Plagued with a terrible cold, I recently crept down to the corner grocery store to buy some soup, and a box of your lime fruit bars. The soup was fine; your fruit bars ruined my life. I nearly lived on your fruit bars for a couple of months in 2005, during an extended bout of anorexia, and so I am very familiar with their delicious limeiness. The first fruit bar out of this particular box was sour, and not in a lime way. I ate it anyway, because it was the only thing I had going for me right at that moment, and if I had admitted its inferiority, I would have collapsed in a sodden heap – isn’t that true of so many things to which we cling? For example, jobs, boyfriends, a certain expensive pantsuit.
Anyway, after consuming an entire fruit bar, I peeked into the box, and there inside, nestled amongst the four other remaining fruit bars modestly clothed in their hygienic plastic sheaths, was a blatantly naked fruit bar, melting slowly in the box. Botulism? AIDS? I don’t know what I might have caught. But the disappointment was enough to count as tragedy, all infection aside. I burst into tears, and threw them all into the trash, where they later leaked through and made a sticky mess on the floor, which I then had to clean up, even though I was really, really sick, and had eaten only soup and one rancid, poisoned fruit bar.
Damn it, Edy’s! Those were $5, and the only small joy available to me in this dark time. I suppose you’ll send a coupon, but that’s not what I want. I want you to come over here, and go to the store for me, and love and support me in the good times and bad, and promise me that I’ll never again be alone and miserable when the ruthless germs of February begin their pitiless assault. Can you do that for me, Edy’s? CAN YOU?
Dear Nana’s Cookies,
I suppose that there’s not much you can do about this, your cookies being entirely free of preservatives, but every so often, I get a stale one. I live in a neighborhood that closes down at 7:00 p.m. Often, I come home ravenous at midnight or later, my body stretched between the opposite poles of excess and depletion, with few options other than a certain 24-hour mini-mart that stocks your cookies alongside the Entenmann’s. Now, this grocery is staffed in the wee hours by a certain young man who looks right into my soul and judges the darkness he sees there. I come in and purchase one (or even sometimes two) of your cookies, relying on their organic veganness, their all-natural fruit juice sweetening and freedom from trans fats, their unprecedented near 400 calories, to soak up the alcohol and shame that are coursing in equal parts through my system, and this young man looks and he sees. He is all-knowing. He knows that I allow fear, laziness and baseless hubris to rule my life. He knows that I hoard up the few meager talents I possess, denying the world any good I might do it. He sees that I am a coward who will just avoid a fellow’s calls rather than give him a straight up yes or no. He can tell I see a weak thing and zero in for the kill, and it makes me feel big – oh, so big! He knows I hit that child with my car nine years ago, and drove away in a panic.
He sees all of this.
So, listen, Nana’s Cookies, if I have to go in nightly and be judged by this prescient overlord, then at least you could see your way to ensuring that the cookie I clutch in my shaking hands when I emerge from the rarefying fire of this ordeal is fresh, soft and peanut buttery.
Dear Fage Greek yogurt,
You will be interested to know that I have stopped buying your delicious yogurt, as I have decided its price is so high as to constitute an insult. What goes into it, Fage? Molten gold? Who the hell do you Greeks think you are?
I’ll admit you have a reputation for wisdom, so let me ask you: is a small raise and a decent health insurance plan so much to ask when you’ve been with a company for six years? I may not be the greatest of employees, but I am loyal – I’m not going anywhere. It’s perfectly clear to all parties concerned that I will be sitting in that word-processing dock for the rest of my (hopefully brief) life, and all I ask in return is a monetary reflection of my value. Is that so much to ask? (I hope, Fage, that you at least use a portion of your outrageous prices to compensate your less-glamorous employees adequately.)
Is there no room in this society for the middling-to-average? I was a fool to reach for a tiny taste of something finer. Aspiration in excess of ability is graceless indeed. Does a lily fall into a rage over its inability to read Shakespeare? No! And yet, who does not respect the lily?
From here on out, I will eat Dannon and abide.