Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Acquired Taste

I FEEL like an oyster. Not because I'm small and slippery. Nor because I'm grey...(that is my hair colour if it wasn't coloured)! No, I feel like an oyster because someone has called my writing style "an acquired taste".

What's an acquired taste? Something you come to like following a period when you didn't. Indeed, you can start off with an intense dislike; and then bit by bit, it grows on you. After a while, you no longer experience the urge to gag. With time, you look forward to whatever it it. Ultimately, it becomes something you choose.

I think back on mushrooms, red wine, opera, mathematics and my ex-husband - all acquired tastes. Your list will necessarily be different.

The "acquired taste" may also suggest that one does it less for intrinsic reasons and more for instrumental gain - such as the associations that accrue. In this case, you may deliberately cultivate your taste because it's important that people know this side of you.

Since babies start off in Blandsville - think breast and whale sounds - most of life's experiences await acquisition. You could say that life itself is an acquired taste. (And then you die).

"Taste" has many meanings and when it means "keenly discriminating", we're on a slippery slope. I mean, do you know anyone who would say they have bad taste? Like "a good sense of humour" (GOSH) in the personal ads, everyone thinks they have one.

Yet, the inherent subjectivity of aesthetic judgment is grounded in the expression "there's no accounting for taste". What taste does, whether acquired or instantaneous, whether pro or contra, is put on display the sides of ourselves we want others to see.

My mother will call something "an acquired taste" when she doesn't want to eat it. Which of course brings me back to me and feeling like an oyster!

Children are sometimes an 'acquired taste'........Is this little boy?
Joseph playing in his new cubby house on Monday


mscherrylane said...

I enjoyed this post...actually (not that I eat oysters or shellfish so I wouldn't really know) when you said you feel like an oyster the first association that came to mind was that you are like the sparkly rainbow you see in the shells...or is that a different kind of shellfish shell?

I find music is an acquired taste. I find that the things I like instantaneously are not the things that are held as in high esteem as the things you listen over and over that grows on you eg a good example would be miles davis. on the other hand with people I think I feel more confident when I click from the beginning.

bluesky said...

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Check it out at http://www.aidtochildren.com

Poetikat said...

I for one LOVE oysters - so it's not surprising that I have not had to acquire a taste for your writing - it just tasted good from the start!


Anonymous said...

Very clever and original as usual.....I've acquired the taste....it may be a bit sophisticated but it has 'plenty of meat on it'!CJ

Caroline said...

Very interesting! I for one still have not acquired the taste for mushrooms! But yes, I have learned to love things that I never dreamed of. Great post!

McMGrad89 said...

Considering we are multifaceted people, a person encountering us for the first time might see us from one point of light much like a passing car with an iridescent paint job. At one moment it is green, then blue and then PURPLE! I like green, and blue but I love PURPLE. If I hadn't waited long enough to watch the entire array the passing car had to offer, I may have missed something that truly appealed to me. Similarly, a person reading a blog for the first time might read about a topic that doesn't necessarily touch their hearts exactly the way it touches someone else, yet they hang on from entry to entry because something the author has to say rings true in the core of their being. In the end, that person becomes a "follower" because they have seen several sides of us, not just the first impression.

As far as mushrooms and oysters go, I am not a fan. And after XX years :-) I don't think I will, but that's okay. There's so many other things out there yet to try.

So Here's to Trying New Things in a New Year!

miss amy said...

Your writing is wonderful, scrumptious from the first bite!

imbeingheldhostage said...

wow. ouch.
and here I was thinking that your writing--your blog is so different, it's like a peaceful place to stop by when everything else is too much.