When I first wrote The Chick List all those months ago, there was one thing I was more frightened of than anything else. And it wasn’t the speed dating. Or the crime.
It was the fish.
I am terrified, absolutely TERRIFIED, of trying new foods.
The list of foods I’ve never tried include olives (black and scary), oysters (slimy and scary), avocado (green, slimy and scary), beetroot (red, slimy and scary) and up until last week, tuna.
I don’t know where the fear originated from. I am aware of how irrational it is. But the thought of putting something in my mouth that has the potential to taste bad absolutely petrifies me.
Plus, (and I’m getting on my high horse here), it seems like a waste. Why use up valuable stomach space on things I might not like when there are brownies, bread and Bailey’s in the world?
Now up until a year ago, I was under the misguided idea that it was the things I HADN’T done that made me interesting. I’d never ridden a horse. I’d never been sunburnt. I’d never been to a music festival. I’d never eaten guacamole.
And you know what? There IS some value in not doing things. I’m stoked that I’ve never smoked a cigarette. I’m pretty pleased I’ve never worn socks with sandals. And I’m proud to say that in 29 years, I’ve never murdered anyone. Like, EVER.
But when I started this adventure, I realised that those other things – the places I hadn’t been, the experiences I hadn’t had, the foods I hadn’t tasted, didn’t make me a more interesting person. That I shouldn’t be defined but what I HADN’T done or DIDN’T try. That the only person who was missing out was me.
That said, I still wasn’t rushing out to buy tuna.
The thing about tuna is, IT STINKS. Eating canned tuna in a workplace should be declared illegal. And no matter how many people have told me that it tastes good, I’ve never been able to get over that smell. It’s utterly, utterly disgusting.
If it had been left up to me, it would have been the last thing to be ticked off the list. Or conveniently forgotten all together.
But my housemate planned a sneak attack.
She offered to cook tea. The hot plate clicked on. And when I wandered over to ask what we were having, she gave me a guilty look.
“Tuna steaks,” she said, with an air of defiance. “It’s time, Claire.”
I’m not going to lie. My stomach did a little flip. After 29 years of solid Tuna Fear, the moment of truth was mere minutes away.
I wondered if there was anyway I could refuse. Could I pretend to be sick? Hide in my room? Just flat out run away?
But I knew I had to stay. Trying tuna would make me a better person. Plus, I’d have something to blog about!
It was served up. As I lifted up my pink cutlery to take my first bite, I had a moment of sadness. I would never again be The Girl Who Hadn’t Tried Tuna. I would be just like everyone else. And I was about to taste something that could potentially be totally, totally gross.
I took my first bite.
And you know what? Tuna’s not that bad.
Kinda tastes like chicken.