Politeness

I've discovered a few things through the mere act of being polite. I was thinking about this tonight as I was cooking. I realized that all three dishes that I was making were things that I had discovered that I liked through politeness. I'll go chronologically here...

Dish # 1 Potato Salad - circa summer 1998
I didn't used to like potato salad. Or I didn't think that I liked it. I think it was mostly because it turns out that I'm not a big fan of the tangy zip of Miracle Whip but I don't mind regular old mayonnaise. Anyway, my dad and I were in Summerside visiting my Great Aunt Flo (sister of Great Aunt Dot and my grandmother Bea - now are those classic Canadian country names or what???). Aunt Flow decided to feed us even though we had, as usual, stopped by unexpected. I think that's just something with my father's family - they are of the old school that family is permitted to stop by unexpected and when you show up you are to be fed. So of course Aunt Flo fed us. Aunt Flo is a very sweet old lady and I didn't want to hurt her feelings and seem like an ungrateful young thing, but I wasn't really a fan of what she gave us. It was essentially a cold plate with potato salad, sliced tomato and something else that I can't remember (I think it was sliced bread but I'm not positive). I can still kind of picture the plate - not in crisp detail but I can tell you where each of the foods was located on the plate. Of the two things that I can remember I didn't like either of them. Now not wanting to be rude I decided that I could probably choke down the potato salad easier than the tomato. So I forked my tomato over to my father with my apologies to Aunt Flo and prepared to eat the potato salad. Lo and behold I actually liked it!!! And I have ever since that day. I've had a variety of different types and I haven't yet met one that I haven't liked. That's not to say that I'm not leery of a few of the recipes out there - ketchup in potato salad just seems *wrong*. And so right now I have a bowl of potato in my salad to eat for lunch over the next couple of days.

Dish #2 Devilled Eggs - circa summer 2000
A former friend of mine, let's call her Jen, was hosting a crystal party. A crystal party is like a Tupperware party but with, well, crystal. lol My cousin had the first party and my mother made me host a party for her and Jen was hosting a party for me. I went over early to help out with preparations. Jen always liked to put on a show so she needed help. She was making crab salad (which I did NOT eat) and devilled eggs which she considered to be fancy. There were other things on the menu but those were her big things. Now unfortunately not a lot of people showed up for the party so there was a ton of food and we were all ordered to eat lots. I do (or at least did...jury is still out on this) like crab at all. I used to be very anti-seafood. So I was forced to eat the devilled eggs - again because I didn't want to be rude. She was, after all, hosting this party for me. So I ate them. And I liked them. And I get *severe* cravings for them every now and then. I was hard boiling eggs tonight to make egg salad (Dish #3) and to put in my potato salad so I threw a couple extra in the pot to eat for dinner tonight. Yum! The only problem with devilled eggs is that you suddenly realize that you've just eaten four whole eggs (well, tonight 3...). And if anyone is wondering why Jen is a "former" friend - she had a nasty habit of trying to sleep with my ex's and decided to not wait until I broke up with one of them...

Dish #3 - Egg Salad - circa summer 2002
I didn't think that I liked egg salad. I had just discovered in the last couple of years that I liked the two above dishes so it's not a stretch to think that I would like egg salad. But I don't really love eggs to begin with. I was helping my friend Chris pack up her apartment. I had stayed over the night before she moved and finished packing up her kitchen for her (errr - after we had gone to a pool hall and been bought drinks by someone we are pretty convinced was a gang member...). We had also gone out for dinner the night before. She had *no* food in the apartment the next morning and her phone line was dead so she had to run out to buy a phone minute card for her cell and try to find something for breakfast. The convenience store that she went to didn't have anything particularly breakfasty. The closest she could find was a single egg salad sandwich. There is no way I could not eat it as she was obviously stressed out enough about other things. So we split the egg salad sandwich. I didn't love it, but it was definitely edible. Skip ahead two months later, I was helping her move again (into a condo this time - she had been staying with her brother for that two month gap). Her mother provided a cooler full of food and drinks during the move (it was an intensive move and I hope to never, ever experience one like it ever again). Chris's parents live on a farm and have chickens that lay lots of eggs so her mother made egg salad sandwiches. I knew that I could eat them so didn't think too much of it but I wasn't really expecting to like them. But they were yummy! Now I won't say that I've loved every single egg salad sandwich I've had since them but I've found that homemade egg salad tends to be pretty tasty. I made my friend LJ's egg salad tonight (actually it's her mother's recipe I think...) and I'll be having that for lunch over the next few days along with my potato salad.

(Since the potato salad incident I've also come to realize that I like tomatoes. I had never been against tomato sauce (and homemade stewed tomatoes) but never liked fresh tomatoes in any form. I can't remember how that happened - it was a gradual thing.)

So there are three dishes that I discovered that I liked through the mere act of being polite. The moral of the story is that through politeness you can discover things that you never thought you'd like and like things that you never thought you'd want to discover.