Wednesday, July 13, 2011

You Can Only Like One Thing

I am an omnivore; that doesn't mean I eat tin cans, or drink cola, but simply that I eat from all five food groups (six if you count chocolate) and do not restrict myself to one or two.  This simple fact seems unfathomable to a rather large group of people.  It has happened more than once, more than twice, even, that I've sat down to eat in the company of other human beings, who, seeing me select, say, chicken, broccoli, and milk, note, "Oh, you're a vegetarian."  They perceive this by virtue of my having deliberately, and not at gunpoint, chosen to include a vegetable in my meal.  They disregard the fact that I have also selected the flesh of an animal and some of its mammary fluids as well.

Okay, the above seems more a case of folks' not actually knowing what a vegetarian is than a case of their believing you have to like either one thing or another, and stick to your likes and eschew the remainder of the known and unknown universes.  However, I've also had folks exclaim, upon witnessing my enjoyment of, say, a Beethoven piano concerto, "I thought you liked rock 'n roll!"  Now, just as a broccoli floret does not negate the slab of chicken on my plate, a Beethoven concerto, while hard to hear if played simultaneously with any other piece of music, regardless of genre, does not in itself negate the possibility of its listener enjoying other genres.

I guess it's a matter of folks' expectations matching their own mental capabilities.  A singleminded person will expect me to like a single thing.  People with at least two brain cells to rub together will recognize the multiplicity of the aforementioned universes and the eclecticity of their enjoyable components.  There is enough crap around to dislike; why not also enjoy all there is to enjoy?

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