Monday, February 13, 2012

Thoughtful Touches

Most people who know me know that I am a very big ice cream eater. There is nothing more delightful to me than a waffle cone with a double scoop. Except possibly a waffle cone with a triple scoop.

This is not a passing enjoyment. This is a passion. When I see giant ice cream cones out in the world (you'd be surprised how many there are) I always have my picture taken with them. I once ate twelve scoops of ice cream in one day (for charity). I've gotten into arguments with people about ice cream. My preferred flavor is vanilla, which some people find boring. I have an ongoing debate with one friend about whether vanilla is even a flavor--he says "vanilla" is the same as "plain," but I say it's utterly essential because it's part of the base to every other flavor. And so on.

My all-time favorite ice cream flavor is SUPERMAN, which I used to have all the time as a kid, but never could find as an adult. Turns out, it's not a widely known flavor because it's produced by a regional ice cream company called Hudsonville, based in western Michigan. I learned this during an author visit to Grand Rapids, because after my talk, the librarians came bustling up to me with cheshire smiles and said "Come on, we have a surprise for you."

They proceeded to take me to an ice cream stand that served SUPERMAN. When I saw it on the menu, I was beside myself. I'm sure I squealed it: "How did you know?"

They told me they had read an online interview in which I had lamented that I hadn't had SUPERMAN ice cream in many years. I couldn't even remember offhand which interview it was--I later found it, but it was really obscure. I couldn't believe they had not only read it, but were thoughtful enough to make it a part of my visit to their city. I had a huge double scoop of SUPERMAN that day, and I will never forget it.

The point of all of this is that ice cream is a thing that I love. The flavor, the chill, the crunch of a cone. It brings me joy. And nothing is more meaningful than when people notice a thing about you that brings you joy, and go out of their way to help you experience that joy again.

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