Are You Truly Indifferent Towards Chocolate?—Little Pleasures Mean a Lot

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Are You Truly Indifferent Towards Chocolate?—Little Pleasures Mean a Lot

Perhaps because of my well-known penchants for sloth and hedonism, people close to me have been trying to convince me I would enjoy a visit to a local Nordic spa.  They are absolutely bewildered when I try to explain to them that this is way, way down on the list of things I am eager to experience.  It’s not that I would actually hate it; I’m sure it would be fine.  It’s just that there are so many other things I would enjoy doing far more.

After all, it’s not often that I have a couple of hundred dollars that are not automatically set aside for shelter, food, taxes, or service charges.  Whenever I do, I choose to spend it on things that will bring me the maximum amount of joy: a bottle of Laphroaig, say, or an anthology of classic Miles Davis vinyl; perhaps a couple of P.E.I.  lobsters and a box of high-end chocolates, or a stay at a nice b & b.  The idea of sitting in a pond of my own sweat, being slapped across the back with birch twigs, or plunging into pools of ice-cold water, or flopping about in volcanic mud and Himalayan salt holds no enchantment for me at all.  Whenever I need a refuge from the world, I look for a place with a comfortable armchair and walls that are lined with books.  If there’s a competent bartender on hand, that’s even better.

Still, it would be terrible if we all gravitated towards the same pleasures, wouldn’t it? “To each their own” might not be the most original or inspiring motto to live by, but it’s one that has always made sense to me.  I am eternally grateful for the sheer variety in which we are different, one from another.  My idea of Hell (one version, anyway) is a place in which everyone thinks and acts much like me.  For one thing, the world can only support so many snide, scatterbrained layabouts.

Sometimes, when it comes to well-trodden areas of controversy, the big philosophical gaps (or immense gulfs) between myself and others can feel troubling, or even alarming.  But I have always been inordinately interested in, even delighted by, the small, harmless, but far from meaningless differences in taste and perception.

I believe that these little quirks and preferences we all have are a large part of our personal stories, and of what makes us interesting and unique.  Keep your politics to yourself; sorry, but I’m not interested.  But…do you find Will Ferrell funny? Do you prefer Bridgerton to Better Call Saul? Is deep dish pizza better than thin crust? Is Lana Del Rey overrated? Are you truly indifferent towards chocolate? I am curious! I want to know more!

It’s as though understanding the reasons why somebody enjoys golfing, or dislikes 1930s films, or prefers Manhattan-style clam chowder might unlock for me some small puzzle box, some minor mystery of the universe.

I like to think so, anyway.  As far as I’m concerned, vive la difference!