Have you ever taken a small child to an ice cream shop? I have.
One time I took a little girl I was babysitting to one of those 35 flavors places, and do you know which one she chose? The electric blue one filled with sour gummy worms. Now I’ll admit, there is a certain ice cream connoisseur who might gravitate toward this flavor. But generally, most adults I know would choose something a little more refined, like triple-chocolate-peanut-butter. Why? Because we’re making our judgment of the flavor and quality of the ice cream not based solely on what first catches our eye.
I was recently reminded that sometimes singles (me included when I was one), choose those we’re interested in in a similar way to the 5-year-old in the ice cream shop. TV and magazines have “trained” us to gravitate toward the gummy-worm infused electric blue ice cream, so when looking for someone to form an interest in, we ALWAYS notice that first — physical attractiveness.
A friend of mine recently complained that when two new guys, who happened to be tall and good-looking, attended his young adult group for the first time, all of the girls (who had never given my friend the time of day) immediately wanted to talk to the new guys and sit by them. Similarly, women who look like Heidi Klum tend to draw more attention from the male set than those who look like Mother Teresa (age aside).
The bottom line is that when we’re only willing to go for the electric blue ice cream, we miss out on noticing all the other amazing flavors. And as I said before, the electric blue may suit the tastes of one person, but another may relish the smooth simplicity of vanilla bean, the rich, deep notes of triple-chocolate fudge, or even the satisfying crunch of rocky road. So you may be missing out on the exact ice cream that you would adore, simply because you only have eyes for electric blue. (And, worse, if you’ve put your foot down that you will only accept electric blue, you may not get any ice cream at all!)
From my perspective (now removed from the ice cream case — taking the analogy too far? Nah), it grieves me to see all these amazing “flavors” of singles who are not being noticed because they aren’t this one, flashy flavor (concocted by the world, mind you). I think it’s time we retrained our taste buds to recognize what’s actually good, made from quality ingredients — and more importantly, the flavor that may suit us best.
Copyright 2013 Suzanne Hadley Gosselin. All rights reserved.