When I set out to write today’s post, all I could think about was McDonalds. Odd, yes, but when you’ve been really good about avoiding fast food for over two months and you finally sit down to what used to be a perfectly edible meal of french fries, chicken nuggets, and a bite of your husband’s cheeseburger and it tastes like grainy glue and cardboard, it’s hard to forget.
But if you think about it, there are a lot of things in life that we’re used to out of constant exposure. Some might taste terrible were we trying them for the first time or just be okay. As a kid, you get hooked on happy meals and their like because of the “free” toy inside. For that, you can choke down food until you get used to it.
Zia, Scott O’Dell’s sequel to The Island of the Blue Dolphins, has a great example of this. When Karana, the heroine from the first novel, encounters her niece, Zia, at the mission and is given a bed to sleep on, she can’t. She’s spent so long sleeping on the ground that what we would consider comfort, a soft mattress, she finds intolerable.
It’s safe to say that humans are wonderfully adaptive creatures, for we can grow accustomed to a huge range of activities, foods, habits, and more. What examples can you think of in fiction and life?