It’s Hard to F@#k Up Vanilla
July 10, 2014
Sometimes when I travel to a book signing nearby I bring a friend along with me. He’s a young man. A good kid. We bullshit, chew the fat, and sometimes just listen to the radio.
…..Look, I never set out in life to be some guru or sage. I watch the world go by and sometimes I make an observation about what I see. Sometimes those observations help people. Sometimes they hurt, though that has never been my intention and those who were ever hurt by my words I hope you have the strength to forgive me.
Somehow I still find myself in that role of teacher, though. With that in mind, I’ve found that direct answers are easily forgotten. It’s lessons that are learned when a student comes to their own conclusion that sticks with people.
On the way home from a recent signing my young friend was telling me about some S’mores flavored milkshake from somewhere that was amazing. I told him I liked vanilla. His response was, “But vanilla is boring.”
I said that may be true, but it’s reliable. I know I’m going to have a sweet, tasty drink no matter where I purchase it. Other flavors can be chalky or too sweet and cloying. How often do you hear about some new flavor? All the time, right? Something better. Something newer! You build it up in your mind and when you finally try it … well, it wasn’t all that great. Meanwhile I’m sitting there enjoying my boring old vanilla. It’s hard to fuck up vanilla, brother.
Now, of course I like vanilla shakes. My ever fluctuating waistline is a testament to that. But I was hoping he would take that concept and apply it to life in general. You know the drill, learn to appreciate all the small, little boring things life gives us. That’s what life is, isn’t it? A bunch of boring things. A breath. A smile. A laugh. Small, tiny, insignificant, wonderful, boring things.
…………. Last Friday, a week after his seventeenth birthday, my friend had an accident. He suffered serve head trauma from a fall, and has had a craniotomy to lesson the pressure in his skull. His pressure has continued to fluctuate over the last week. His family and friends wait and wonder. We hope. We pray. And we hope some more.
Small things matter, friends. Little things. Boring things. Take a moment and enjoy them.