December 1, 2010

Author Guest Post by Steff Deschenes: The Perplexity of Ice Cream Perceptions

I created something called The Ice Cream Theory when I was a teenager which became an twelve-time award winning book in my twenties.  It was my own unique way of studying and defining the relationships I had with people by comparing their personality traits to ice cream flavors.  And, like ice cream flavors, social preferences shift based on age, experience, and even mood. There are exotic flavors that one craves when feeling daring, comforting flavors to fall back on, flavors long-enjoyed that eventually wear out their welcome, and those unique flavors that require an acquired taste. Like people, no ice cream flavor is perfect every single time.

And while I had a ridiculous amount of fun appointing ice cream flavors to the people in my world, I never put much thought into people’s assessment of what flavor I might represent to them and the why behind it.

It’s a strange thing having your own theory reversed on you!

The great thing about perception though is that it’s different from person to person to person.  How my mom sees me is certainly going to be different than an ex-boyfriend sees me!  Regardless, it’s always interesting to understand how other people view you.  And when friends and family have volunteered their personal insight using The Ice Cream Theory as the metaphor to explain what they think about me, I’m always a little nervous.

For example, an ex-boyfriend told me that his perfect flavor was dark chocolate ice cream.  “And you embody dark chocolate ice cream,” he explained.  I quickly realized that his affections for me were much more serious than I thought.  While I was under the impression we were having a light-hearted rendezvous, he perceived me as his perfect woman/flavor.  I jumped ship from that relationship real fast.

A friend described me as “Pumpkin Oreo” ice cream. Her reasoning: not only is pumpkin seasonal, but the combination of pumpkin and Oreo is VERY difficult to find.  To her, pumpkin is homey feeling, it’s comfortable, and it makes her smile. Add the Oreo to it and it becomes an unexpected treat!  “You are that for me,” she explained.  “Homey and smiley, but with the unique quirk of Oreo that makes you unexpected.  I don't get to see you often, but when I do I can't get enough of you and I can't bear to part with you.”  Our relationship was instantly strengthened after hearing how fond of me she really was.

Finally, my last boyfriend once told me that he thought I was like “chocolate chip cookie dough with raspberry ice cream.”  His reasoning was that I have a soft, comfy, homey side (the cookie dough) with bits of hidden talents all over (the chocolate chips) with a totally sassy attitude (the raspberry base) on top of it all.  I liked his deconstruction of the ice cream, but am not totally enthralled with the actual flavor itself.

Despite being the creator of The Ice Cream Theory, I still have to remind myself not to take things so personally or literally.  Especially after hearing people take my Theory and use it against, scratch that, towards me! 

This is just another person’s concept on people and relationships, meant to be interpreted and perceived differently by different people.

I hope you, like the people in my life have, take it and run with it.

And have fun!  It’s ice cream after all!

And ice cream was never meant to be taken seriously.



Bio

Despite a failed attempt at majoring in ice cream in college, Steff Deschenes is a self-taught ice-cream guru. After publishing the now twelve-time award-winning The Ice Cream Theory, she began exploring food on a more universal level.  As a result, she has spent every day for the last year photo blogging herself at dinner and the challenges of being a vegetarian in a predominantly seafood-oriented state.  Steff also writes two articles a week entitled “Maybe It’s Me” (personal essays and reflection on life and the living of it) and “Fact Is Better” (real life conversations she couldn’t make up if she tried); all of which can be found at www.steffdeschenes.com.  And to learn more about her book The Ice Cream Theory visit www.theicecreamtheory.com.  You can also find her on Facebook & Twitter.

When The Ice Cream Theory reaches 1,000 fans on Facebook, she's going to give away ten signed copies!

Disclosure:  I did not receive any form of compensation for this post.




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1 comment:

Jessica said...

Awesome post, girls! Can't wait to read the book :)

jsididia at gmail dot com