21 December 2009

Have Your Tastes Changed?

Hey, Friends! Happy Christmas week! Or as the sweet orphans say in India, "Happy Marry Christmas" (complete with the unique spelling)!

They say our taste buds change every seven years. I definitely believe that. I'm such a picky eater and my stomach problems don't help the situation at all. This isn't a good combination for a missionary, because you're expected to eat whatever is put before you, from chicken intestines (oh yes I did!) to turtle (YUM!). Needless to say, my taste buds have changed a lot! The first time I came home and told my mom I liked onions, she was speechless. When I got excited about chili, she looked at me like I'd grown nine heads. I have so many new treasures--avocadoes, certain kinds of soup (never was a fan of food I couldn't chew--and I have this thing about mixing food), omeletes (same with the mixing). It makes me very happy and keeps my mom wondering if I'm actually the daughter she gave birth to or a really good extraterrestrial replacement.

Other tastes have changed over the years as well. I never was a big fan of Christmas music until I spent a Christmas season in Africa. Even then, I didn't want to hear it because all my team wanted to play were songs about snow. It was ninety degrees outside. But when I came back to the States three days before Christmas, I couldn't get enough of it. The next year, the same. This year, I've played Christmas music every day since December rolled around (never before--never, never, never!). I've even purchased some for my ipod. GASP! Unthinkable!

Have your tastes changed over the years? Have your characters' tastes?

I started thinking about this heavily the other night. You've Got Mail was on and it's probably one of the only Christmas movies I will watch aside from Narnia (I don't know why, I just never liked Christmas movies. And I'm not a huge chick flick fan). But I love this movie for the writing/book aspect. And I pretty much like anything Tom Hanks is in. His characters are awesome. (By the way, I consider it a Christmas movie because it's always on that time of year and a huge portion of the movie is set during that season, but I'm not altogether sure if it's classified as such).

So, I'm watching this movie, half in the the story and half out, thinking how dated it is. I mean, look at the technology, Meg Ryan's clothes/hair, the lighting, etc. And does anyone talk on IM anymore? I use skype, but that's it. But it struck me that the conflict in the story is still going on today. Kathleen Kelly (Meg Ryan) owned a book store called "Around the Corner". It was in business for forty-two years and was as much a part of her as it was her heritage. Joe Fox (Tom Hanks) built a book superstore nearby that sold the same books at a cheaper price, and she began to lose business.

At first, Kathleen couldn't believe that anyone would go to Fox Books. She had a relationship with her customers. They'd known each other--and her mother--for years. Books weren't just a way of making money to her. They were friends too--and her customers viewed them the same way. But their tastes changed, or their pocketbooks protested really loudly, and Kathleen had to close.

We don't have many speciality book stores in my area. All we have are the major ones scattered across the US. But we have something now some of us probably didn't see coming: E-books and of course, the new movement in self-publishing. Neither of these were around in Kathleen Kelly's time, which was barely a decade ago. If you'd told her or Joe Fox what was coming, they probably would have laughed.

But our culture has changed. And with it, so have our tastes.

It'll be interesting to see what rises to the top.

Right now, I can't imagine ever choosing an e-book over a "real" one. I can see myself buying an e-book as a supplement to the "real" one, so that I have it with me when I travel overseas, but not as the top choice. Then again, that's paying twice for one book--even more money. A digital reader is just something else to steal overseas, another thing you have to pray you'll find electricty for just to charge it. But maybe when the technology gets a bit better, the prices plummet, and other stars align--who knows? Maybe my tastes will change.

After all, I never thought I'd eat onions, let alone intestines.

What do you think?

See y'all Wednesday!


  1. My tastes have changed with age. The older I get the more open I am to adventure- strange huh?! I'm anxious to see what new thing I jump to next!

    Merry Christmas Kristen!

  2. I never say never anymore. Life is too short for such restrictions. I will just have to wait and see what I think of ebooks when I am faced with that choice. They have not really made their way over to OZ yet.

  3. My tastes don't change that much. I've had the same favorite food since I was a kid! But I do know what you mean about times changing.

    On a different note... I didn't realize You've Got Mail was a Christmas movie. I haven't seen it in a while, but now I'm scratching my head.

  4. My tastes don't change very much, but I totally see what you mean about e-books. I can't imagine one, but if they become the default and they're cheaper...then it may be what I get used to. Can you imagine libraries becoming digitalized? *shudder*

  5. Yikes. You ate what??? you ate turtle? chicken intestines?? I don't know if my tastes have changed much...I tend to eat the same things everyday but I have noticed my kid's tastes have changed which totally floors me. Have a great week Kristen...can't wait to read your next post. Sarah

  6. I'm w/ Katie...I didn't know You've Got Mail was a Christmas movie. I will always want to hold a book in my hands...that is until someone buys me a Kindle and I try that. ;)

    Never say never.
    ~ Wendy

  7. Well first, I absolutely agree about Tom Hanks. My daughter and I just talked about him yesterday, when she realized he voices characters in The Polar Express and Toy Story. She likes him a lot, and he's one of my favorites, too. You've Got Mail is an excellent movie!

    I've never heard the seven-year thing. But have noticed that the older one gets, the more likely they are to enjoy different things. I've noticed it especially with food, for my husband and myself.

    Merry Christmas, Kristen!

  8. Wow, Kristen, Christmas as a missionary in Africa, eating innards... do make sure you write something autobiographical one day so we can all get the whole story!

    Good question in your post. No one yet has answered about literary tastes, which I find is the area where I acquire new tastes most frequently. As I get new ideas for novels they draw me into reading about subjects I wouldn't have thought I'd be interested in, and so a new genre suddenly opens up (my most recent is detective fiction, which has always left me cold). So like Tabitha I never say never any more!
    Merry Christmas!

  9. We've done a lot of traveling, and am so with you, only I don't ask and don't look too closely. So not sure what I've eaten, but know I've tasted intestines a few times, very chewy. But my tastes, yes, they've changed, many many times. I hope they always do. My kids, teenagers, have taken so easily to new technologies, I sometimes don't have to make the decision, it's just easier to go with the flow.

  10. Me too, Tamika! Although, I still hate change. Hmmm... such a contradiction. I seem to be full of them!

    Yeah, I've learned the hard way never to say never too, Tabitha. Sometimes I hope that by not saying never, it still won't happen!

    Katie and Wendy... I don't really know if it is. I classify it as such personally because the majority of the movie is set at Christmas and it always seems to be on tv then. I made my chocolate covered cherries one year watching it. But I guess I could be wrong. I'm going to modify the post to say that.

    I know, Jessica! What a scary thought!

    Thanks, Sarah! The intestines weren't that great... just chewy. I'd never request them, definitely! But the turtle was amazing. I highly recommend them!

    That's so funny how that happens, Janna! And I hope Tom Hanks does many more movies!

    That's interesting how even our literary tastes change, Roz! I've definiely seen it too in myself. I guess the more we know about ourselves the more we're able to venture out?

    Yes, JD--chewy! Not too bad, but definitely not on my menu of favorites. I was scared about being sick after that one. I guess when you have kids it's completely different. I know so many parents who are just trying to keep up with their kids. This digital age is crazy!

    Thanks, Sarah!

  11. I agree with you about the ebook. I can't imagine a universe where I'd pick it over a real book, but stranger things have happened.

  12. Our tastebuds change every 7 years? I'd never heard that! I saw part of "You've Got Mail" a couple of months ago and thought the same thing...it's a conflict that's still raging today. I'm not sure even then they realized how much the Internet would change the face of retail.

  13. I love it when she's sitting in the giant book store and the woman asks about the shoes. The clerk doesn't have a clue, and through her tears, she tells the woman all about the series. It shows the wonderful connection this character had to books. (Something I understand all too well.)

    As for tastes changing, they sure do. I never thought I'd like avacado, and now I love it.

  14. What a great post, Kristen! We have to learn to try new things, or we might starve ourselves! Publishing is changing and if we don't learn to adjust, we might possibly kill ourselves out of a career.

  15. That's what my sister-in-law told me a few weeks ago, Stephanie. I thought I'd heard it somewhere like school, but it's been a million years since I took science and health. :0)

    Always leave space for the super strange. That's what I say, Patti! You never know what will happen.

    Me too, Tara. Love avocadoes. And that's a great scene.

    Thanks, Jody! Being flexible is so important in this business. Stretching like this will keep us from breaking when the big changes come!

  16. Kristen, I love the movie, You've Got Mail, too, but I never considered it a Christmas movie before.

    My tastes have broadened through the years. I enjoy such a variety of foods now. Not so good for the weight, though.

  17. I wanted to thank you for all your kind comments as I recover from my surgery and also that you may have a blessed Christmas.

  18. My tastes change in everything--from food, to movies and even clothes that were my favorites last year, I'm looking at this year, thinking, "Why did I wear that so much?" LOL

    I love You've Got Mail, too. But what happened to the storyline? They had this great conflict--he destroying her busines and great reminder of her mother--which then fizzled into "That's okay. I guess I'll write a book now." LOL

  19. I will embrace change, I will embrace change, I will embrace change...

    My tastes in food haven't changed that much, but my tastes in movies and literature have grown since I started blogging.

    I love the old B and W's with splendid story lines and flawless acting, and novels that sing me to sleep. Go figure. You fiction fiends have rubbed off on me. Not such a bad thing.

    Love this post, Kristen!

  20. Sounds like some interesting things have crossed your pallatte! My girlfriend is a missionary in Nepal. Bless you for all your work and your beautiful post. XOXO

  21. I'm okay with change. I think I'll always want to hold some books in my hand, but I'm also okay with reading on a Kindle. It's actually kind of cool to know that I can carry like 50 books with me at a time when I travel and stuff.

  22. My tastes haven't changed all that much except to include new things...like I need more calories. lol

    You've Got Mail is a favorite of mine and just for fun, I like to contrast it with the original, The Little Shop Around the Corner with Jimmy Stewart.


  23. Hi Kristen -

    I also have a reputation as a picky eater. The first time my Mom saw me eat broccoli she almost fainted.

    Having spent many hours in libraries and bookstores, the ebook readers seem...fake. I don't know if that makes any sense. So what if I can carry around 20 books at a time. I can only read one at any given moment.

    I've read a book and parts of books on my home computer. It's not the same as turning the pages of a real book. The textures, the fonts, the slick covers aren't there.

    I won't say, "never," but I will say, "highly unlikely."

    Susan :)

  24. Hey, Susan J! I'm with you on the highly unlikely. That's true. You really only can read one at a time. I really think travel is the only reason I'd want one in the future, even though I don't want one now.

    Ha! That's funny, Karen! That's one reason I don't eat salads very often. I love them, but I never eat just a salad. It's always on the side of something... like an appetizer, because I eat it first. When it comes down to it, it's healthy but it's just more calories!

    Yeah, I can see the pull for travel, Heather! Especially with all the weight restrictions nowadays. Definitely convenient. And I think you were the person who mentioned on another blog how great they were while in classes. I never thought of that. Sounds like a great reason too!

    Thank you so much, T.Anne!

    Ha, Jeannette, that's hilarious! Woohoo for fiction! :0)

    That's a great point, Jennifer. She does handle the dissolution of her business a little too well. Maybe we should rewrite the ending to add more angst... but she still gets Tom Hanks. :0)

    You are so welcome, JungleMom!

    I know that problem all too well, Eileen! Sometimes I wish I only liked fruits and vegetables. :0)

  25. I suspect those who don't embrace at least some change will find themselves at a disadvantage. My 88-year-old neighbour said a couple years ago, "All the information I used to have to search for is now apparently available by using a computer. My friends think I'm a dinosaur because I don't have one." So she had me get one for her and teach her how to use it. That's embracing change! I don't know that the changes I've made in my life look very significant compared to that.

  26. One of my strengths is adaptability and so while change can stretch me, I can accept it and go with the flow. I think we all have to adapt to some degree. Download seems to be the prefered choice in music...who's to say the same won't be true of books at some point? All very interesting stuff!
    p.s. I LOVE You've Got Mail!

  27. That's so true, Sherrinda! I was thinking about that last night... how an e-reader seems a lot like an ipod at the moment. Did we ever think Ipods wouldn't work? Or resist them? I didn't, except for the price. I do know that I purchase the actual cd's of artists I truly love. Maybe that'll be my move with a Kindle? :0)

    Wow, Carol, that is embracing change! What a courageous woman! I'd love to meet her one day!

  28. Heck yea! There are a lot of things I like/do now that are different from when I was younger (I STILL won't eat onions, though). I think that's part of the fun and benefit of growing older. :)