Sometimes I have a story I want to tell here that I can’t because no matter what I do to strip away the details to protect the privacy of others, the story remains completely transparent. If you knew me at all in real life, even just a little, you’d know who or what I was talking about. I do file them away though because they are wonderful “you won’t believe this” type stories and they need to be told someday.
But, since I can’t tell you those stories, I’ll tell you this one instead. It’s about a friend of mine. No, really. A friend. This wouldn’t happen in my house.
One day, my friend bought a box of crackers. Maybe it was a box of organic, 27-grain, mega-fortified crackers from that high-end grocery store where everything costs five times what it does in the regular store. She bought this box and she took it home thinking her kid would like the crackers or he would at least tolerate them and it would be a good way to sneak 27 grains into him since he doesn’t want to eat anything remotely healthy (not that I’m judging my friend or her kid here, you see). She put her hopes and dreams of a healthy life for her child into this box of crackers. He took one bite, spit it on the floor and she realized she just wasted $9 on these crackers because they tasted like dirt.
But she refused to call this a loss. Those crackers were going to get eaten come hell or high water! She took a bite. Through gritted teeth, sort of chewing, trying to choke that nasty thing down, she smiled and told her child that those crackers were good. She asked if he was sure he didn’t want to try another. He didn’t. He ran away. She was relieved, because then she could spit the thing out too! She put the crackers in the cabinet and give the kid Goldfish.
Later, her husband came home and tried the crackers. He told her they were horrible and she agreed. He was not thrilled about wasted money. She assured him they would get eaten. Secretly, she was creating a mental list of who she could give these crackers to so as not to waste. Her friends’ kids who like healthy stuff? Her healthy friends? A coworker? The dog? Someone had to want these stupid crackers.
Every day when she would get her kid a snack or pack his lunch or reach for the nearby cereal, there were the crackers, smiling at her. Taunting her. When she would buy new groceries, she was always smacked in the face by how they were taking up precious shelf space where she could put something edible. Yet she wouldn’t move them. She would not let these crackers defeat her.
Months went by and the crackers were still there. Eventually she got used to the crackers and they started to bother her a little less. Some days her anger towards the crackers would flare up and she might have a little meltdown about them, but once she blew off some steam, things went back to normal.
But then one day, her husband had had quite enough of these crackers and said, “Can I throw these things out, please?” She shrugged it off, “Yeah, whatever.” And just like that, she heard them hit the bottom of the garbage can with a thud.
It was then that she realized she was free! The crackers were finally gone! There was now a 2 inch wide space in her cabinet where she could actually put something yummy! She hadn’t really accepted the crackers after all. She was simply waiting for fate (or her husband) to step in and deal with the crackers. She no longer had to look at or feel guilty about or have anger towards a cardboard box with a plastic wrapper inside filled with small discs of putrid grains. She might have even acknowledged that maybe she shouldn’t have had this many emotions towards a box of crackers that wasn’t really worth her time. She might have also vowed that next time she buys bad crackers, she will just cut her losses and pitch them immediately. But it didn’t matter now. None of it mattered now because those crackers were OUT OF THERE!
Phew! That felt good to get out. Um, I mean it must have felt good for HER to get that out… You know, when it happened and all.
Friends, I promise you this: That story is about my friend and her crackers and nothing else.