Not My Flavor

I love coffee. You all know that, I’m sure. And I really like it with flavored creamers. I know. I know. They’re full of chemicals and fat and sugar.

Still, I really enjoy them.

The other day, my hubby went to the store for a few things. Toilet paper, cheese, and coffee creamer.

All very important items.

Now, my hubby picked up a few of the Girl Scout Cookie flavored creamers. The Thin Mints (oh, if heaven was on earth…it would taste like Thin Mints) and Caramel and Coconut (which we called Samoas when I was a kid, right?).

The Thin Mint creamer didn’t last all that long. It. Was. Fabulous.

IMG_20140324_083751

The Caramel and Coconut? Blech. I declared it not fit for consumption after the first sip.

“Honey,” I said. “Don’t buy that one again, please.”

“Why not?” he asked, looking devastatingly handsome.

“It’s gross.”

“Um, Sooze, you aren’t the only one who drinks creamer.”

“Yeah. I know.”

“And, I like it.”

At first, I contemplated questioning his sanity and sense of taste. Surely his tastebuds were damaged by all the Spaghetteos and hotdogs.

Then, I remembered something I heard Agent Ann say*.

“It’s not my flavor.”

See, I might think that creamer is the nastiest thing in all the world. Someone else might believe it is delicious. Same with liver pate or sea food. We like different flavors. And that’s okay.

It’s even okay if you like something I don’t.

You know, it’s the same for music, art, film, and literature.

Wouldn’t it be something if, instead of saying that a book was “meh” or “bad”, we said, “It’s not my flavor”. Or, “My tastes are for something a little faster paced”. Instead of trashing another’s work with a “blech”, we admitted that it might be better suited for a different reader/viewer/listener?

So often, I read reviews (mostly on Amazon or Goodreads) that include negative things about a book. It was too slow moving, too fast. The characters weren’t likable or were melodramatic. And on and on. The reviewer gives a low star rating and declares the book “not all that good”.

Many times, the same book has 5 stars from other readers and really positive comments**. The reviewer truly connected with the book and enjoyed it. They emote about the book.

So. Who is right?

I don’t think there is a right or wrong here.

It is a matter of taste.

I’ve heard from both reviewers things like, “Did we read the same book?”

Yeah. You did.

But you are different people. 

What moves me isn’t going to move my best friend. What I think has merit, another person will think is worthless.

My flavor isn’t your flavor. 

You know, it’s okay. In fact, it’s great. The world is full of different flavors, genres, writing styles, types of movie and music and art. If we all enjoyed the exact same thing, the world would be boring and the realm of art narrow.

So, I say, Three Cheers for different flavors! Huzzah to different tastes!

Just, let’s be kind and polite and remember that our differences are good.

*My agent’s name is Ann Byle. Here at my house, we call her Agent Ann. Sometimes I sing, “Secret Agent Ann”. 

**Now, I understand that moms and uncles and bffs are going to give overly-glowing reviews. And that some books solicit reviews that are more than generous. I’m referring to honest reviews. Especially those written by folks the writer doesn’t know.

 

Advertisements

16 thoughts on “Not My Flavor

  1. I say this both because it is true and because it would make a great pick-up line. “I like your flavor.”
    I also concur that the Thin Mint is way better than the Samoa creamer. Also, have you tried the Naturals Cinnamon? My current fave.

    Like

  2. Well said. I don’t know why some reviewers think they need to be nasty when something isn’t “their flavor.” Maybe it’s the impersonal nature of typing on a computer. The reviewer forgets that their comments are directed at a real person. And that writer was not trying to rip them off by selling them a “bad” book. Far from it. Maybe a warning should pop up when reviewers click submit, asking them if they would say what they’ve written to the author’s face.

    Like

    • Jeff, I don’t know. I think a good number of factors play into someone being nasty. Fortunately, I haven’t had anyone be cruel. But there have been a few who weren’t fans of my writing. I’m becoming okay with that.

      YES, some of the reviews cry, “I was ripped off”. That, I believe, is more telling of the reviewer than anything.

      Hm. I wonder if the review sites would consider your pop up idea. It’s a good one.

      Like

  3. The York Peppermint Patty flavor also = heaven on earth. I’m a total cream-aholic. Total. I get very depressed when Pumpkin Pie Spice goes out of stock, and giddy when it comes back.

    As for books and movie and art and all that, you are TOTALLY RIGHT! And when I write reviews or advise others on how to write them I always say, “Please view this review as a ministry, both to readers and authors. Be honest, but be edifying. If you don’t like the book, please point out the audience you think WILL enjoy it. If you can’t find anything nice to say, then don’t write a review, unless you feel it’s so dangerous a book that it needs a warning. If you DO love a book, point out why, so that other readers can determine if they share your tastes and so will also like it.”

    Granted, some books do need to come with warnings for certain readers, but that is so rarely a matter of opinion as much as it is one of conviction…

    Like

    • I like your idea about suggesting audiences that may like the work. I’ve done that before when something wasn’t my flavor. It shows the willingness to admit that, just because something wasn’t your flavor, it still has merit.

      Like

  4. Love it Susie. I think I will use that line the next time I read a book that doesn’t resonate. At our house we use the phrase “don’t yuck my yum” which is how we acknowledge that what one may not like another will and it’s okay. So maybe I should say “it’s not my cup of yum”. 😜

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I loved creamer back in the days when I could consume dairy without turning into some kind of atomic bomb. Ahh well, as far as books you are right, I know some lovely people I completely respect who have terr… I mean a different taste in books… You Susie ARE my flavor!

    Like

  6. Pingback: Toot Toot — Or, My Least Favorite Part of the Job | Susie Finkbeiner

  7. Pingback: Editing Life | Susie Finkbeiner

  8. Pingback: In Good Voice | Susie Finkbeiner

  9. Pingback: Reading Vonnegut | Susie Finkbeiner

  10. Pingback: Something Different | Susie Finkbeiner

So...What Do YOU Think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s