A few weeks ago my sister and I were browsing the Target snack aisles when we came across the beloved wall of Oreos. Now, I don’t know if this is standard snack architecture in all Targets, or if it’s unique to ours, but we rarely make a trip without marveling at its wonder.
On this particular trip, we forewent responsibility, self-control, and health conscious spending, and grabbed a package of the newly released, highly enticing flavor known as “Cinnamon Bun.” It was within an instant of seeing them that we shared a glance a.k.a an unspoken agreement that addressed the necessity to purchase, so we threw the package in the cart, and the rest was history. And by “the rest”, I mean “all the cookies” in under 2 days.
Our stance on the matter was clear:
About a week later, a friend of ours brought a package of the aforementioned gifts to the Thursday night bowling league my family plays in.
“I heard these were pretty good,” he said to me with a smile, hinting at my social media post. I smiled back and then opened the package, offering him first taste. He obliged, giving the cookie a nod and an overall look of satisfaction, one that assuredly suggested he would not say no to another one, or two, or three.
For the remainder of the night, we passed around the cookies to friends, many of whom had also seen my affirming proclamation. But while they knew me and understood my undeniable appreciation for what I was dubbing, “a cookie for the ages”, they also knew themselves and understood their own taste buds. So, as they made their way through the cookie, twisting it apart or breaking it in half or consuming it all in one bite, they calculated their opinion.
Some were positive, some were in total agreement with me, some even more so; others tilted their head, shrugged, or remained indifferent; and others shook their head, twisted their mouths, and offered a brief, “it’s not for me.”
I obviously stood on a specific side of the argument, and was unafraid to express it lovingly, which is ultimately what had brought the argument in front of so many around me. It had sparked curiosity and the need for research to see which side was right for them. It had got them thinking. And while those who ended up on the opposite side as me will ultimately always hold an opinion that may not make sense to me, it doesn’t make me doubt that it makes sense to them. It doesn’t make me doubt that it’s what they believe. Why? Because from their point of view, I stand on similarly unfamiliar ground. Why can’t I understand their side of it? Why can’t I see that Cinnamon Bun Oreos are actually horrible?
Simply put: Because I don’t believe they are.
Does this mean we should hate each other? Does this mean I should consider them a lesser person? Does this mean we can no longer see eye to eye on anything?
Of course not. Because there’s always Swedish Fish Oreos that we can collectively agree are disgusting.
You like Swedish Fish Oreos?
Well, okay then. I can respect that.
Agree to disagree.