52 Small Pursuits of Happiness in 2019: Week #6 – Try a New Food (Sushi, at Age 70+)
Our partner Camille, now in her 8th decade of life, has never tried sushi! Can you imagine? Yet if there is anything we have learned on our Boomer Connections journey, it is the importance of keeping an open mind and trying new things, no matter your age or long-held habits. Like so many of our pursuits of happiness, this one revolved around food!
The other day Camille and her friend Sue Kindred were out for lunch, trying to choose among the impressively large number of restaurants in our Richmond community. Sue suggested sushi. Camille grimaced. Raw fish? No way. Sue gently reminded Camille: Isn’t this 52 Small Pursuits series about trying new things? Well, yes. And so they made their way—Camille reluctantly—to Tokyo Joe on Patterson Avenue in Richmond to experience “the art of sushi.”
When faced with the menu, Camille wondered to herself and then openly to her friend: “What the hell is this? It’s a huge menu, full of names I don’t recognize. With no indication what was raw and what was cooked.” So, she asked questions, standing firm in her refusal to eat raw fish. She never actually realized, because her mindset had prevented her from exploring, that on any given sushi menu there are plenty of delicious, non-raw options.’
Camille dipped one toe in the water, figuratively speaking, and tried two new things:
- Sweet potato roll
- Richmond roll–a specialty roll made with cream cheese, avocado and shrimp
(Now here I reveal a bias of my own: sweet potatoes and cream cheese DO NOT belong in sushi! However, because Camille was willing to branch out, so am I, and next time I will order both of these.)
Guess what?! Camille ended up really enjoying her choices. She was thankful to Sue for prodding her to expand her horizons. In the “old days” she would have said absolutely no to sushi. Camille acknowledges that she has made progress, she is thinking differently, and is proud of that fact.
Will this experience change Camille’s outlook for trying new food in the future? Maybe. “As long as I know the basic ingredients, that is my requirement. I am feeling more adventurous, but I will not go crazy! I will not eat eel, for example!”
Final thought: “I thought sushi was all raw fish, no one ever told me otherwise and I never asked the question. I was surprised how much I liked it. I am sorry I waited so long!”
Here is the takeaway of our latest small pursuit: Don’t assume, ask questions, try new food… Maybe not eel.