day, I still remember the last tuna fish sandwich that I ever ate. I think I was around 8 or 9. I stopped eating my sandwich half way through, put it down on the plate, and never wanted another one. Ever.
And as for the argument that I've "mentally decided" I don't like seafood and therefore my body won't let me, this has also been proven false. On more than one occasion, I have unintentionally put shrimp or a piece of fish in my mouth, only to spit it out in disgust upon tasting it.
So how deep does my seafood aversion run today? Let's see.
- Well for starters, if seafood happens to be put on my plate, I usually cannot eat whatever else is on the plate, as the smell is just too much for me.
- If seafood gets put on my plate and happens to touch what I was planning to eat, then forget it. That's right out! (Side note: to avoid being extremely rude at a friend's house last year, I mentally psyched myself up enough to pick through rice that had shrimp in it -- I somehow got through it while chugging massive amounts of iced tea in the process).
- If my wife eats any kind of seafood, I ask her -- before she comes near me -- to wash her hands and the outside of her mouth with soap, gargle with mouthwash, and brush her teeth.
- To me, the scariest part of the Tom Hanks movie, Castaway, was not the plane crash or the thought of being separated from loved ones, but being forced to eat practically nothing but fish and crab for four years.
So is this sounding a little more like a quirk now? I thought so. Overall, my seafood aversion hasn't posed too much of a life nuisance, as I simply just avoid eating it. And thankfully, I have company in this area, as my mother is exactly the same way. In fact, if she and I were ever stranded on a deserted island as the sole survivors of a plane crash, we'd have a tough time deciding who gets to eat Wilson.