Tuesday, March 31, 2009

These days, I'm only cuckoo for strawberries

Dear Cocoa Puffs,

It's 1:30 in the morning and I'm sitting here thinking about you instead of sleeping. 

Up until two months ago, I thought I was done with you -- had been for years. You were a part of my youth I'd left behind, gladly, willingly, with no regrets. I hadn't even thought about you since high school. I'd moved on, Cocoa Puffs -- to Special K and Total and Grape-Nuts. I've even had some Shredded Wheat and Fiber One in recent years. I was through with you and all you represented -- Saturday morning kung-fu movies and after-school snacks and such. I lived in a different world than the one we'd shared.  

And then, my youngest brother (who's still in college) shared some of his Cocoa Puffs with me. And -- I'll admit it -- I went a little crazy. 

I bought a box for myself, I'll confess. Every other day or so, I'd have a bowl for breakfast. Boy even got a taste against my better judgment. I've never seen him sign "more, please" so quickly. 

What is it about you? Is it the almost-but-not-quite-perfectly-round shape of your bits and pieces? It's charming the way you can roll around in my bowl, or spoon, or on the table when you bounce out of the box in your eagerness. More likely, it's that deep, chocolate-y burst of sweetness you offer when I crunch a mouthful. You've got more flavor than Cocoa Krispies by far, not that I'm even really comparing you two. Whatever it is, I can't seem to shake you, especially late at night like this. 

I want to say I never should have abandoned you, given up what we'd had. I want to believe we can make this work again. But can we? If I'm honest, I have to tell you that I can't bring you back into my life the same way as before. This time around, I was hiding you in pantries, hoping my in-laws wouldn't catch sight of you. (What would they think of me?) And that's just no way to live. It's not fair to you -- you deserve better. It's certainly not fair to me. Because I've finally come to terms with the fact that you're just not good for me. You're not healthy, and I'M not healthy when I'm with you. Sure, you're dark and sweet -- I'll never forget that, ever. But these days, if you're not 75% dark chocolate, it's just not worth it. I've got a family to think of, now. 

So goodbye, Cocoa Puffs. These last couple months have been fun while they lasted, but please know that this time, I mean it. If we run into each other on the cereal aisle, I can only promise I'll be civil. I can't stop to say hi -- the temptation's too great. 

Don't call me. 

Hanging out with fresh produce.

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