Dear Froot Loops: I Love You

Published in The Ferndale Record, December 31, 2014

I know. You and I got a late start. I had to dabble in healthier choices before I finally got around to knowing you better.

Most of my adult life I’ve purchased virtuous cereal. I always chose the less offensive (sorry, my love) alternatives in the name of nourishing children and their growing bodies. You know the ones – Corn Flakes, Cheerios (if I was feeling especially rebellious, I bought the Honey Nut variety) and of course, Corn Chex.

I sometimes opted for Raisin Bran or homemade granola with wheat germ because, well, that’s what responsible parents do, and I liked to believe I was one of them.

But every now and then, I’d come home with a box of Lucky Charms and the troops would lose control. I learned the hard way how small cereal boxes really are. At some point I showed up with you, Froot Loops, and that sealed the deal. I knew you were special, and looked for ways to have you in the house without children knowing. I live alone now, and don’t have to hide your bright red box.

I’m pretty sure no one else enjoys you in the same way I do, but you already know that. I don’t bathe you in milk, but enjoy you straight from the box, or if I’m feeling particularly polite, I’ll pour my loops into a bowl. The only milk I drink with you is of the chocolate persuasion, and in a glass. Who else does this?

I’ve read that there’s no discernible flavor difference between your colors. Your purple loops are not grape-flavored, your orange, yellow, red, blue and green loops apparently aren’t assigned any flavor either. But you know what? I don’t care. The inherent loopy goodness is all that matters.

Once I made the mistake of trying Trix because I assumed, except for the shape, you were identical. Can you forgive me? Sure, Trix are round, and so are you, but with none of the explosive, sweet, crackly crunchiness that’s so crisp it sometimes scratches against the top of my mouth in that way I like.

Remember a month ago when I was jonesing for you? I went into Rite Aid where your 8.7-ounce boxes were two for only $5. I bought one, plus a bottle of Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup and a half-gallon of milk. You disappeared in around 24 hours. I felt some shame about that, but only a little. The other thing I felt was my body holding up the proverbial ‘hand’ in ugly protest.

Let the others have their Cap’n Crunch (with Crunch Berries), Lucky Charms, Cookie Crisp, Reese’s Puffs and Count Chocula. I don’t crave any of them like I do you.

I love that if I shop smart I can find you on sale. I love the little sugary bits in the bottom of the box’s plastic liner. I love that there will never be a New Year’s resolution about less of you in my future. I even love the clever way you spell your name, with two Os in “Froot.”

My unabashed Froot Loop love – now it’s out there.