To Me, All Pickles Are Sweet

Recently, I spied a vat of pickled okra on a co-worker’s desk. Sam’s Club special. You can imagine the size.

This may be a surprise to you, but I am not familiar with okra. I know what it looks like, and I ate a bit of fried okra once at a buffet, but that people would take the effort to pickle it was news to me. This led to the inevitable conversation about okra (okay, inevitable for me, maybe. I don’t know what you talk about with your co-workers) and the inevitable invitation to try one when the vat was unsealed.

Later that week, I received the call and skipped my way to the other building to try a new food. We have forks at the office, so I kept my trusty chopsticks in my purse and took my first tentative bite.

It was dill-pickled okra. I don’t like dill. I like sweet.

I kept it in my mouth. I even managed to swallow past the shock, which I’m sure my co-worker appreciated since she was in the line of fire.

See, it didn’t say “dill-pickled okra” on the vat. Had it done so, I would never have agreed to try one. This led to the inevitable conclusion, that, to me, all pickles are sweet.

Why? Because that’s what I know. That’s what I like. And that’s what I expect, when I eat something pickled.

How often does preconception get in the way? There was nothing wrong with the okra. It hadn’t lied to me about itself. It wasn’t even wrong for it to be dill.  I’m sure as far as dill-pickled okra goes, it was great. It had a surprisingly firm pickle-like texture. It just wasn’t what I expected, and it threw me off.

It happens in non-pickle-related ways, too. I start expecting certain things and when those things don’t turn out as expected, I get thrown off. I start wondering what went wrong, and who tricked me into this, and how can people survive if they don’t see the world the way I do?

Pickles come in dill and sweet (upon reflection, the okra was more bread-and-buttery than dill). Events come in expected and unexpected. Life does what it does and I’m along for the ride, no matter what I think I’m doing. My reaction is all I can control, and, believe me, it’s hard enough most days to keep a straight face while swallowing a dill pickle.

What about you, dear readers? What’s one of  your “unexpected” moments? Was it dill, sweet or bread-and-butter?

About Robynn Tolbert

Born in Kansas and born again at age six, Robynn has published two novels and started her third. Robynn, aka Ranunculus Turtle, lives in Kansas with a clowder of cats, a patient dog and a garden.

18 comments on “To Me, All Pickles Are Sweet

  1. …immediate connection to preconceptions about the content of a novel, based on its blurb or packaging… Amazon’s most irate reviewers are those who did not get what they expected, such as finding a book to be “too Christian” – and that definition changes like the wind, doesn’t it.
    These midnight ramblings brought to you by a full day of heavy rain, a thousand holiday photos, and the letter E (just because).

    • Staying up late has made you silly, Grace :). That’s a good thing! Hah!

      • Oi! It was only midnight when I wrote that. You want silly, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

        By the way, I have only ever heard of this fabled okra stuff and I’m not sure I want to meet it in person – and certainly not in a dark alley.

  2. I always listen to messages brought by the letter “E.” E’s one of the good ones. hehe!

  3. My dearest Turtle,

    You are just too cute! This is what one would call a life altering lesson. It is one of those things that make you stand up and pay attention instead of heading in with our eyes closed. LOL

  4. Too many recently to list. 🙂

    • My dearest Susan,

      You will always have potholes in life. You just learn how to walk around them. Please know that He will be there to show you the way. Bless your heart dear friend. He loves you and feels your pain and so do I.

  5. My pastor defines stress as the difference between expectations and reality. I think that’s true. Not that we should run around with low expectations, but when we have too many it can create stress because SO many times things aren’t what we think they will be, or at least ought to be.

    And I love sweet pickles, and garlic pickles, and not dill. And pickled okra? An abomination. Okra was meant to be fried :P.

  6. I despise sweet pickles for the same reason Robynn despises dill. To me, all pickles are dill. 😛

    My two youngest children will go to a buffet and eat a plate full of pickled okra. My husband loves the “hot” pickled okra. 😀

    • Ew. I’m sorry, Di, I just can’t stomach the thought of that much pickled anything, much less the notorious okra. I’ll stick to my Weet-Bix and guavas, thank you very much. 😛

      • I will have to google Weet-Bix. I’ve no idea what it is. When you visit next year, I will try to go to Sam’s and get a mongo-jar of pickled okra. 😛

  7. Kat, I vote for fried okra and okra in gumbo, and NO pickles!

    And just for Grace: I am 100% in favor of just-ripe red guavas: the kind that are firm to the touch, with awesome sweet flavor that almost melts in your mouth–mmmm! Can’t get those here, although we’ve occasionally been getting some pretty nice mangos. We sometimes find guava juice in cans or boxes! 😀

    Weet-bix, now; I’m not sure I want that either, unless I can have it with jam–although I do like Veggie-mite and Marmite on toast. 😉 But they’re definitely an acquired taste!

    • Weet-bix goes with milk, not spreads, generally. I really don’t understand using it as bread – it’s far too dry. Gotta soak it! And my guavas are yellow, but I like the red ones too 😀

  8. “E” what is E????? It is ok princess turtle, you developed your love of sweet pickles from your “mama”…and okra, right….noxious weed, right?????

  9. Cheesecake. I was expecting something (cheese, probably) but got something very different.

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