Friday, February 29, 2008

And how do you take your cereal?

Ah, breakfast. The food of champions. Or something. Wow, bad start. Anyway, so maybe it's sad that I'm writing a post about cereal. Apparently this is indicative of what goes on in my life. But i say, if you can talk about cereal in an interesting way, then you will never be a boring person. I'm not saying this will be interesting, however. I 'm telling you this now because i didn't want you to get your hopes up.

People are very particular about their cereal. Whether it's if they eat it at all, how much milk they like, what kind they like, what they put on it, whatever. When I was small i enjoyed sweet cereal as much as the next kid. It was a treat. Oh, Captain Crunch. Would that you ceased to shred the insides of my mouth and would that your sugar levels be reduced by 99%. Because i have since crossed over to the boring grown up side of cereal. I hate to say it because I think i'm in denial and saying it somehow makes it true. But it is. I still like to think I enjoy the occasional bowl of Trix or Lucky Charms but inevitably, afterward, all i want to do is dilute my entire body in water or something to excrete all of that sugar. Ew, excrete is such a vivid word.

So here's how I like it.

#1. Boring. Lately I've really been into Bran Flakes. Yes, boring ugly brown Bran Flakes. It's depressing and I bore myself when i eat it. In the recent past, I've typically bought whatever brand of Honey Bunches of Oats but even that can wrench my sweet tooth a tad too much. So i do boring. But, i have to have bananas in my Bran Flakes.

#2. On to the banana. I am very particular about bananas. In my book, the only time a banana is edible is the short window that begins the millisecond after the banana stops being green and the day before one brown spot appears. After that, the banana is no longer known as a banana but is then called "banana bread" in my home. I hate overly ripe bananas. Totally gross. I'd much rather eat a green banana except that banana wax, another made-up term, is annoying. I know you know what I'm talking about. The weird stuff that sticks to your mouth. Blagh.

#3. I like not a lot of milk. Just enough to moisten the flakes but not too much to drown them. I hate being left with milk soup after i'm done with my cereal.

#4. I eat it fast. Maybe this is due to the nature of my cereal--Bran Flakes are likely to soggen pretty quickly. But truthfully, I think, for me, eating cereal just isn't that fun. So i eat it quickly to get it done and gone. I don't think one can really savor a nice bowl of cereal. It's a race against the sog and also boredom.

#5. Relatedly, I think i probably eat way too ginormous mouthfuls of the stuff. This is probably totally foul to witness but today i was realizing as i shoveled as much cereal onto my spoon as i could, how unbecoming I must look and how I am undoubtedly one of those cereal-eaters others deplore. I'll have to ask those around me and see if this is true. Or eat in front of a mirror next time.

#6. I hate eating the last crumbs of the box. Ohhh i hate it so. Who doesn't? But i'm so wasteful. There are 4 boxes of cereal on the shelf right now that, if i were to combine their contents, would probably fill an entire box. True the combination would be totally gross but still. Starving kids, Jen. So i refuse to finish them off and just go buy another box which will inevitably join the graveyard of forgotten cereals. Lately, though, to remedy this, i think i have been forcing myself to eat the cereal dust and I do it so begrudgingly. Who's forcing me, I don't know. But it's laborious.

After having typed this, it's kind of a wonder to me that i even eat cereal at all. Clearly i've depleted all the fun out of it. Maybe I should just go back to Apple Jacks and sacrifice my mouth for nostalgia's sake. Maybe eating cereal really is just a juvenile thing, and celebrating the lingering joys of childhood one bowl at a time is the defining stuff of boring old adulthood.

p.s. I talk about cereal way too much and apparently feel the need to discuss it every 7 months, weirdly.

p.p.s. Happy Leap Year, Feb 29th! See you again in 4 years!


The Gardner Gang said...

I LOVE cereal. Most any kind. However, if it does not come sweetened, then I usually add a few teaspoons of sugar.
I'm not a big fruit in the cereal type of gal.
One thing I do.....different is my milk. I know there are others out there, but I am one of a few. ICE COLD MILK!! I love it!! If my fridge doesn't get it cold enough, (which by MY standards is hardly ever) I put ice in it.
Yep, it is VERY unusual for me to NOT have a glass of ice milk once a day.

Ashley said...

I also LOVE cereal, and I think I'm going to have to put up a fight about this proposition you made that "maybe eating cereal really is just a juvenile thing." Yeah right. I pretty much like all kinds of cereal, however now in my adulthood I eat the sweet stuff less often because I don't feel like I'm actually getting much nourishment. But I still like it once in a while — and mostly because it tastes good. Not because I'm "celebrating the lingering joys of childhood."

Anyway, I don't mean to sound so harsh, but I think part of my problem with your biased post is that you failed to mention that you have a medical condition [diagnosed by me] that prevents you from truly enjoying the joy that is a slightly sweet bowl of cereal. What did I call it? Hyperthyroidism?

So there. The facts are the facts, Jen, and I think to avoid presenting all of them is not only unfair to us but unfair to yourself.

Ashley said...

"Enjoying the joy"? Sorry for that lame phrasing.

)en said...

Ha ha. Geez, ease up, Ash. I have no recollection of you diagnosing me with hyperthyroidism, but i DID mention my sensitivity to sweets. And i expressed regret for it because i wish i could still enjoy the sweet stuff.

You do love cereal. Just yesterday i was telling Sean how much you love(d) Golden Grahams. Wow, what stimulating conversations we have.

)en said...

Also, just reading about ice cold milk makes my teeth hurt. An ice cube in milk?? You're crazy town, Carolyn. ;)

Darby said...

The last crumbly dust of cereal is so annoying to eat. It makes my milk quality go so down.

Natalie R. said...

If I had any less control, I would eat cereal for every meal of the day. I love the milk at the end of the bowl - my sister and I used to try to figure out how to create a factory where we could make and sell cereal-flavored milk!

I agree about the dusty cereal at the end of the box, though. I have to force myself to eat the last bowl of each box.

Mindy said...

Jen, I hope you don't feel bad that I found your blog through Michelle & Brian's. You're a great writer so it's fun to read.
I eat really boring cereal every morning too, but I love it. Grape Nuts or Frosted Mini Wheats, every day. I never seem to get sick of it. Keeps you regular too. Wow, can you believe I just said that?
Sometimes I can't believe the cereal my husband gets for our kids--for example the generic frootloops with marshmellows like lucky charms in it. Can you pack any more sugar in there?

Lianna said...

Funny how so many people wanted to comment on cereal. Alas, I am one of them. I totally agree with you about the bananas! I just thought I was being too picky/spoiled. I also eat my cereal at hyperspeed so it doesn't get soggy. I hate it when someone calls or knocks on the door after I just poured the milk. And, I love my milk cold. I put it in a glass in the freezer before getting anything else ready for breakfast. Basic 4 is my favorite, but it is expensive, so I've taken a break from cereal for a few months. French toast is yummy. Do you have anything to say about french toast?

)en said...

mindy, wow! talk about a blast from the past. Welcome. :) your kids are cute.

Lianna, i'm with you. Basic 4 is delightful.

I hate that i'm an old person regarding cereal. I guess it's better for my health, but still.