I had a startling realization (i.e. "antiphony") at Sam's club a few weeks ago.
We were in the cereal aisle. In front of us was an array of well-known breakfast cereals packaged in truly offensive quantities. This was a serious decision. Whichever cereal we chose to buy would be with us for a while. I scanned the aisle, and saw it:
Frosted Mini-Wheats. My favorite cereal.
"Let's get the Frosted Mini-Wheats," I said to Sven.
"Frosted Mini-Wheats?" he asked, the expression on his face indicating I had actually suggested Crunchy Grit -n- Paste. "What about Froot Loops?"
You see, Sven and I have very different attitudes about cereal. As children of the '70's (and in my case, '80's), we understand that, after our choice of Saturday morning television, nothing says more about a person than the brand of breakfast cereal they endorse. You could be Wheaties (Bruce Jenner, Mary Lou Retton), or you could be Trix (Silly Rabbit). These were important decisions, in those days.
My cereal identity was determined by my mother. A child of the '50's, my mother took the 1970's and '80's health revolution very seriously. (From everything I understand, in the 1950's a fistful of Oreos crumbled into heavy cream was an acceptable "breakfast." They didn't really start to figure out that might not be good for you until my childhood. Thanks, science.)
Our pantry contained an assortment of rock-and-twig cereals such as Shredded Wheat and Grape Nuts. When she was feeling "kooky" we'd get Corn Flakes, Rice Krispies, or Cheerios. (Rice Krispies were our favorite because the commercials featured Snap, Crackle, and Pop, the Keebler Elf's ne'er-do-well nephews.) Our "treat" cereal was Raisin Bran. My mom wouldn't buy anything containing artificial colors or flavors, or any added sugar. She did, however, allow us to add our own sugar, so when she wasn't looking we would heap sugar on our bowl of Shredded Wheat until the cereal was no longer visible. I think she knew.
Eventually, Mom softened her stance on cereals enough to allow Honey-Nut Cheerios and Frosted Flakes. There was much rejoicing.
My point is not to point out how my mother deprived me of a childhood by refusing to buy Cookie Crisp, it is to explain why I never developed a taste for "kid" cereals. I didn't taste Froot Loops until I was married, as I'm sure the Lord inended. I have never eaten a Coco Puff. I have only ever eaten one freeze-dried marshmallow, and I only did that after I learned Sven's passionate feelings toward them.
Sven's cereal background is vastly different from mine. His father worked in the food service industry, helping to develop new recipes and foods to market. He was instrumental in the creation of "Chex Mix." He also developed the freeze-dried marshmallow, which led to Lucky Charms cereal, Sven's favorite cereal. Sven vastly prefers kid cereals to any of the grown-up varieties. Some of his favorites are Froot Loops, Count Chocula, Fruity Pebbles, and Hershey's Bowl of Miniature Candy Bars That You Just Eat.
The early days of our marriage Sven bought his and I bought mine. That meant Sven bought a box of Lucky Charms and I bought a box each of Raisin Bran, Grape Nuts, Shredded Wheat, and Honey-Nut Cheerios. I would eat a bowl of each, then wait the required 12 months to throw the opened boxes away before I bought more.
Is it any wonder that I'm not allowed to pick the cereal anymore?
Still, I couldn't have the only cereal in our house to be Froot Loops.
"What about Rice Krispies?" I offered to Sven.
"That's not a food, it's an ingredient," he snapped. What about Cookie Crunch?"
We got Cheerios. To date, I am the only person in the house who has eaten any cereal.
Good thing we didn't get something no one else likes...