Saturday, May 2, 2015

Ramen's Legacy

My kids love ramen noodles, and ask for them all the time.  Most of the time I find myself furrowing my brow, and wondering why on earth they would choose that, when they have a million other options.

It's simple:  they love it because it's never been their only choice.

You know what I mean.  Remember in college, when you looked in your pantry (and believe me, I use that word loosely) and saw only ramen noodles, generic cereal, real coke (come on, we're not animals, people!) and Pepe Lopez tequila?  Yes?  And in the freezer was frozen juice concentrate (to complement the Pepe) and Mr. T's pizzas, amirite?  What more does a broke-ass college student need?

Well, turns out that the surplus of ramen and Mr. T's never quite leaves you/stops haunting you.

 I now have a pavlovian reaction to ramen noodles - I eat a bowl, and immediately get paranoid....  Have we paid the house payment?  Do we have enough money?  Should I start 'couponing'?  Did I REALLY need to buy those brand name Cheerios?  GREY EFFING GOOSE?!  Is my husband trying to bankrupt us?!

Ramen is not just a noodle, it's a state of mind.

You can earn half a million dollars a year, and after one bowl of ramen, you're thinking "Maybe we should switch to single-ply" and "Good God, people, there's a one Twinkie limit!  One!  Do you know how much those things cost?!"

Similarly, other 'college purchases' bring certain sentiments to mind, as an adult.

Mr. T's pizza:  "This is what sadness tastes like.  Sadness, served atop charred cardboard."

Pepe Lopez tequila:  "Hope you're not attached to your stomach lining!"

Frozen juice concentrate:  You look at it, and all you taste is the Pepe Lopez... after all, once it was made (seriously watered down, of course) it only contained about .001% juice.  You now have a near vomit-inducing sense of revulsion whenever you see it.

Generic Pop-Tarts:  The equivalent of a dried out piece of used paper, scribbled on with Mr. Sketch markers.

Generic Cereal:  "Why bother with niceties like real milk?  My life is over."

Banquet TV dinners:  "Pretty sure this is the stuff Mom used to feed our cat."

Suave (or White Rain) shampoo and conditioner:  "My hair is dried out and shriveled, just like my soul."

Yeah, so, maybe all those rose-colored college memories don't involve eating... or they involved eating at someone else's house.  Come to think of it, I don't remember eating a whole heck of a lot, and when I did, Hamburger Helper was a freaking feast, yo.

There's your answer to the burning question "Why the fug were you so effing skinny?!"
When you have ramen, cardboard, and cat food to choose from, painfully thin doesn't seem so bad.


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