Sunday, July 27, 2008

Vanilla Life

Something's been nagging me for over a week and today I think I may have reconciled myself to it.

Last week while I sat in my last LO class, all alone, with just the instructor, forced to sit on the front row (imagine my supreme JOY!) I was referenced as having a Vanilla Life.

The instructor placed heavy emphasis on the necessity of me disclosing ANY previous issues I've had with the law. Have I murdered anyone? Have I been drug trafficking? Am I a notorious embezzler? Have I ever had a speeding ticket? I kept reassuring him that there was nothing in my past that would hold up me getting this license. Finally, he gave up the interrogation and said that I must have a "Vanilla Life".

I pouted. All of a sudden I wanted to run out and commit a crime -- maybe even go 10 miles over the speed limit on the way home!! I was kinda hurt by his comment about my life. I have stewed and stewed over it for a week -- surely I am more interesting than Vanilla!

And then today, I finished reading a fairly good book called "A Lantern In Her Hand". And in the following lines from the book -- I finally found my peace:

"Is childbirth narrow, Grace? Or marriage? Or death? When you've experienced all those things, Grace, the spirit has traveled although the body has been confined. I think travel is a rare privilege and I'm glad you can have it. But not everyone who stays at home is narrow and not everyone who travels is broad. I think if you can understand humanity . . can sympathize with every creature . . can put yourself into the personality of every one . . you're not narrow . you're broad"

I agree, I'm not very exciting. I'm not well travelled. I haven't even given birth as the quote references. But I have had my share of dealing with humanity, of choosing to show compassion when it's been the hardest. I find great personal joy and satisfaction in getting to know others and see things from their point of view. I have found myself in more "unusual" and difficult circumstances than I care to recount.

I may never be Tutti-Frutti or Rainbow Sherbet ~ but I am more than Just Vanilla!!


Peggy said...

I often feel like I have a vanilla life, too. I haven't even left this state in twelve years! (Unless you count the time I stepped over the Utah / Idaho border while we were at bear lake!) So, when I saw that quote on your goodreads update, I loved it as much as you did! Thanks for that-- it made my day.

Nik said...

Vanilla is my favorite flavor. And do you know why it's my favorite? Because you can put anything you want on it and it can be anything you can imagine it to be. Add what you will, but it will still always be pure and untarnished. I'll take a "Vanilla Life" anyday! :)

Wendi said...

You are so not "Just Vanilla"!

You are full of yummy little toppings.

I agree completely with NIK.

Shauna said...

You know what IS great about vanilla? It goes with EVERYTHING! Cake, brownies, cupcakes, cookies, cookie dough, hot fudge and carmel sauce, even fruit! that is why you are such a good friend to everyone around you! So from one of your NUTTIER friends, I am glad you have a more vanilla-ish life--it makes me more comfortable to be around you and that feeling is always nice.
:) Shauna

Kim said...

I just have to say that leading anything other than a "Vanilla Life" is not all it's cracked up to be...

Tammy said...

I have always said "If I were to be stranded on a desert island and could only choose one flavor of ice cream for the rest of my life, it would be vanilla." (I'm not kidding....I HAVE always said this) Vanilla is beautiful in it's unpretentiousness. Plus, my vanilla would have to be Hagen Dazs vanilla bean. So comfort yourself with the fact that even if you ARE are the best KIND of vanilla there is!

Jeanette said...

I love that quote and that book!
I've been thinking about this kind of thing lately. I am almost 30-what have I done with my life? Probably to some standards, I have not done much but when I look at things, I think I am not doing too bad.
Vanilla is great because you can ad anything you want and get all kinds of flavor.

Jaime said...

Vanilla-The most versatile of the flavors. A true classic.

RBS said...

I don't mean to be philosophical but, when making ice cream, Vanilla is the hardest flavor to get exactly right. It takes the perfect balance of additives and flavorings and even then if you don't freeze it correctly it loses something. Oh my dear, to be told you have a vanilla life means you have the perfect balance of ingredients. How very lucky for you. Vanilla is my favorite and I live every day trying to attain its perfection.
From a vanilla wannabe