Sunday, 19 May 2013

American eats, American treats

Reading: The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes
Listening to: Four Seasons by Vivaldi
Outside: Our central heating is on. Meh.

At first, I was stumped. What would I write about this week? What could I possibly entertain my loyal blog readers with on this fine Sunday afternoon? How did so many people come up with fascinating, transformative, hilarious posts, day after day? How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie-Roll Pop?

I looked to my left. My mobile phone, my favourite Uniball fine-tipped pen. My day-planner. (Yes, I still use a paper day-planner: a work of spiral-bound, old-school perfection.) Not much going on there.

I looked to my right. And aha! My snack! This is certainly the way to your hearts - via my heart - my 20 oz bottle of Mt. Dew and my box of Wheat Thins Original 100% Whole Grain Snack Crackers.

Why these, you ask? Why are they so special?

Because, my dear friends, they are from the States! Like me!

And, unlike me, you don't see these in England.

No, you really don't.

Sure, they have the "imitation" Mountain Dew here, in the fluorescent toxic-green bottle, but it is labelled as an energy drink, and has a scary weird label, and has different ingredients, and tastes like wee. No, I don't know what wee tastes like. But British Mountain Dew is precisely what it would taste like.

The Real Thing: American Mt. Dew. Mmmm...low in sodium. High in everything else. Mmmmm
Mmmm...21g Whole Grain* per serving. Mmmmm

These two delicious delights came via my (English) friend's parents, who went on a recent holiday cruise to the States, and asked if I wanted anything from the good old U. S. of A.

Did I?

Did I WANT ANYTHING from the States?

Yes. Yes. Yes I did.

And so, bless them, they traipsed all over Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, into at least FOUR DIFFERENT supermarkets, during their land-time, to satisfy my sort of ridiculously long list of good eats.

Bless them.

And here, two of the fruits of their labor! My glorious, glorious snack food!

One sip, one bite. And. Ahh, my undergraduate years at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, come back like a dream: dorm-cozy, sitting with my friends on a crumb-strewn floor on my family's old (very, very old) living room rug, watching Spongebob on my few empty minutes. Crunching my way through box after box of Wheat Thins, chatting to my friends, working on term papers, getting changed for whichever of my 3 part-time jobs demanded my attendance.

Late nights in the study hall, all pyjama'd up, hunched over my Biological Anthropology workbook, pinning down the precise moment (at least within the most accurate 10,000-year epoch) we walked out of the Great Rift Valley.

Creative writing classes, furious wordcounts, a bizarre fitness walking class. An astronomy class I never understood. Walks across the warm autumn quad, weightless in my flip-flops and super-tiny shorts/tank-top, free from all constraints of life.

Ahh, those were the days.

It seems this super-sweet, super-salty combination of snack-food is the perfect way to bring it all back. Ten years younger, ten years of yesterdays undone and still floating off somewhere in the ether, the future a big, sunny Unknown. The duality of sweet and salty, the good and the bad - the very carbonation and wheat-grains that make up a life.

I eat and drink these snacks, and I enjoy stepping into my past - and as yet unknowable future - once again.

Thank you, Sarah's parents, for giving me that opportunity. American eats, American treats: more than just high-calorie snacks! They are tastebud memories, tingling and true. Thank you.

On that note, I bid you a beautiful Sunday, filled with all (or at least a couple) of your favourite things!

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