Ellen HuangB.A. in Writing & Theatre at Point Loma Nazarene University

 

Let's say there's a kind of dessert that's everyone's favorite but yours. You can imagine this however you want, a piece of red velvet cake, a tall cup of coffee flavored boba, a cup of chocolate tea.

You see advertisements for this dessert all the time. Try as you may, you can't escape the 30 second jingles on YouTube, the songs dropping reference to the dessert's whipped cream or shot of caffeine or extra sweet sugar. The way voices slyly drawl when they name this dessert, the way it makes people's mouths water.

You might find it absolutely awkward how people's tones of voice change describing just eating, but you accept that it's everywhere. You just don't personally crave it.

You could still think the dessert beautifully arranged. You could enjoy the atmosphere when the aroma fills the cafe. You aren't necessarily allergic or repulsed, so you could sip that drink if you decided to. You don't necessarily mind it. You could even enjoy getting this dessert with a friend, even if what you mostly enjoy isn't the dessert itself but the fact that it's a bonding experience.

For all you know, this could be an acquired taste, and with enough of these midnight runs with good company, you could find yourself eventually wanting it. Maybe you'll associate the dessert with good memories and then begin to love the dessert itself. Maybe. 

But for now all you know is that while people are rushing for this dessert, randomly craving it like a pregnant woman craves an eclectic grocery list, needing that taste of coffee to start the day or needing that drink to finish their day—you don't feel the same way.

You don't have that craving.

Now, all around you people may choose not to get this dessert for whatever reason. Maybe they can't afford it right now. Maybe they're on a diet, and decide to work on their own health in different food groups first. Maybe they've been told you can only have this dessert if you're a member of this club, and some places only sell this dessert exclusively to members of this club. Maybe they really are allergic. Maybe they can't wait to try this dessert but are saving it for special occasions, like their birthdays or when their best friends finally return from that tour in France. (That's legit.)

Many of these people can choose not to buy the dessert, but still randomly crave it. They can still go on about their day to other things they enjoy. They'll just sometimes sing about how delicious the dessert is, or write literature about how good that dessert looked in the shop window, or in a game of charades, associate the universal word "eating" with this particular famous dessert. They still have the craving every now and then.

You don't have that craving.

People gasp. Have you even tried it? The answer could be yes, and it was disappointing. Or the answer could be no, but you just feel really neutral about it. As you see the close-up images, your mouth doesn't water the same way. As you smell the aroma of the sweet dish, your mouth still doesn't water. The ingredients of this dessert, you may have tasted in different foods before, and you don't particularly care for these ingredients.

People try to reassure you out of any fear of its health hazards, telling you you're now old enough to know about its health benefits­­—parents were just afraid kids would waste all their money on getting this dessert. Now that you are earning your own money and taking care of yourself, you can go get the dessert now. 

You know. You just don't crave it yourself.

People try to tell you everyone likes this dessert, you crazy. This dessert brings people together. Going out to this cafe that sells this dessert, that's what friends will want to do on the weekends! Wouldn't it be weird to go along with them only to not order anything? Don't you want to get out more?

Yes, but you don't particularly crave this dessert, so there's no reason to order it. And that should be okay.

But one thing you do love is ice cream.

So, while your friends take in that lava velvet cake and it warms them up, or sip in that chocolate tea and sigh as if just kissed by a spark, as your friends ask you if you're sure you don't want something hot right now, you smile and say you're sure. And, laughing with good company while the music goes on and your best friend obsesses over taking pictures of all the pretty colors before eating, you delight in a sweetness all your own as it melts in your mouth.

 

Ellen Huang is an asexual writer of fairy tales and human skits. Most recently, she wrote about diversity and heaven in a new Lenten devotional called Our Daily Rice and won an award in school for her short film project "Cross the Horizon." El is known around school for her windswept cloak, her quirky collection of props, her dark or punny humor, the skeletons on her balcony, her night owl habits, and her uncanny ability to reenact Disney scenes on demand (a reputation she'll have to rebuild since graduation). Follow her creative work: worrydollsandfloatinglights.wordpress.com

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