Soft. Melty. White. Brown. Rainbow. Whipped cream. Chocolate syrup. Hot fudge. Caramel. Banana splits. And of course, to top it all off, a nice, red, delicious cherry on top. I believe in all of those things and more. It may be striking and a bit peculiar why I would choose to put my faith in a specific food as I do with ice cream, but it is simply a matter of choice, just like it is when you pick out your outfit or decide which dining hall to eat at. So, whether it is two scoops of chocolate chip cookie dough, my personal favorite for as long as I can remember, or Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Monkey for $4.39 a pint at the College in the Woods dining hall, I believe in ice cream and its power to do more than just make your heart “melt.”
It’s a hot, humid summer afternoon. The sun stands in the middle of the sky, its rays beating down on your back, causing you to perspire even more profusely, little beads of sweat trickling down the back of your neck, as you play on the swings with your little sister or in the basketball court with a group of your friends. Your throat starts to ache for something to quench your thirst, which seems overwhelming at the moment, when you hear the most beautiful sound ever created by mankind: the Mr. Softie jingle.
I believe that ice cream constitutes a major part of one’s childhood, which to some, may seem as far away from them as home does. When I was younger, I would go to the park at least once every week to ride my bike with my twin sister and grandfather. It was always a tradition for us to ride around the park a few times and then just wait. Wait for that familiar jingle that used to—and still does—light up my heart. We would always order the same thing each and every time, a vanilla ice cream cone. Plain. Simple. No toppings. Just the soft, white swirls of vanilla heaven on my tongue. Looking over, I could see my sister devouring her cone, creating a vanilla-white mustache above her upper lip, as my grandfather and I laughed at such a funny but memorable sight. I believe that no child should be deprived of the experience of having a cone given to them by the man in the ice cream truck.
I believe that ice cream can make you feel just a little bit better without saying a word at all. It was a Thursday night and I had just come back from taking a difficult chemistry quiz, feeling as down in the dumps as the bag of trash the garbage man had just taken out. Slumping into my dorm room, I opened the door only to find my sister happily consumed in her bowl of vanilla ice cream topped with some strawberry sauce. She explained to me that there was an ice cream social for our floor. I then grabbed a cup, poured some peanuts and gummy bears on top, and like a kid, happily skipped back to my room. There I sat on my chair, eating my cup of melting ice cream, chewing my gummy bears one at a time, with no care in the world, forgetting the possibility that I might’ve done terribly on my quiz. After two or three servings, I began to believe in its power to be your comfort, it’s-okay-don’t-fret, there-there-now-everything-will-be-all-right kind of food.
I believe that ice cream is also the foundation for many bonding moments and memories shared among friends, whether it’s at 8 in the morning or 2 at night, deep into a conversation or a movie. Just a few nights ago, my friends and I, with nothing better to do on a Friday night (we’re not the partying kind of people), decided upon watching The Lion King. Halfway through the movie, we were in the mood for some ice cream, so four of us, including me, chose to pig out on some Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Fudge Brownie. The combination of the movie, the ice cream, my friends, and the atmosphere created by all three contributed to my current belief: ice cream has the power to be the underlying basis for some good times, some bad times, and even some I’m-in-the-mood-for-some-ice-cream times.
I could just sit here and write about my countless times involving my “love affairs” with ice cream and the times it warmed my spirits when the world was seemingly too cold for me. However, that would be pointless for me. Just like people, ice cream comes in all different sizes, shapes, and colors. So the next time you’re with friends or loved ones, sitting around a laptop watching a movie or just chilling out, may I suggest grabbing a pint of ice cream and some spoons. Without further hesitation, you may now commence the process so beautifully known as “pigging out.” But as for me, I’ll be on the next bus back to New York City so that I can wait. Wait for that familiar jingle that used to—and still does—light up my heart.
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