Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Rum-Raisin Ice Cream

I do not like Rum-Raisin Ice-cream.

There, I’ve said it.

There is nothing more to say on the matter (yet you and I know that there will, most assuredly, be more said.)

You see, Dear Friend, I do not begrudge anyone else their preference for Rum-Raisin Ice-cream. I hold no grudge against that flavor. There resides no bitterness in my soul toward the combination of elements that constitute that particular blend. I would never counsel anyone to disallow themselves the opportunity to sample that product nor would I undertake to undermine that dessert’s place in the universe of food products.

It is, quite simply, a fact that my own, personal, individual, particularly unique taste buds do not enjoy Rum-Raisin Ice-cream. And that is perfectly all right for there are myriad other choices offering themselves for my delight.

Yet... when my Friend of many years informed me, some time ago, that she is hesitant to allow herself to openly and publicly be my friend because of her children’s (all grown adults) reservations about me, I was disappointed. My big old twenty stone (sounds so much better than the equivalent in pounds) of feelings got themselves hurt. Why? Because ... (here is where I identify with Rum-Raisin Ice Cream) ... I am who I am. She doesn’t understand why I can’t mitigate myself to accommodate the sensitivities of her children. “Aren’t you denying them the opportunity to know you by insisting on Being you?” she asked. “Why can’t you soften up your presentation of yourself?” “They think that you are being ‘phony’ because you come on with such gusto.”

But who will they know if I present another image to them? Will the presentation of a ‘moderated’ me be an honest portrayal? Yet my friend persisted in the idea that we must ‘respect’ other people’s ‘space’ by adopting behavior that accommodates their sensitivities.

I lived the first four decades of my life in the daily practice of ‘accommodation.’ I was never relaxed. Every encounter was a ‘performance’ for the benefit and to gain the acceptance of, or create comfort for, my ‘Audience.’ This was as true with an Audience of one, as it was with a large gathering in some public meeting place. Consequently, no one (including myself) knew Me. I had no intimate relationships. There existed no place where I could go to, firstly, know who I was for my own knowledge and, secondly, to be that Person in comfort. The accepted social norm was that this was (and is) proper. I now reject that norm (for myself.) I also embrace the consequences resulting from that rejection.

One of those consequences is the reality that I will be (and am) sometimes rejected as a Person. That too is absolutely OK. For my Dear Reader, Rum-Raisin Ice-cream is not for everyone. But it is there for the individuals who have a preference for it and find enjoyment in indulging in its particular delights. And the Friendships that I now enjoy, I enjoy without reservation, in all of the intimate, passionate, and exuberant freedom, that is to be found, in Being the genuine ME.

(Don't you just love all of Life's available Flavours!?)

(NOTE: If You have been reading my stuff since February of last year, first,thank you for your kindness! Secondly, Yes! you have, indeed seen this piece before (March 2007.) But I like it! And I like to "run it up the flag pole" around this time each year (ice cream season is upon us!) So, if nothing else, maybe it will inspire a visit to your favorite ice cream parlor. [smile])

IMAGE Through the gracious courtesy of Ian Britton, FreeFoto.com


Classic Charm said...

Hmmm...well I've never tried Rum-Raisin Ice Cream, so I'm not sure if I like it or not. But I know I like you just the way you are!

John-Michael said...

I am SO GLAD that I "checked in" before retiring for the night, my Darling Rose! Now I have the sweet pleasure of going to sleep with your ((HUG)) and kind thought as accompaniment to my dreams. [big smile]

I love You ... Yes indeed I do!

lime said...

i have tried rum raisin ice cream and i find it appalling. i like rum, i like raisins, i like cream, i like sugar. i do not like them in combination. blech.

i'm all about peanut butter ripple with hot fudge sauce and whipped cream...ooooh yeah....mmmmmmmm

or mint chip with great huge chunks of dark chocolate

or baskin robbins one flavor thats white and dark chocolate with caramel swirled all through it. decadence baby. give me pure decadence in ice cream.

excuse me, i think i need a private moment....

lime said...

yes i know you were employing ice ream as an analogy for personality and i got a bit off track.

here, can i redeem myself with

Karen said...

You are who you are and in my humble opinion who you stay!
I have done the "accomodating" to suit others and all I did in the process was lose me.
Be yourself - and keep smiling!

Take care,
(in Australia via Jen)

Jules~ said...

Truthfully I have never even tried rum raisin ice cream so I don't know if I like it or not. I always tend to go for a chocolate concoction.
On the other hand, I do not like brussel sprouts. One has nothing to do with the other except for likes and dislikes...and now you know.

Now for the other stuff.... How the little red hairs on my arms and neck raised up when I read this piece of a statement...
“Aren’t you denying them the opportunity to know you by insisting on Being you?” she asked.
That is such a tongue and cheek/ two faced/ hypocritical/double standard thing to say. I am sorry to say that because she is your friend and I don't like to speak against anyone.
I am so glad that you saw thru to the mater of heart and truth. If you are not being you, then would would you be? Someone else's image of their desires? Ugh! It reminds me of high school with teens trying to be that perfect cheerleader or sports guy. Do the smoking thing, don't do the school thing, be the cool way and then you will be liked. Trust me.

Who we are is exactly what makes us individual creations. We were made to be ourselves, not compliant robots. We were made to show, radiate, and share the beauty of love.

CrazyCath said...

A wonderful post - a great analogy. I don't know if I like rum raisin ice cream. I doubt I will. It doesn't sound a good combination. But I can't say I don't like it till I've tried it.

How can anyone get to know you if you are not being you? I agree with Jules. We need to be true to ourselves. No one else.

Vi said...

yep sometimes you have to try a lot of flavours to get your favourite!

John-Michael said...

Do you see why I like this Bit so much? [grin] It brings out such a delightful response from folks! (And You, my Darling Lime are nothing short of priceless!)

Your "hot fudge sauce and whipped cream" brings into focus just how some would have us "Sneak Up" on others by disguising our true Selves with layers of whatever enticements may be attractive to them. The idea seemingly being that once we have been "accepted" for our facade of falsehoods ... the people to whom we hope to "sell" ourselves will be more receptive to our characteristics that might seem less "appetizing" if openly presented. (Or will they just push away [having enjoyed what they like] and never get beneath the surface?)

All in all, it seems to me like just too much chicanery, using up too much valuable energy, and losing the opportunity to actually get to know others who will be honestly welcoming, to justify playing that game.

I am so glad that the only game that you and I play is openly and honestly loving each other ... for who we are!

John-Michael said...

Clearly, directly, and unambiguously stated, Friend Karen. If there is one theme that I am certain you will find weaving its way through all of this blog ... it will be the affirmation that we are EACH created as perfect renditions of who WE ARE as individuals. Ethel Waters said it so succinctly "God don't make no Junk." And respect for the entirety of our unique individualities is, more than anything, what I would hope to encourage in all of us. Thank you for your well-spoken thoughts!


John-Michael said...

Jules, my Darling, sign me up for that "no brussel sprouts parade." [grin] Yucky to the max!! (and PLEASE, no one send me any "if you would only try my recipe" offerings ... PLEASE! [thank you])

I do appreciate your perspective on this encounter in my life. It seems that the whole "Political Correct" trend would have us find some formula for being and sanitize the behaviors that have been so beautifully created to "spice up" life's recipe.

Loving You, my Dearest, is enjoying one of life's best flavours!

John-Michael said...

Our unique quirkiness surely did draw us to an appreciation of each other, didn't it CathDaughter? And I do appreciate those elements of our individualities that make for a challenging, yet lovingly rich relationship.

Loving all of who you are ...

John-Michael said...

And just when you think that your "pallet" is familiar with all possibilities ... Life introduces a "new flavour!"

You have always been a tantalizing selection on Life's menu, Darling Vi. I love You as You are!

nitebyrd said...

Being yourself, JM, is the best thing you can be. Nuts, raisins and all!

Enjoying your life on your terms and having friends that love you for exactly who you are is just as good as having a whole pint of Ben & Jerry's Cherry Garcia for your own. :D

Be true to yourself, john-michael because you're wonderful!

John-Michael said...

There is no one who I would rather share one of those Ben & Jerry delights with, than You, My precious NiteByrd. The more of who you are that Time allows me to know, the more delectable you become. I savour our Friendship! And THAT's a fact!

'Sure do Love You ...

Annie said...

I sure am sorry that no-one else likes Rum n' raisn icecream, cos I love it. So much so that I never get to try any other sort! What a shame.

Corey~living and loving said...

Sadly......your friend's belief that we are to "behave" in such a manner that makes others comfortable is a wide spread theory. sigh.....
I'm thankful for the favors this life has to offer. What a great post, and a perfect analogy. :)
hope all is well with you. Haven't seen you around much.

John-Michael said...

Thank You, Dearest Annie! I was beginning to feel badly for poor li'l Rum-Raisin. (As I would for any of life's "less chosen" ... in our metaphorical or other venues.) And to the rescue You come! How delightful of You!

I do enjoy this fresh new love for One of Life's fresh and always new Gifts ... YOU.

John-Michael said...

It was just barely after 2AM (as I rose to begin a new day) and i had my Soul welcomed by the presence of your tender, and always-gentle Spirit, My Darling Corey. To be embraced (thanks to your readily accepted and returned "hug") by your intent, is genuinely a touching and respectfully appreciated blessing.

I unreservedly do Love You, Dearest Friend.

Anonymous said...

John-Michael what a wonderful analog. I don't know about rum raisin ice cream.....I always take strawberry. Wanna know why? OK I'll tell you. Its robust, pretty & delicious.....just like LIFE!!! And YOU add to mine everyday. I can't start my day without checking into your page & seeing what WONDERFUL encouragement is waiting there for me. I never say I LOVE YOU, without meaning it, its too important to just pass those words around willy nilly, but I do love you & all you give to me. Thank you John-Michael :)

John-Michael said...

I would never intentionally slight either "Willy" or "Nilly." I am sure that with those adorable names they must each be delightful characters in their own right. But I can have no comfortable sense of the Personhood of either of the two. For, you see, I know nothing of their Spirits nor their character. [big silly smile]

But, Dear Anonymous Friend, You have made obvious some completely lovable aspects of your nature, character, and Spirit. And, being the Spirit-inclined individual that I am, I have absolutely no reservation in allowing my Heart to respond to those elements of who You are ... by loving You. See! It is just that simple. With all of the ease with which many give themselves license to hate, or be angry with someone who they have only read a few words from ... I can enjoy loving ... fully and legitimately, the Person revealed through a few words. Pretty cool, don't you think?

(It would be an enjoyment GREATLY ENHANCED if you would do me the personal favor and courtesy of sending me an ever-so-brief [unless you felt inclined to invest a whole bunch of time ... which I would be delighted with!] Email and introduce your Self. Or, perhaps, just add your name or initials to a "comment" left on one of these little thoughts. I would like that A LOT!)

With no apologies to either Willy nor Nilly, I do love that Person revealed through your words. [smiling]

Anonymous said...

John-Michael this is anonymous.You were so kind in your comments it made me smile.For now I prefer to stay unknown to you. Don't you just love a mystery? You know little of me in my other identity, maybe being anonymous you can know me better & I can still soak up your wisdom & loving words. Is it a deal?

Suldog said...

I prefer Peppermint Stick.

Oh, wait a minute. That wasn't really the point, was it? Or maybe that IS the point? I'm so confused...

Anyway, I like it with jimmies :-)

John-Michael said...

Ah, Dear Anonymous One ... Far, Far better than "a deal" this is EXACTLY what I had just hurried to the computer to type to You! Wow! I am just so pleased that we are "on the same page!" I am exceedingly gladdened that You have a "veil" from behind which You can know a freedom to speak whatever your Heart desires ... unimpeded by any constraints that might be present in your "outer identity." This is absolutely right and as it should be. Thank you for weathering my momentary flight of selfish want for too much for me, at your expense. Well done!

John-Michael said...

So, Jim, you SulDog Rascal, You think that you can run far-afield from "the point" ... WELL top THIS! You mentioned "jimmies" and sent my off and running ... and here is just a small smattering of what I uncovered ... (with "Thanks" to Boston-OnLine.com
.....other submitted comments ...

"I am in the process of opening an ice cream shop. I will try to find the correct answer.

Joseph Fortunato on August 4, 2004 03:46 AM.

This is a story I found to help answer all of the burning question: "What came first? The Jimmies or the Sprinkles?"

The beloved jimmy could be lost

A sprinkling of history for a name that's melting away.

By Michael Vitez

Inquirer Columnist

Which came first, the jimmy or the sprinkle?

Evidence suggests the jimmy.

A far more important question for local readers is: Which will endure?

Sadly, the sprinkle.

The jimmy - at least as a piece of slang, an expression of local flavor - is doomed.

"If it's not a dead term, it's a dying term," said Peter Georgas, vice president of Can-Pan Candy, the Toronto-based company that sells a million pounds of sprinkles every month.

"I will rarely, rarely get on the phone with somebody who asks me for a jimmy," he said. "And if someone does ask me for a jimmy, he's an older man."

The fact is that jimmies and sprinkles are the same thing, which is almost nothing, a wisp of sugar, oil, emulsifier (don't ask!) and coloring.

But by any name, the world consumes about 50 million pounds a year, according to an industry expert - about 1.3 trillion sprinkles or jimmies, give or take a few hundred million.

Mostly, they're sprinkled on ice cream. But if laid end to end, they would stretch 2.3 million miles, enough to circle the Earth nearly 100 times.

This region - from Philadelphia to the Jersey Shore - historically has been jimmies territory.

Jimmies - not sprinkles - have been on the menu for 53 years at the Custard Stand on Ridge Avenue in Philadelphia.

"I don't bother people who call them sprinkles," said Vince Joyce, 21, a jimmies loyalist and employee for seven years. "But if you call them shots or dots or ants or black beads, I say something: 'You mean jimmies, right?' "

Right across Ridge Avenue, at rival Dairyland, jimmies have been on the menu since the establishment opened 30 years ago.

The present owner, Michael Kiedaish, 32, grew up with jimmies and says he will never change: "When someone tells you that something's a jimmy, it's a jimmy."

But hints of extinction are everywhere, even in his own store.

"The college people... they're all sprinkles," said Laurie Taylor, 23, who has worked the counter at Dairyland for eight years. "And the yogurt people are sprinkles. And kids all say rainbow sprinkles because it sounds more fun.

"I grew up saying jimmies," she confessed, "but from working here so long, I've started calling them sprinkles."

Sprinkles are encroaching everywhere. Old reliables like Kohr Brothers on the boardwalk in Ocean City are holding firm with jimmies, but upstarts like Ben & Jerry's on Rittenhouse Square? Sprinkles.

At Daddy-O's Dairy Barn in Mount Laurel, owner Rob Cotton grew up in Northeast Philadelphia calling them jimmies, but on his menu he lists them as... sprinkles!

"The distributors all call them sprinkles, so that's what I put on the menu board," he said.

"This is the No. 1 question: Is there a difference? And where does the name come from? I must hear that three or four times a week."

Here is some history:

Back in the 1930s, the Just Born candy company of Bethlehem produced a topping called chocolate grains. The man who ran the machine that made these chocolate grains was named Jimmy Bartholomew.

"Thus, his product became known as jimmies," said Ross Born, the chief executive officer. He was told this story by his grandfather and company founder, Sam Born. Just Born registered jimmies as its trademark, and continued producing jimmies until the mid-1960s - which is why the name was so popular here.

The trademark expired and soon after, Just Born stopped making jimmies.

This account, however, has been disputed.

The Boston Globe investigated the origin of jimmies last winter after a reader inquired about a rumor that the term originally was racist - the idea being that some people refer only to chocolate ones as jimmies, and rainbow ones as sprinkles. Perhaps, the reader surmised, the word descended from Jim Crow.

The Globe found no evidence of this, but did cite a commentary in 1986 on National Public Radio by the late Boston poet John Ciardi, who claimed: "From the time I was able to run to the local ice cream store clutching my first nickel, which must have been around 1922, no ice cream cone was worth having unless it was liberally sprinkled with jimmies."

Ciardi, the Globe said, "dismissed Just Born as claim-jumpers looking to trademark someone else's sweet inspiration." His jimmies had come first.

The truth may never be known.

But what is undeniable, according to industry experts, is that jimmies gradually gave way to sprinkles, a more vivid and appealing name.

For example, a world leader in sprinkles is QA Products outside Chicago. It started making sprinkles 10 years ago - under the brand name Sprinkle King.

When Vince Joyce of the Custard Stand on Ridge Avenue gives his customers jimmies, he gets them from a Sprinkle King box.

For the record, a chocolate sprinkle includes cocoa and offers a faint chocolate taste. But all rainbow colors taste exactly the same, which is to say, have virtually no taste.

This was confirmed by Kasey Dougherty and Kathleen DeMichele of the Dairy Queen in Ocean City. On a rainy day last summer, they conducted a taste test - blindfolded.

Neither could tell pink from yellow from green.

"Nobody gets rainbow sprinkles for the flavor," Dougherty said. "They get them for the colors, and the crunch."

Joseph Fortunato on August 4, 2004 05:12 AM"

Now, SulDog, What WAS the point, again???

Anonymous said...

WOW my knowledge of jimmies has increased tenfold.All I know is it was either jimmies or sprinkles on your ice cream cone at Abbotts Custard stand down by the lake, when I was a kid. What fun this whole ice cream discussion has been :)Even if we strayed away from the point. My point is anyone who chooses not to accept you as you are ( a wonderful friend) obviously doesn't need anymore friends!!

Suldog said...

DAMN, John-Michael. When you want to get at something, you're like a pitbull. A big love-filled pitbull, of course.

Thanks for the edification!

John-Michael said...

I can not let something as beautiful as your "a wonderful friend" slip by without due recognition of its glorious worth. Surely, there is naught that could ever surpass the richness of that place of honor in the life of another. I am grateful that you, Dear Anonymous Friend, for permitting that reflection.

(And I must candidly confess to succumbing to the temptation to Google "Abbots Custard" in hopes of tracking down a new clue to your identity. No! It did NOT help. [grin] There are [or have been] such establishments all up and down the Eastern seaboard over the years. [and, I noted, one in Tampa now.]) It was a bit of a grin nonetheless.

John-Michael said...

When YOU say that something is of worth and/or merit to you, Jim 'SulDog' Sullivan, my Darling Friend, I want to know about it and what makes it so noteworthy to someone who is significant to me.

I guess it comes with the loving you "turf." Loved Friends and Family and their interests are of interest to me. Just part of "the deal."

Anonymous said...

John-Michael I wonder if the Abotts in Tampa is similiar to the Abbotts of my childhood. If it was I'd revisit it in a New York minute :) Just to bring back those memories of sitting in the sunshine trying to eat a icecream cone before the sun melted it & it ran all over my hand (smile)

John-Michael said...

I bid you "Good fortune" in your Abbot's discoveries (if in Tampa, on Swann avenue, Hyde Park) but my loyalties will always lie with Bo's on Florida Avenue. The Medium (not small, nor large) vanilla in a plain cone. The race against the sun remains the same. And the pleasure has never varied from the peak of perfection first enjoyed at my earliest youthful recollections.

To each in our own quest, I wish us an early revisit to ice-cream joy.

Anonymous said...

Some how revisiting icecream joy would be so much more pleasant in your company John-Michael

John-Michael said...

And now, my Anonymous Friend, Methinks Thou dost toy with Me.

'Tis fair, though, from the safety of distance and disguise.

Anonymous said...

Ms Anonymous has been hurt deeply.....I would never toy with you. I consider games way beneath me.

John-Michael said...

Hurting the feelings of "Ms Anonymous was never my intention nor would I ever desire to do so. But i am gladdened to hear that she feels as I do about "games." For to be "toyed with" changes all of my life dynamics (trust to cynicism, intimacy to distancing.) And, though I can accept someone employing games and "toying," I respond to such as a form of disrespect. And my preferred life mode of trusting embrace I place behind a barrier of prudent care.

Thank you for providing clarity on this matter that is so pivotal to my Heart's freedom.

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