The Rocky Road of Compromise

Let’s say, for the sake of this discussion, that your favorite ice cream is Rocky Road. Real Rocky Road has got a lot going on: milk, cream, sugar, vanilla, eggs, Dutch Cocoa, marshmallows, and roasted almonds. Rarely are you going to find an ice cream that has that many ingredients in one scoop; but you love it…for the sake of this discussion.

In this world of storytelling, Rocky Road has always been your heart’s desire. Your mom loved it, your grandmother often told stories about it; You’ve heard about how exquisite the flavor and texture is, and how great it makes a person feel afterward; so much so that you make it your goal to have a giant bowl of Rocky Road whenever you get the chance.

Unfortunately, you find that it’s actually a very rare ice cream (in this world of storytelling.) I mean sure, there are some stores that say they have Rocky Road, but you find these servings are always missing important ingredients. You stay strong, refusing to take some cheap imitation…you want the real thing. And why not? You work hard, you deserve the true Rocky Road.

Now let’s say, for the sake of this discussion, that you finally go to a world famous ice cream restaurant. This restaurant boasts having actual Rocky Road ice cream—no imitation. It has the real thing.

The only thing is, you’ll have to wait for it.

Waiting is so overrated at this point in your life. You’ve been waiting as long as you possibly can for Rocky Road, and you are tired of waiting.

You beckon the waitress and inquire what ice cream is available right now.

“Vanilla,” she replies.

So, you order a bowl of Vanilla ice cream. But not to be defeated, you also order a bowl of marshmallows, a bowl of roasted almonds, and a bowl of cocoa powder.

If you can’t get the Rocky Road you want, you’ll just have to do it yourself.

Now, this amazing ice cream restaurant brings exactly what you asked for (not what you want): A giant bowl of Vanilla ice cream, and all the other things you ordered.

And you mix them together.

And you begin to eat it.

And it’s pretty good. I mean…it’s no Rocky Road, but it is getting the job done.

In a moment of faux-gratification, you glance over at another girl who is receiving a giant bowl of actual, authentic Rocky Road ice cream.

The bowl is beautiful! The color of the chocolate is so much richer, the marshmallows have created streaks of fluffy goodness, and the almonds peek out of the frozen, chocolate mountains like tiny creatures peeking out from their habitat. It isn’t just ice cream, it’s art. You watch her put a spoonful in her mouth, and she closes her eyes to savor the pure deliciousness of the dish. She exhales in pure bliss and total satisfaction.

And you’re slightly jealous.

And you glance at your own order, this…mixture you created. “I got Rocky Road too,” you tell her. Which is weird, because you didn’t. You have dressed up Vanilla ice cream. And while you have all the ingredients for Rocky Road, you have attempted to take Vanilla, which is made a completely different way, and make it into something that it isn’t.

“Isn’t that Vanilla ice cream with toppings?” the girl with the Rocky Road asks.

You shovel a spoonful into your mouth. “Oh, girl. It’s just as good,” you mumble back.

But that’s a lie. Rocky Road ice cream’s cocoa, cream, milk, sugar and eggs are cooked over low heat. It’s marshmallows and almonds are churned in slowly over several minutes in a below freezing churn. It’s then refrozen for at least four additional hours so that it can attain a desired thickness.

The bowl in front of you is not even close to that. And because you didn’t want to wait patiently for the Rocky Road ice cream, you continue to make excuses for your Vanilla ice cream…with toppings.

You’ve wanted Rocky Road your whole life. You deserve Rocky Road. But you settled for Vanilla, and no matter how hard you try, it’ll never be the ice cream you want.

Make sense? Do you agree?

Then why on earth are you still dating that guy?

-Danita Lashelle

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