Hello. My name is Melissa and I like bananas.
For a long time I didn’t eat bananas. I thought I was allergic.
I ate one in church one time—yes, in church—and my mouth got all tingly. It was super annoying, especially since I was trying to listen to what the two resigning pastors had to say.
But I really really missed bananas. The taste, the texture, the way the slime gets all over everything and turns brown and crusty if you don’t clean it up…
So last semester I did something unintelligent:
I decided to eat a banana.
Granted, my reaction had not been over the top last time, but allergic reactions are supposed to get worse every time.
Eating a banana that I might be allergic to is not a wise thing to do.
But I did it anyway.
And man, did that banana taste good.
But better than the taste of the banana was my absolute lack of any allergic reaction. Over the course of the next couple of weeks, I ate many bananas. And you know what? I was fine.
No reaction whatsoever.
Sometimes I think we’re supposed to push our limits. To question the accepted order.
Is that maybe the definition of growing up?
Not being stupid and trying foods you’re allergic to (because even though it worked out for me, I don’t advise you repeating my behavior because you might have your throat close up and that would be awkward. No dying, ‘kay?). But questioning the things we’ve accepted because they were handed to us by our parents.
I promise this isn’t a post about modesty or the purity culture, but I’ve grown up kind of in the eye of that storm, watching the madness all around me and disagreeing with both extremes of opinions. I have my own opinion on the matter now, and it doesn’t necessarily line up with my mentor’s. Or my mother’s.
Not that I don’t appreciate and greatly look up to both of those women. Not that I don’t love them.
It’s that we don’t see quite eye to eye on the matter.
Tolerance isn’t about embracing or championing another person’s viewpoint.
You’re even allowed to believe that the other person is misguided and still be tolerant.
Culture would do well to remember this.
As this year has progressed, as I’ve made the transition from high school student to college student, I’ve found that I disagree with some of the things I’d been brought up under. I happen to not mind wearing spaghetti straps. Harry Potter makes me happy. And staying up past midnight—while stupid—is something I like to do more than occasionally.
Some things I’ve been brought up under I still wholeheartedly embrace. Like, people need to know how to work hard. Off brand macaroni and cheese isn’t worth the money you “save”. And life must always revolve around a personal relationship with Christ.
So in case you’re wondering, I’ve not gone off the deep end in some sort of sheltered-kid rebellion.
And to be honest, it still makes me laugh when people tease me for using outdated phrases like, “Heavens to Betsy!” instead of the swear words that are so popular. (But my philosophy on cussing has, like so many things, changed and broadened this year, leading to a shift in my reasoning behind not swearing. Maybe I’ll write something on that sometime…)
I’ll keep dancing this dance of old blending with new, of firmly-rooted values realizing their application, of California country girl colliding pell-mell with Texas country culture and coming out alright.
I’m Melissa, and I really like bananas and Harry Potter and the funny way people look at me when I put my own nonsense words to pop songs.
Also, if you know of a (non-yellow) dragon looking for a new employer, I’m in the market, so have him or her contact me.