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Wednesday, April 29, 2020

It All Started With Ice Cream

It All Started With Ice Cream

I have made an observation recently.  The observation comes from my reality TV addiction, so don’t put too much credibility to it…still.

My studies are from shows like “Married at First Sight,” "90 day fiance," “The Bachelor,” “Sister Wives,” and other out of focused glimpses into how couples interact these days. 

It is clearly different than it was in my day.

Couples today, especially young couples, think too much.  That’s right, they think too much.  They think about every thing anyone says, every move, inflection, shoulder shrug or eyebrow slant.  Young people today assign some meaning to everything and they then analyze all the information gleaned from all that meaning.

It must be exhausting.  Having to explain every word, every step, everything.

As an example, here is a recent Reality TV couple discussion:

“What do you mean by 'you hope I had a good time?'”

“Nothing, I just hope you had a good time.”

“Why would you think I didn’t have a good time?”

“No reason, I just wanted to confirm you had a good time.”

“There must be some other reason you would ask.”

This goes on and on…it is exhausting to me and I am just a fly on the reality TV wall.

I blame it on choices. 

I blame it all on ice cream.

Back in the day, a trip to the ice cream shop meant you had a choice of vanilla, chocolate, or strawberry.  It was a difficult choice as they are all good.  In fact, there is no ice cream choice that will ever be as good as vanilla, chocolate or strawberry.  Oh, they added a few, cherry vanilla, pistachio, and butter pecan, and I may stray, but I always come back to the big three.

The ice cream shop today has at least 78 different flavor choices.  They throw everything into ice cream today, cookies, sprinkles, lemon mixes, watermelon, cotton candy, it doesn’t end.  Then they put kids’ names on the different concoctions, superman ice cream, sponge bob on a stick, Cinderella pops. 

How in the world can you get a child to sample any of the big three?  They never try the only real flavors ice cream was ever meant to have.  Children don’t have a favorite, they have to try a new flavor every trip to the ice cream shop.

Fast forward to young adults choosing a relationship.   They can’t do it. They never got to sample all the ice cream choices, they never got to choose a favorite, now how can they accept a relationship. 

They need to sample every choice.  Their mind says, “Gee, I liked chocolate fudge mocha cream fuzzy, and then I liked vanilla nut crunch Popeye berry. ”

If you could never choose a favorite ice cream flavor because there are so many choices, why would choosing a mate be any different?

Young people today grew up with choices for everything.  They were taught they could be whatever they wanted, could live wherever they want, and eat any one of at least 78 different flavors of ice cream.  They are paralyzed by choices and it makes them analyze everything.

These days it is not uncommon for couples to seek counseling before they get married.

I’m convinced the problem is they think too much.

Hell, just order the vanilla.  That’s what I did.  Of course, vanilla didn’t agree with me long term, so I tried chocolate.  Chocolate had a bad after taste.  Turns out my best flavor is strawberry, and I am so glad that for me there were only three flavors.


  1. I never analyse anything. No one will ever accuse me of being a deep thinker. I take things at face value. Ice cream for me is the big two, vanilla and chocolate. Rum'n'raisin and butterscotch are in second place, but my first choice is always vanilla.

  2. You are right on all points. The way my son used to analyse everything had me screaming inside. He's still the same now, and so am I!

  3. We'll, at least everyone gets a trophy.

  4. This was a good post Joe--well said and yep, yep--couldn't agree with ya more. (Wait--seeking counseling BEFORE marriage??) Sigh!

  5. So this is how it started...with ice cream. It all makes sense now.

    Have a fabulous day, Joe. 😎

  6. Yep ... too much choices these days. And they want it instantly too. Instant this instant that. No waiting. Instant. My cousin, an eminent scientist, got fired from his laboratory work for inventing and instant laxative. Tested it on the nurses too!

    God bless.

  7. You are totally on to something here. In fact there have been studies on the overwhelm of too many choices (GIYP).

    1. Thanks Olga, I did Google it and surprise experts have studied this and they do agree.

    2. Like the grocery store scene from 'Moscow On the Hudson'. . .

  8. I've always been partial to vanilla, myself (heck, I'll even pour a little vanilla extract on it to make it even more vanilla-y). But one of the local shops here has something they call 'Death By Chocolate', which is amazing. Personally, I would sub in Peach for Strawberry, just because I like peaches better than strawberries. And I'm always up for a generous scoop of Coffee ice cream, especially with hot fudge on it. . .

    Three basic flavors, three wives. . . Wouldn't want to stretch that metaphor too far, I think. . . ;)

    My wife and I do Marriage Preparation classes at our church; it never ceases to amaze me the kind of common-sense basic stuff that's never occurred to the young folks we work with. I don't think the problem is so much that they have too many choices, exactly; a lot of 'em just don't seem to think much deeper than, "gosh, they're a lot of fun in bed". . .

  9. Think you have a good point. Miss Excitement here. Plain Vanilla please and black coffee. Do they even sell "just coffee" at Starbucks?

  10. TV is like ice cream. SO many channels, when we used to have just 3 networks and PBS. Yet we thumb though the channel guide, and declare, "There's nothing on!" SO many channels available, but my kids don't even have "real" TV, and choose to watch things on demand.

  11. I love Kona coffee ice cream. Sometimes, it is difficult to accept a marriage proposal, but you just have to take a leap of faith and determine to make marriage work through the hard times.

  12. Oh, like gigi-hawaii I adore coffee ice cream. From the big 3, it's always gotta be chocolate (especially if it is home made)

    I never thought about the issue with too many choices. If you aren't that great looking (such as myself) that cuts the choices down considerably. :-)

  13. I have to agree with you. Too many choices indeed. On a side note, I saw someone had in their cart the other day a carton of "Fruit Loops" ice cream. That was a new flavor for me.


  14. Give me 1. Vanilla 2. Coffee 3. Cherry Vanilla other than that I don't bother trying too many other flavors. If one of those three are not available, I will eat what is, but I am not an ice aficionado and not that fussy between gourmet and a box brand. ;-) I guess I am just one of those common currs. hehehe

  15. Plus they get to read about how the experts say to interpret body language and everything else, and they take those magazine quizes (the girls do, anyway) and you are right, it's a wonder they ever figure anything out.

  16. powerful read dear Joe
    well said and thing you picked up for exampling is correct specially when relationship take time hardly more than takes in melting
    i share blame you put on CHOICES
    it is absolutely true and i want to write a book on this topic someday

  17. I hear ya! I think people overthink EVERYTHING these days. I like simpler times, myself.

    Too many choices these days - back a few months ago, pre-conronavirus, a grocery store had a whole aisle dedicated to toilet paper and paper goods. I'd stand there, and get confused. Now, no choices. Heck, I'll scurry up that 4 pack of sandpaper for my bottom, quick-like, before the next person.

    I loved those mom and pop stores we had on every corner in San Francisco, growing up. No frills, no choices - just high prices. It was all worth it.