August 02, 2015


I have seen the term “vanilla” getting bandied about quite a bit. Often, it is seen as a bad thing. Granted we don't get out the pitch forks and go hunting for them, but you can tell by the way someone says the term it is not said with affection.

I hear people say things like "He’s a vanilla" and make a face or roll their eyes. Or something along the lines of "She is a vanilla, and doesn't get it". There are other conversations that go on, and I am sure you have heard this type of thing before so you know what I am talking about. To many, the term vanilla is interchanged with the terms "boring", "conservative", "old fashioned" and "close-minded". It is seen as uncool or unenlightened.

I find this somewhat confusing. While none of us claim to be vanilla, our foundations are predominantly just that. The way we were raised, whether we are happy with it or not does affect us, shapes us, and makes us who we are.

Psychologists say that our personalities are completely shaped by the time we are seven years old. Yes, SEVEN. By that young age we are all ready programmed into the people we are going to be.

So assuming you were raised in America, you most likely were raised by vanilla appearing parents or guardians, I say assuming because one never knows what goes on behind closed doors.

As we grow and start to develop our own identities, we layer that upon the vanilla upbringing we had. We see how our parents interact and use that as a reference as to what love and relationships are about. We try and model our own lives by that standard. Even the most dysfunctional relationships will be mimicked by the children.

So no matter where find yourself in the community, I think the vanilla bleeds through. It is unfair to bash the vanilla. It is the basis of the people we are, and the people we are evolving into. So, hail the vanilla. You wouldn't be the person you are now if not for it.

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