There’s an art form to being “vanilla”


“You are too vanilla…”

Someone said this to me not too long ago.  They meant it as a means to hurt.  And apparently they did a good job, because I haven’t been able to get it out of my head.  Is there truth to it?  Have I become a boring vanilla personality?  Was I always one?

I have done a lot in my 31 short years on this planet.  Some of the non-vanilla examples I can provide are the following:

1.  I used to race cars.  I also used to fix them up but that’s another topic entirely.  I was GOOD at racing.  It was illegal of course.  Street racing isn’t exactly encouraged by law enforcement.  I loved it.  The concept of playing cat and mouse from behind the wheel of a piece of machinery that I control… yea I was young and immature.  I’ve learned now that speed, while fantastic, isn’t exactly safe.  Although I still get my speed kicks from taking my bike out – wind flying past, just me and the open road.  Bliss.

2.  I love to go camping and off-roading.   For a long time, I was the only girl invited to go with the group of guy friends I had.  I had a knack for figuring out ways to get vehicles unstuck from the mud or whatever precarious position the driver found themselves in.  I have no qualms with snow camping, have done it many times.  Of course – I was also the oddball who would bring a small generator and Christmas lights to decorate her tent with.  🙂

3.  Last year – I got on a plane and flew 16 hours by myself to visit a penpal.  Someone I’d never met before.  Who by all rights, could have been a crazy serial killer.  He wasn’t.  I knew he wouldn’t be – but there was always that possibility.

4.  I sang the national anthem for a few football games in high school.

5.  I have absolutely no qualms with embarrassing myself.  I will happily prance around a store and be silly for the sake of making someone smile at my own expense.  I have been known to randomly break into song and dance, or to randomly bust a move doing the carlton dance.  I like to start conga lines.  I like to buy nerf guns for large groups of people and start massive nerf battles.

6.  I geek out over technology.  I own FAR too many devices.  I test them all.  I want to understand why they work the way they do, and push what can be done on them.  I often take technology apart and find new ways to make it better.  It’s what I do for a living and of COURSE it extends to the home.

7.  I get a kick out of those moments when the Mormons or Jehovah’s Witnesses come to my door.  I have personally been responsible for converting 2 Mormons away from their church.  How did I do this?  Well they all came trooping around my town.  Often.  It was cold, I stepped outside and called to them as they were getting back into their car (they parked outside my house).  I offered them coffee or cocoa.  they came in.  They’d already tried to convert me many times… but I’m a pagan.  I respect everyone’s right to believe what they believe.  They spent easily an hour chit chatting with me about all natures of religions.  We talked about Buddhism and Judaism, Shinto, and of course, paganism.  These boys were truly surprised that someone their church had said would act a certain way – was so welcoming and kind and friendly.  They came back many times after that.  Sometimes as a group, sometimes just one or two.  Eventually, 2 of the main members of their group decided they didn’t want to be Mormon’s anymore.  That they wanted to study all religion, that perhaps they had pigeon holed themselves into believing something that wasn’t quite right for them.

8.  I do comic art.  This alone could be making me vanilla – but have you LOOKED at most comic art?  Pin up style covers and women that in real life would likely fall over or break their back from being so well endowed.  Most of the guys who come over to my house LOVE it when I’m working on comic art – it’s as if they are given a free pass to look at soft-porn! 🙂

There are TONS more examples I can give, but these are enough for now.  Am I vanilla?  And if I am… is that so wrong?  I look at where I am in my life right now.  I’m in a quiet phase.  Grayson will be 3 in May.  Toddlers can be a challenge to manage at times.  I have a tendency to stay home these days.  To curl up with a blanket and a good movie or a good book and shut the rest of the world out.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with being in a particularly quiet phase of life.  I go out, I have social life.  This last weekend I participated in a fun event – movie roulette.  The theatre was rented out by a group of people, everyone with a ticket had to bring a movie.  Then there was a drawing to see which movie we’d all watch.  There was booze and good food, and the movie and some pretty awesome people.

Perhaps being vanilla is ok.  Perhaps it simply means that I’m embracing stability and maturity.  Perhaps it means that I have a path that I’m walking down and am simply refusing to stray from it.  Perhaps it means that because I’m so vanilla, I go perfectly with everything.  Whether it’s a bunch of nuts, a brownie, a piece of apple pie or some seriously amazing salted caramel sauce.

Perhaps the person who called me Vanilla is simply jealous that they don’t go with everything.  Maybe they relate better to pistachio ice cream or rocky road.

Damn… now i’m going to have to go hunt up a bowl and locate some Cherry Garcia.