It's gotten far too cold for wimpy little me to eat ice cream, so when I saw a list of the top ice cream flavors, I viewed the post with a kind of detached interest. The top three were as follows:
1. Vanilla, 29%
2. Chocolate, 8.9%
3. Butter pecan, 5.3%
Which got me thinking...of course, these factoids are cute to know and to debate, but really when it comes to a preference for something like ice cream flavors, there is no wrong and a right. There is no moral difference between someone who say, likes the more popular vanilla versus the minority who flavors butter pecan. But what an awful world it would be if only one taste was correct and allowed.
Imagine if someone, for a complex array of biological, environmental, social, and psychological factors, didn't like vanilla ice cream or chocolate, and really, really liked butter pecan. Only instead of people saying, "okay, that's cool, I like vanilla, you like butter pecan," the butter pecan lover was made to feel somehow 'wrong' for liking butter pecan. Say he had to waste endless hours, brooding as an adolescent asking himself: "what's wrong with my taste buds? Why do I crave butter pecan?" Instead of spending productive hours, say, learning to play the violin or getting good grades or watching reruns of The Simpsons after school, or finding the best damn butter pecan in the state, let's say the poor kid felt he had to force himself to like vanilla. What a shame and a waste of valuable time...
And imagine if people who did 'fess up to liking butter pecan and walked around the streets, eating butter pecan ice cream cones were spat upon, harassed, even attacked.
How ridiculous to dislike, reject, or even distrust someone because of a matter of different tastes...
Sometimes I wonder if there is something very strange about the human brain that makes it very, very hard to admit that other people might have a different subjectivity, opinion, or tate. Hearing that someone has a different taste--even in pizza or ice cream--can make someone confused. And how much more so with sexuality...
If only we could, as a society, just decide that preference is just that--taste--and there is a reason that there is more than one flavor of ice cream at Baskin Robbins.
Well, I am partial to vanilla with peanut butter, but that's another post.