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PARKER: Opinions without borders

Image Credit: Compilation/Jennifer Stahn
September 30, 2014 - 7:24 AM

I have always been very adamant and outspoken about the fact I do not like chardonnay. I tell people, all snotty, “It’s too bland,” “there’s too much oak,” or once, “I can taste the winemaker’s toes.”

Of course, these are all lies. I wouldn’t know the taste of oak if I bit a tree. The only reason I don’t like chardonnay is because I used to date a guy who came from money and his mother sat me down one day and told me that money and chardonnay don’t mix well. I guess you could say it stuck, despite the fact I have, like, seven dollars. I’d probably go great with chardonnay these days — served with some Kraft singles.

This is one of the opinions I have for absolutely no reason, but I am willing to fight to the death for. I also feel like this about wombats, about Instagram and about dessert-scented candles. There is no reason for me to be so passionate about something that matters so little to me in the long run, but I am — just because.

The problem with being such an opinionated “just because” person is that it is very easy to be defeated in the face of someone who has “because this” opinions. I think wombats are the best because duh is a lot less convincing than someone who says I think wombats are destructive to the Australian agricultural community because of their burrowing activity.  (I had to Google “potential problems with wombats” just now to come up with that.)

This problem rears its head in strange ways. Sometimes, I will end up creating fake PhD dissertations and pulling statistics out of thin air to prove my opinion is the worthy one to be believed. Sometimes I get really defensive and red in the face. Either way, I usually end up crying.

But . . . but . . . how can you not like wombats!?

I am then made to ask myself — over and over —how do I actually feel about wombats? Usually I don’t have an answer.

If I have no idea why I’m fighting in the wombats for the win war, I am certainly at a loss as to why I’m volunteering myself for the front lines. Why not just watch a documentary on them and buy a stuffed animal from Etsy? Maybe donate a couple bucks. Why do I have to make it personal?

This week, I was forced to look at some of the things I have strong opinions on. It turns out, I can trace each of them back to an ignorance that comes with being the type of person who values re-creating myself. In the midst of making fast and bold changes, I frequently jump through hoops I could have taken the time to walk around. 

These leaps and bounds into a new me tend to leave the foundation shaky.

Amidst the changes I so hastily make for myself, I sometimes neglect to sort out where things sit with my already withstanding core values — the values that should, under all circumstances, guide my opinions. In the face of this, I create new opinions I have to cling to in order to feel like I am on secure ground.

Having “just because” opinions is fun when you’re killing time chatting with a stranger, but when it comes to serious relationships — like the one you have with yourself and your loved ones — it seems to me the only way to succeed is to be open and honest about what your values really are.

Recreating myself on the outside does not give me permission to wake up and toss these in the trash. It simply means I can wake up willing to have a glass of chardonnay.

At noon, anyway.

— Andria is a twenty-something blogger living in Kamloops with her 100 pairs of heels and 200 paperback Penguin Classics.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014
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