Picture it: Someone and I walk in the door at Einstein Brothers on Saturday morning. The sales people look at us coming in and start putting together his breakfast sandwich consisting of sliced ham on an asiago bagel, no cheese. They wait for me to approach the counter as I always order something different than what I had last time. This is illustrative of our approach to things: Someone is quite regular in his ways and I look for novelty. “What do you have that is new and adventuresome?” I like to say to the bartender or waiter. When we go out anywhere, I know what he will order, often doing so for him while he is parking the car or in the loo. So which way is better? He scores 100% on being satisfied. I often get bombs and disappointments.

I’m sure it isn’t a shock to know as we age we become less likely to try unfamiliar things. When young, we see everything as a curiosity, something to experience. This boldness starts to drop off by our 30s. I hear tell if people haven’t had sushi by 35 years old, chances are slim they will ever try it. There is an evolutionary element to this: we need to find out early what is good/not good for us and stick with the familiar, to live long enough to have offspring. Now we are living longer way past our 30s, and the choices are now almost limitless as to what we can drink, eat, hear, see, and experience. Becoming set in our ways in our 30s means for sixty more years we aren’t going to be open to new things. Father, now in his 80s, has scores of CDs; now he listens to maybe twelve at most, over and over. On the other hand, Brother #3 finds it easy to cook for him, as he wants the same meals.

Thems who are regular in their ways and thems who seek novelty are like introverts vs. extroverts: both find each other’s mode of operation odd if not appalling. Poor Someone. Here’s another area if he had asked a few logical questions when we met he wouldn’t be saddled with somebody who is always looking for new and adventuresome recipes rather than a routine like Monday hot dish and Tuesday taco day, that sort of thing.

The downside to my approach is there is an element of discontent to seeking novelty. This pursuit can be endless and often comes with disappointment. On the positive, I’ve tried many things and I hope to experience as many as possible. My inner-Auntie-Mame is pleased. There is a part of me that doesn’t want to end up like Father eating grilled cheese sandwiches and soup every day for lunch. On the other hand, he’s content, and often I am not – so who’s the wiser?

The Christmas season is approaching. This time of year is always a challenge: does one go for tradition or novelty? I say if you can’t have tradition, have an adventure. What we will do this year at Christmas is yet to be determined.

Part of my Journey (and psychology) is constant striving towards individualism and growth. Will I be up to it in what time I have left? Next year I hope to spend my sixtieth birthday with chums who live in an island known for their seafood, particularly oysters. I’ve never had an oyster, fearing the hazards of raw foodstuffs. For that momentous occasion I’m planning on ordering just that. This may disappointing or a disagreeable, and if vibrio is present could mean a trip to the P.E.I. hospital for a birthday prize curtesy of Canadian national health care. At some point one one has to step out of one’s comfort zone and taking risks. I hope I don’t ever stop doing so.

Are you staunch in your ways? Are you one to try ‘today’s special?” Do tell in the comments.

Do I dare? Do I want to?