Secret Pop

May 19, 2005

Refined Sugars as Emotional Conduits

I feel sorry for children who get granola as a snack. Or trail mix. Or some sort of carob. I always have. Back in the days when I was a babysitter. Or when I would see what people brought with them for lunch. Or when I would go over to a friend's house after school and be offered refreshments by their mother. There were the cool kids whose moms gave us brownies and made quesadillas for us in the microwave. And there were the "other" kids, whose mothers enthusiastically offered wheat nuts, yogurt-covered peanuts, and perhaps the opportunity to eat some dry Life Cereal out of the box. Do I really think mothers who give their kids Snickers bars love them more? I guess I do. I guess I don't think that carrot juice is a treat. And if a child has been raised to look forward to that, I sort of feel bad for them. Like they are less prepared to face the rigors of normal human existence.

But then the kids eating granola as snacks are also usually wearing sandals (and I mean the boys, too) and madras shirts and I wouldn't be surprised if something in their outfit was made of hemp. So, yeah, they're easy targets for my elitist pity. How can those little rubes fend for themselves out there? It might just be me. I don't even like restaurants to indicate which of their menu items are "heart-healthy." I feel very rebellious about healthful eating. I shop at Whole Foods a lot, and I buy really great stuff. But if it happens to be fat-free or low in carbs, I need for it to keep that information to itself. You can't think celery is delicious and also be any fun at a party. I'm sure of this.

By the way, Quaker Chewy Granola Bars and Kudos don't count in this discussion.

And while I'm on the subject of elitism, I should report that Wayne Federman and I had a lengthy conversation today during which he tried to make me feel bad about being an elitist. I guess the truth is I'm incredibly self-deprecating and insecure, but I also manage to look down my nose at a bad outfit or an uninformed argument or a classic rock station programmed into your in-dash stereo's preset buttons. I won't deny that I have elitist tendencies. I will also say that I don't think there's anything bad about that. It's kind of hard for me to come up with funny things to say if I truly subscribe to the idea that everyone is basically intelligent and worthy and deserving of the same bounty in life. I'm not judgmental in the awful sense. I'm not intolerant or narrowminded. I just think it's far more challenging to make any real observations about the people around you when you're standing right there next to them on the same level where you can't make a face without them seeing it. Right?

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