I read some absolutely exceptional blogs that have expanded my world beyond my wildest dreams. I am so grateful for the diverse viewpoints and stimulating conversations available to me. But I have a bone to pick with some out there in blogdom. I read posts and occasional comments that have a thinly-veiled contempt for what is termed the “vanilla” lifestyle. Who am I kidding? There’s nothing veiled about it.
I read of disdain for this “vanilla” existence and then find a recitation of basically the life I have chosen to live: long-term monogamy; suburbia; quiet nights at home or with friends; children; movies; reading, etc. In some of the thoughtless throwaway comments, it sounds like a living hell of mind-numbing blandness.
I’ve got news for those who curl their lips with a heavy-lidded sneer of derision: you don’t know vanilla.
I’m not talking about the artificial vanilla whose flavor is plastic and short-lived with a bitter aftertaste. I’m talking about the real vanilla which is rich, exotic, and sensually sweet on the tongue. My vanilla is warm and deeply intense yet mellow. It is not the white-hot flash fire of lithium, it is the smoldering banked embers that last beyond dawn. It’s the flavor to which you return after a night of hot spice. It’s the flavor of home and baking and open arms.
Vanilla is a vibrant and powerful sexual experience that is refined and enjoyed many times over with a single lover. It is the overwhelming, everlasting sweetness of love for a child. Vanilla is anticipating the comforting presence of longtime friends or the exciting tension of making new friends. It is being joyfully subsumed by good music and fine writing. Vanilla is expanding your world with deeper knowledge and uplifting experiences. It is challenging your own precepts with fresh and innovative ideas. Vanilla is a quiet revolution of change from within. And vanilla rightfully takes its place on the spice shelf, one of many good flavors.
Damn straight I’m vanilla, and proud of it. My symbol is not a raised fist, it is an extended hand. My flag is white: elegant in its simplicity, it contains the entire spectrum of light. Let it wave.