Carpe Aeternum

Finding the Eternal in the Every Day

Bland

What is it with vanilla haters? Just saw a Cadillac commercial complaining about vanilla’s popularity as a flavor of ice cream. They argue that there is something wrong with people who like vanilla. Somehow vanilla became the same as bland.

First, I am a vanilla lover. I typically choose it over chocolate. It’s not always my top choice, I have a variety of flavors that I like. Vanilla just little more frequently. It bothers me when I am judged for being boring because of this. Come on, who enjoys being judged. But I think that assuming dullness is a bit extreme. I do not want to be dull or boring, or thought to be so.

In the history of the world, it is not that long ago that vanilla was considered exotic. Most of Europe didn’t experience vanilla until they started exploring (raping) the rest of the world. When exotic foods and flavors began to flow back home, vanilla was an intriguing addition to the newly discovered variety.

Now, however, we have so many other options, we are inundated with choices that seem or feel more exotic, vanilla has become boring. Which is sad. Why can’t it remain a flavor on the palette and be enjoyed for what it is? Why does it have to be the bad guy, the boring guy, the guy people wish wasn’t invited to the party? I truly do not get this.

It seems that choosing a simple pleasure is a bad choice. A fresh orange can be an amazing treat, or an apple straight from the tree. Why is the simple thing always bad?

Then again, the context of this push is a commercial. Commercials are designed to make you feel inadequate or insignificant so that you are forced to buy something new, to upgrade, to improve. If what you already have, if who you already are isn’t boring, if vanilla is a yummy flavor, then the amazing new thing isn’t something you so desperately need.

In that light, vanilla isn’t the culprit. Commercialism, consumerism and materialism are. Cadillac’s need to sell cars is attempting to ruin my ice cream.

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