I hope the fearless leader of http://dearexgirlfriend.com/ doesn’t mind me sharing one of his points that he made a few days ago on Twitter. It just struck such a chord with me. He mentioned that Cocoa Krispies were awesome, as was eating them. And maybe that’s why he’s single? Hmm.
Lately I’ve been making a mental list every time there is a moment in a conversation where I express my taste or distaste for something and cite it as a ‘Reason I’m Still Single’. Mostly it’s funny stuff like “I find nicknames weird” or “I think Humpty Dumpty shouldn’t be an egg in most portrayals” (yeah, seriously, ask me about that sometime..). But the Dear ExGirlfriend tweet brought up an extremely sore subject for me: cereal.
Reason number 45 The Blonde is still single? Sugary breakfast cereals.
Once upon a time, I loved cold cereal. I could eat cereal for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and be absolutely content. This is probably still the case, but 100 pounds later? I don’t let myself near a box. But I digress.
Fruity Pebbles, Corn Pops, Sugar Smacks, Cheerios, Rice Chex, oh my. I loved cereal. But I also liked variety. Who wants Fruity Pebbles for breakfast and lunch? Yeah, that’s what I thought. Variety is the spice (or sugar, as the case may be) of life. So my solution is to have a plain brand—Cheerios, Rice Chex, Crispix, etc. and then a fun variety like Fruity Pebbles or Fruit Loops…more of a dessert cereal, if you will. This all makes sense, right? Don’t answer that.
The Boyfriend and I hadn’t lived in the apartment long, but long enough that we were making our umpteenth trip to the grocery store. I had been at work for eight hours that day, he had been at school both as an instructor and a student. I am sure we were both worn out, mentally. We wandered the aisles, which were packed with screaming kids and those damn motorized scooters that always seem to cut me off at the exact moment I stick my hand out to reach for something off a shelf. God, I hate those things! Anyway, we’d made the fatal mistake of grocery shopping while tired and hungry… and without a list. Or a budget. I look back now at those two idiots stalking the aisles and want to shake them and say “HEY! MAKE A DAMN LIST. SET A BUDGET. TALK ABOUT YOUR FINANCES! DO IT NOW OR ELSE!” But whatever.
Anyway, we wandered, debated, made our choices (however poor they were), and made it to the cereal aisle. I can’t remember what box I picked up, but The Boyfriend told me to put it back. “You already have cereal at home.”
I’m fairly certain I looked at him like worms were crawling out of his eyeballs. What the hell was he smoking now?
I knew we had cereal at home. I was buying the variety cereal. The cereal to eat in conjunction with whatever plain type I had at home. It made total sense to me. Then again, I always think I’m a genius.
The argument raged in the back of the store. I wanted my variety cereal, he didn’t want to pay for it. I don’t know how it turned into such a BFD, but it did. Unhappily, I left the store without my cereal, but it became a big issue for months. At first it was funny, you know “haha we argued over cereal!” It became a joke among our friends. “Don’t bring up The Cereal Incident”. I jokingly (?) called the Boyfriend a Cereal Killer. (That’s still funny, actually…). It was a funny story, The Cereal Incident. But grocery shopping was never the same. And eventually it turned into a real issue. “I never get what I want.” “You spend too much money.”
On my birthday, a couple of months later, The Friend came to my party with a grocery bag of TWO different cereals. A variety cereal and a staple cereal; just like I wanted. I remember feeling so loved and vindicated with my TWO different cereals. But I also remember the look of anger and hurt on The Boyfriend’s face. And looking back…it was sort of weird that The Friend brought a gift that was a direct reference to a really huge issue in our lives and was something that I clearly wasn’t getting from The Boyfriend. I know it’s pretty lame, but that’s hugely metaphorical at this point. Wow.
I know that I am not single because of a box of cereal. I don’t even eat cereal anymore. But I know that I am single because of that incident–I wasn’t mature enough to discuss what was really behind the argument. I can look back and cite two things: a) we never discussed finances and if we did, it wasn’t on the maturity level it should have been. We had no business living together if we couldn’t get that shit straight—and we definitely could NOT get it straight. And b) I was far too stubborn to give in during a fight about a box of cereal? Oh, that’s mature, Blonde. It goes on to show how I couldn’t let shit go, couldn’t resolve issues.
Am I different today? I’d like to think so. Of course there’s no way to tell until I actually get into another relationship. But I’d like to think that I am not that same stupid girl, standing in a grocery store cereal aisle saying “This is so fucking stupid” loud enough for children to hear. It’s moments like this when I remember a story, but see it from another perspective, and want to write The Boyfriend. I just want to say “Damn, I was stupid. And I am sorry. I don’t want you back, but I want to say that I am sorry that I was so lame. Please don’t tell these stories to your new girlfriend as evidence of what a bitch I am, because it just makes me look stupid too.” But I know that I can’t write that letter, and in the end it wouldn’t matter if I did. It is what it is and there’s no turning back.
So, here I am. Single. Because of a damn box of cereal. Sigh.