Friday, August 29, 2008

Never be Vanilla

There are several mottos I live by.

One is this: “Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body—but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, "Wow, what a ride!" - Unknown

This being said, people who know me have heard me say, “I’ll sleep when I’m dead.” This exhausting perspective on life has allowed me to experience more wonderful moments than I ever would have had if I lived life more conservatively. I have placed myself in the paths of celebrities (yes, Brian Williams and John Lithgow, that was me who stalked you at the “South Pacific” performance at the Lincoln Center Theater in New York City!), I have shut down the Grand Ballroom at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island (dancing to every song), I have watched the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade from the 102nd floor of the Empire State Building. I stop and smell the flowers and never pass a corner lemonade stand run by the entrepreneurial youth of my neighborhood.

This brings me to my other motto: Never be vanilla. Never be boring. You could be boring, but when you have the option to stand out amidst a sea of beige? Be Neapolitan. Be Peanut Butter Fudge. Be Bordeaux Cherry Chocolate. Just don’t be Vanilla.

Be flavors and colors and textures. Be unexpected. Be interesting. While I know that Vanilla is good flavor (and, far and away, THE most popular ice cream flavor) it is also very predictable. No risks. No regrets. I always know what I am gonna get.

Which brings us to my front porch. My house is a very traditional tan, brown, and burgundy. A “vanilla” house. However, the need for personal self expression (and a wonderfully creative artist-friend) has led me to paint my front porch the brightest color of turquoise imaginable. It looks completely out of context with the rest of my house…and my neighborhood. My kids are still trying to wrap their brains around it but they know their mother and understand. My neighbors take delight in, when giving visitors directions to their own homes, saying to them, “Okay, now when you turn the corner, you will see a house with an obnoxious turquoise front porch….that’s not my house.” My parents and grandmother are mortified by my color selection….although Grandma (who has a little bit of “sassy” in ‘er!) is beginning to come around to liking it.

But it makes a statement. And so do I. And so should you. Never be Vanilla. What flavor are you?

Until then, I remain…..1SweetMama

No comments: