That too is the fault of the Sushi People. Now that you have it in your mind that sushi is the enlightened food of the upper middle class, those who resist it are both gauche and ignorant. So when you ask a Sushi Opposer to eat the stuff, you immediately assume that the person has never tried it, or that they dislike it because their tastebuds have not advanced beyond a Popeye’s 2 Piece Fried Chicken with Biscuit dinner. “What do you mean you don’t want to go get sushi?!?! It’s sushi!” My point exactly. It’s sushi.
The very first time I tried sushi (and as inferred by the post I made on QOD, I have tried it several times) my brother gave me the following advice “Prepare yourself for this. You are about to fill your mouth with raw fish. If you can resist the gag reflex long enough, it’s actually pretty good.” This is not something I want to bear in mind before I eat anything. If I am going to eat something, I would like to savor, chew, and swallow in small pieces. I do not want to have to hold my nose, relax my throat muscles and push. This is not a way I want to spend time, calories or money – which is an important factor, since unless you work for a frivolous flash-in-the-pan internet company where eating out with the company means eating out on the company, this “edible art” will cost you upwards of $20 per sitting. You might as well pay twenty bucks to stuff cotton down your throat.
At my previous job, which may come as no surprise, was at a frivolous flash-in-the-pan internet company, sushi was a biweekly event. The troops would organize themselves for the sushi trip at around 11am, because if you got to the sushi place after 11:30, forget about getting a table (or any of the prizes they must have been giving out after the meal…I know we never got any, but they must give something away. There’s no way sushi alone could draw so many people). From the time the sushi trip was proposed until departure, every employee of the company would wander past my cubicle and ask me if I wanted to go get sushi. My answer was always no. I would be scorned with the obligatory “What do you mean you don’t want to go get sushi?!?! It’s sushi! Haven’t you tried it?!?!?!” I would patiently explain that I had tried sushi, and while I didn’t dislike it, I didn’t particularly like it and that there were many other things that I would rather spend my lunch hour consuming. More disbelief followed, and finally I would make an analogy that stuck: If you asked me to go to Outback and I said that I didn’t eat steak, the conversation would end with a polite “okay.” Vegetarianism or health reasons would be assumed and the issue would be dropped. But because it’s sushi, I’m crazy and low class.
I finally had to post a sign above my desk that stated: No, thank you, I would prefer not to get sushi. On sushi day, the sign was pointed to often. Then people thought it was funny to ask me on non-sushi days if I wanted sushi.
Finally one day in the sunset of the company’s short life, I conceded to go get sushi. From the response I got from my co-workers, I might as well have been conceding to communism or homosexuality. “MEGAN’S GOING TO TRY SUSHI!!! I wanna be there when Megan first eats sushi!” (how many times did I have to tell them that I’ve tried it before?). I explained to them again that the reason I hadn’t gone in the past was not due to a dislike for sushi, but a dis-love for it. I just don’t care about sushi. I don’t care how good anyone says it is. I don’t care that by not loving sushi, I might as well bite the bullet and buy that darn trailer. I just don’t care for the stuff.
But for some reason, that answer only became acceptable after I agreed to go. As if the people around me truly did not believe that I was indifferent towards it until after I agreed to eat it. Do people only believe you’re a vegetarian until they see you eat meat? Do they only believe you’re afraid of flying until you agree to go to Hawaii? I know I’m not alone in this. There are plenty of people out there who just don’t give a damn about sushi. But those Sushi People will never let us live it down.