Saturday, March 1, 2014

The Good Ol' Days Weren't Always Good...Or Were They?

I've got a lot of good blog ideas stewing...and I've even taken to writing them down in a journal so that I won't forget to discuss them.

How so very proactive, I know.

At some point in the near future, I plan on talking about such highbrow topics like: barding and roasting pheasants, why is the Albariño gone?, and a mediocre Coconut Curry Chili recipe.

Today, though, one thing is on my mind, and *that* is what I'll delve into today.


Raise your hand if you remember begging your parents to buy this cereal for you.  Keep your hand raised if they ended up buying this:

Pic courtesy of the folks at Mental Floss
Yeah.  My hand's up too.  Don't get me wrong, Michael Jordan is extremely cool and all, but he's no match for Alpha-Bits.  Or Count Chocula.  Or Fruity Pebbles.  Or Super Sugar Crisp.  Or any of those other sugar-stuffed cereals my parents would rarely buy.

Our pantry was usually stocked with Wheaties, Raisin Bran, Cheerios, and Rice Krispies.  I always thought my mom was just mean and cruel, but I think now she was way more savvy than she let on.  I came of age in the 80s, long before Nutritional Facts was a mainstay on food packaging, and thus, looooooong before we knew how much sugar were in these cereals, just how dangerous that was, really, and why food manufacturers didn't want to tell us, either.  Ignorance was bliss.  In a bowl.  With white milk.  While we sat too close to the TV watching Saturday morning cartoons.

But my mom knew how bad these cereals were. Or maybe she didn't.  That's the beauty of nostalgia.  You thought you knew what your parents didn't know, until you found out they knew way more than you thought they knew.  They just didn't tell you, or something.

Well, these days, we live in the Information Age.  Ignorance is no longer Bliss, it's Damned Near Impossible.  And these days, there's no reason why I should buy Alpha-Bits or Count Chocula or Fruity Pebbles or Super Sugar Crisp for my children...especially since I'm trying to keep our pantry and refrigerator as "clean" as possible...

...

So.  When, during the course of the weekly grocery shopping trip earlier today, I saw the box of Alpha-Bits (according to Wikipedia, around since the 50s, removed from shelves in 2006 and brought back in 2009), I should have been able to walk right on by.  I should have turned my nose up at that bright blue box, with its refined, über-processed contents.

But I didn't.  For some reason that only demons can understand, I squealed (I actually did) and snatched it off the shelf.  Maybe it's that time of the month, maybe it's because my local Fareway just finished renovations, or because it's because The Man and I were alone (hence, a date)...who knows?  My defenses were down.  I bought the longed-for breakfast cereal of my youth.

And you know?  I don't think I'm going to feel bad about it.  'Tis a fleeting thing, and here's what's going to happen: after dinner tonight (Shrimp and Pineapple with Coconut Rice) we will all have a bowl of Alpha-Bits for "dessert"...and it will taste terrible.  My taste buds will be absolutely disgusted by the sugar and fakeness of it.  I will spit it out and dump the rest down the drain.  And never, ever try such a stunt again.

Stay tuned.

A few hours later...

 
It is true that as we age, we remember certain events, people, and objects more fondly than they warrant.  It wasn't the taste I loved about Alpha-Bits...it was doing the activity above.  Spelling out words and messages with the dry letters before they became soggy and fragile in milk.  The corn taste of the cereal is undeniable, but there's also a nutty aftertaste.  Weird, really.  Monkey Boy really liked them, the Kirbster seconded that emotion...Husband and Eldest Child were too engrossed in the college basketball game on TV to really give the cereal their full attention.

1 comment:

  1. The object of my affection was Sugar Corn Pops. I think they're just called "Corn Pops" now, but who are we kidding? I'm scared to try them now because I'm guessing they will make me want to puke. But back in the day? Nirvana.

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