Sunday, May 3, 2009

I am SOO Vanilla

Years ago I worked in IT. If you know me, it's truly laughable. Even if you don't know me- it's laughable. The job sort of evolved over time and one day I just ended up in a group that built systems for HR. The role didn't last long....thankfully my boss at the time (who coincidentally is my boss again right now) was super supportive and got me back into HR where I belonged. Truth be told, I didn't mess anything up too terribly and I do have some good stories and a basic, if not outdated, understanding of how systems work.

Anyhoo- back to the point. When a vendor tries to sell you a system they have a basic version. It's the vanilla version. You can buy this version at a reasonable cost and use it as it is with good results. OR, you can customize the heck out of it which costs tons of money and gives you all sorts of crazy, whiz-bangy add ons that you think are going to make your process amazing. Depending on how much money you have, and how good your team is- the results can be great and you get just what you want. OR, it can be a disaster.

Sort of like ice cream. You can order vanilla and you know it's going to be good. It's plain, tastes good and meets your basic need for ice cream. You can also add all sorts of stuff to it- sauces and toppings, whip cream and sprinkles....and depending on what you chose and how much you put on- it could be fantastic....or not.

Today I was reminded of how very vanilla I am. Sometimes this makes me sad, or feeling left out or less than. Today it actually made me feel strong and proud and worthwhile (it also made me feel fashion challenged, but I'll take that one).

I went to brunch with 2 old friends. We have known each other for over 20 years and have shared so many things-the stories that we could tell, and did!! I was half looking forward to the visit and half dreading it. One is probably the strongest woman I know (and not just because she's probably going to read this!) and the other was once my closest friend, but time and circumstances change even the best of friendships.

We made a funny trio (well, actually quartet since we were joined by a tag along 14 year old son who was hungry- um, seriously??)....I wore levi's, a white t-shirt and raspberry cardigan with dansk*'s, they looked adorable in a skirt and funky sweater with leopard ballet flats and a dress, cardigan and cute flip flops. I had on minimal makeup....they were completely put together (ok, so a late night viewing of this movie did take it's toll on a certain set of eyelids).

The conversation centered around the almost unbelievable life of one friend- jet setting, dating, stories of parties, weddings, bachelorette parties, who's who in our city events and it all made me dizzy. I was literally processing sentences from 15 minutes earlier in the conversation and when the question was asked of me- "what's happening in your life?"...... I completely blanked.

Um, well....we're getting a puppy in June. FABULOUS!!

I live such a simple life- and although there are things that I wish I could change- the bulk of it just suits me perfectly. I'm not worried about my boyfriend going back to his wife- because my sweet, sometimes annoying hubby is the only person that I can imagine being with. I'm not worried about whether I've got the perfect thing to wear to a party in South Beach- because the closest I'll be to South Beach is on the diet (which wouldn't be a bad idea). I'm not worried about feeding my hungry 14 year old and dragging him to a girls brunch because my 6 year old is happily entertained with my hubby planting onions and playing in a mud puddle.

As soon as I left brunch, I headed straight for T@rget to get myself balanced again. Getting a glimpse into the world of chocolate sauce, sprinkles and a poof of whip cream may be fun....but it is abundantly clear that I am a total vanilla dork.

And that's ok with me.


Denise said...

Vanilla is my favorite color! I love you Carolyn...and I am dying to know who you went out friends perhaps?

Thanks for the mention in your previous post. Happy 1 year blogiversary. I guess that I am on year #3! And BTW, those puppies are sooooo darn cute!

Hugs my friend~

The Browns said...

You? Vanilla? You've got way more flavor, style, and attitude than plain old vanilla. Although to be honest, next to anything with peanut butter...vanilla is my next favorite!

I love you just the way you are girl!

Jennifer Barnum said...

Truly your best post! I often feel the same way- although I think of myself as low fat vanilla because my life is just that simple at times!