Thursday, May 23, 2013

You say vanilla like that's a bad thing.

 A few days ago I spoke of our societal discontent with good, and why I feel differently. Interestingly, as  was contemplating my first post, I was talking with a few friends about how the term "vanilla" is often used to indicate bland and boring. As if that would be bad in and of itself...

Imagine your favourite chocolate pudding, cookies, or cake without vanilla extract. Pretty bland, isn't it?

So why do we present this flavour, this thing that adds depth to our lives, as bad? Is it years of low quality store brand ice chem? Why are we afraid of being the vanilla rather than the rocky road chocolate chunk? I sometimes think of such questions in my own life in terms of "Teenage Me". What would Teenage Me think of this? This house in the suburbs, those pants, these shoes, this LIFE? Lot's of times, she laughs at me, but she thinks I did a great job at passing on my taste in music. I'm sure she'd think my life is pretty bland, pretty boring, pretty...vanilla. I think *that* may be one of the reasons we eschew the vanilla banner and refer to such innocuous activities as having that second piece of cake or buying that fancy blouse as "bad" or even "evil". Sometimes, we try to infuse our everyday, frankly boring lives with some badassery (at the expense of diluting words that actually have an important role).  I myself try to never stop infusing my personality into the everyday, whether that means wearing Spiderman socks to jury duty or a Star Trek uniform to church. But I don't feel the need to pretend my life is not what it is, that I'm somehow "badder" than I really am.  As Tolkien said, " It is not bad thing to celebrate a simple life".


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