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I tried another flavor

Posted by Meredith Goldstein  August 5, 2010 07:55 AM

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We all scream for ice cream.

Q: Meredith,

Longtime lurker, first time writer. I need your objective reasoning and advice with a somewhat complicated issue. To protect the innocent and not so innocent, I’ll make it a tale of two half gallons.

So, I’d love your take, as well as your readers, on the idea of passion versus love. I relate it to vanilla versus chocolate. Say you are married to vanilla. Vanilla is good. Vanilla is a perfectly acceptable dessert every night. Vanilla respects you, admires you. Vanilla has committed to always being in your freezer, whenever you need it. Vanilla is love.

Then there’s chocolate. One day, a bowl of chocolate gets set in front of you, and you scoop up a tentative spoonful. You’re mouth explodes with excitement. You want more. Chocolate satisfies your taste buds, makes you realize you *have* taste buds that vanilla seemingly never even knew existed. Chocolate all of a sudden takes over your appetite. You want it for breakfast lunch, and dinner, and THEN dessert. But, alas, this half-gallon belongs in someone else’s freezer. Pints find your way into your freezer here and there, and, in the meantime, you go back to vanilla. Chocolate is passion. Chocolate introduced itself to you, chocolate told you your freezer is the best freezer it’s ever been to. That it dreams of your freezer. You and your freezer feel the same way.

You start to notice vanilla’s flaws. But, vanilla is there for you, so you make do with vanilla, but dream about chocolate. You sneak a kiddie scoopful here, a pint there, but dream about having that half gallon in your freezer. There’s only room for one in there though, and you can’t bear giving vanilla the boot. Meanwhile, chocolate is attached to its own freezer anyway, and nearly melted the last time it tried to visit yours, and is now seemingly staying put where chocolate belongs.

So, the question is, how do you make yourself satisfied with the vanilla that’s yours, after you’ve had the taste of forbidden, but delectable chocolate? Vanilla is good. Sometimes, it’s rich and creamy and feels like a nice treat. But the taste of chocolate is still there, the craving for it, while dulled, is still there. You walk buy the freezer’s glass door every day and see the chocolate. You know not to even try to open the door that is locked, b/c it ain’t for sale, but that doesn’t mean you don’t pause to look. Can one go back to Happily Vanilla ever after? Will the desire for chocolate ever go away?

– I Could Eat Chocolate Ravenously Even After Meals, Foxborough

A: ICECREAM, what you're describing isn't vanilla vs. chocolate. It's vanilla vs. rocky road. And here's the thing about rocky road – it's awesome (so many marshmallows, nuts, etc.), but if you ate a dish of it every day, you'd get sick. It would make you want to puke. I swear.

I'm here to tell you that vanilla is the base of all things. It goes with everything. As you put it, vanilla is love.

All rocky road does is remind us of vanilla's potential. It gives us ideas for spicing up vanilla -- like toppings. Skittles? Fruit? Perhaps vanilla could be served with a slice of tart apple pie. Vanilla is flexible -- you just have to see its potential and ask for what you want.

Rocky road is a temporary joy. I'm telling you, if given the chance to have it live in your freezer for the rest of your life, you'd decline, especially if it meant never eating vanilla again. Can you imagine a life without vanilla? No vanilla ever? I can’t.

Desire for rocky road may never fade. And there will be desires for other flavors (I'm partial to coffee ice cream), but whenever you have these urges, remember how bitter the world would taste without vanilla. Rocky road is all hype.

Readers? Does she have to tell vanilla about rocky road? How do you suppress the urge to go out and get a rocky road brownie sundae when you're married to vanilla? Does this letter writer win for best sign-off ever? Discuss.

– Meredith

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ABOUT LOVE LETTERS: Welcome to Love Letters, the place for love advice (giving and getting). Globe relationship columnist Meredith Goldstein and Boston.com readers are ready to take your letters and tell you what's what. Have a question? Click here to submit or email us at loveletters@boston.com.
Blogger Meredith Goldstein

Meredith Goldstein is a Boston Globe columnist who follows relationship trends and entertainment. She offers daily advice on Love Letters — and welcomes your comments. Meredith is also the author of "The Singles," a novel about complicated relationships. Follow Meredith at www.meredithgoldstein.netand on Twitter. Love Letters can be found in the print edition of The Boston Globe every Saturday in the G section.

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