Sunday, March 25, 2007


As I was pouring myself a nice and fruitalicious bowl of Tootie Fruites™ after church this afternoon I was suddenly transported back in time to when I was but a young , impressionable, sweet thang. This bowl of heavenly delight had me thinking about what I expected in my cereal when I was a child.
I remember the shame and embarrassment I would feel for my friends if I saw that they had......bagged cereal.
We never had .....bagged cereal when I was growing up. Bagged cereal didn't have prizes inside. Bagged cereal didn't have fun things to look at on the outside of the packaging. Bagged cereal was..... bagged. If I was expected to eat the cereal it had to hold up to my strict standards:
#1 It had to come in a box, not a..... bag.
#2 It had to have commercials that I could see on the TV.
#3 It had to have a cute and lovable character associated with it.
Nutrition be damned.
I know of one family that had quite a large brood of chillin's and they would try to fool the kids into thinking that their .....bagged cereal was in fact boxed cereal by filling up the empty boxes with the ......bagged cereal. Had they gone MAD?? When I found out that bit o' info I was horrified that this kind of insanity was going on in the world.

Times have changed.

Now that I am the one holding the purse strings AND the one that has to keep the family in a nutritious upswing I have found that my strict standards have changed:
#1 It has to be nutritious (well, mostly).
#2 It has to be economical.
#3 It can come in a bag.

I can't help but wonder if my kids self-esteem is affected by our purchase of ....bagged cereal. Do they feel shame and embarrassment when they see that their friends know they have ......bagged cereal? Am I denying them the pleasure of digging into a brand new box of cereal to find the prize? Are they going to be emotionally stunted because they don't have fun cereal facts to read on the box while they eat said cereal? Is their sense of competition going to be under developed because they don't have to fight tooth and nail to get just one handful of Cap'n Crunch?

I asked my 9 yr old son how he felt about.....bagged cereal. He said that he liked the .....bagged cereal good enough but that he liked boxed cereal because it's easier to keep it organized. WHA....?!?!?!?!
I then asked my 6 yr old daughter whether she preferred ......bagged cereal or boxed cereal. She liked the boxed because of the little boxes and she thinks that they don't cost as much.
My hubby also said that he preferred the boxed cereal but that he didn't feel any bad feeling towards the.....bagged cereal.
"Hey baby, I'm just a cereal slut. You know that." he stated.
This made me wonder why I had such a prejudice against .....bagged cereal.

When you know that you have something for sure you say "It's in the bag"
We have tea bags (well not personally), duffel bags, at the movies I buy a bag of popcorn, I love when I have shopping bags full. Who doesn't enjoy a grab bag?
So why did I feel so strongly against .....bagged cereal?

But when people park so close you can't get out you say you are boxed in. Some car's are described as being "BOXY", and not in the good way. When people beat the snot out of each other and get paid for it, it's called boxing.

I can't help but wonder...did the shape of my cereal container also shape my self-esteem? Who know's?

Do you have a preference? Please, let me know!


b. said...

I don't eat cereal, and my kids don't much care either....they will take the BAG out of the BOX it came in. I don't think they come with toys anymore?? I think I like your kids.....

sue-donym said...

I noticed you had bagged in your cart the other night when I saw you. I didn't say anything at the time, but.., since you asked...

BOX! I too am a cereal slut, but a picky one at that. I must have the box to read, must have them stacked on my shelf, not flopped down, tipping and getting sqaushed by the canned corn (not that I have canned corn, but you get the point)

My 11 year old daughter is like you were I am sure. But now-a-days shame and embarrasment follow with pretty much everything I do these days.

metamorphose said...

I'm not a huge cereal queen, but I have to say boo to the bag, sistah!

The bags just aren't the same.

Azúcar said...

I could barely read your whole post I bursting with a response!!

I was horribly, irrevocably embarassed that we had bagged cereal growing up. OH THE HUMANITY. Once a year, for our birthday, we could go to the store and choose a BOX cereal. You didn't have to share your box cereal with the others, but if you didn't share, they wouldn't share with you when their birthdays rolled around. Turn about is fair play.

Now? If they made my favorite cereal in a bag (Raisin Nut Bran) I'd buy it. I just buy whatever box cereal is on sale for Other Half--he just wouldn't eat the bagged stuff. And El Guille gets bagged 'cause he don't know no better.

My parents always said: The box stuff is in bags too, now quit whining.

pflower10 said...

b.- I agree, I don't think that they do prizes anymore. I seem to only se e the "offers on the back of this box". I think my kids are pretty great too!

Sue- I just have to say you looked very pretty the other night, sunburn and all. Shame and embarrassment are the gifts that we give to our children to make sure that they want to move out one day!!! Cherish it, I know my mom did.

MEta- I say boo to the bag too. You are so right, they just aren't the same. They are like the red headed step-child of the cereal world. (no offense to anyone with a red headed step-child

Ironically I started to buy the bag BECAUSE of my other half (actually he's more like my other 3/4ths, he's 6'5") and now he's telling me that he prefers the box. GO FIGURE. I had two older brothers that would eat a whole box in one sitting so when mom came home with the boxes of the GOOD STUFF you had to eat your fill whether you were hungry or not just to make sure that you got some. The only rule we had about sharing is that the boys didn't have to. I'm not bitter, really I'm not....well, not much.

compulsive writer said...

Isn't the entire reason you grow up and go to work is so you can buy whatever name-brand sugar-sweetened boxed cereal you feel like?

Lucky Charms

Wheaties (which, I might add, no one has ever insulted by trying to put in a bag)

An occasional Capt'n Crunch (never the fruity kind)

Julie said...

Boxes for me, and not just to pad my woefully underfilled upper undergarment. (Say that ten times fast, I dare you.)

Bagged "Toasty O's" taste like sawdust to me and nothing at all like Cheerios. The only bagged cereal I can stand is the fake Golden Grahams. I stand with Sue: I am a cereal slut/snob.

Elizabeth said...

I'm all about the boxes. I also kind of share the weird response to bagged cereal...but I agree with you...I don't know why it's such a big deal. Maybe it's the whole buy in bulk deal, and everyone knows it's cheaper to buy it that way. Did it make you feel cheap when you were younger? Either way...I'm a box girl myself.

Elizabeth said...

p.s. Totally understand how tables have changed now that you are the one footing that bill. :)

Azúcar said...

The boys didn't have to share? What on earth...

Emily said...

I am not much of a cereal fan, but when we do buy it, I am ALL about the bags for one simple reason: c-h-e-a-p-e-r. i was a highfalutin cereal snob when i was a teenager and never imagined i'd be a bagged-cereal-eating woman, but i also never imagined i'd claim the following: i am all about generic brands, second hand shopping, and hanging my clothes to dry, so go figure.

mayday said...

It was definitely Cannon Beach. You go girl!

mayday said...

I buy boxed cereal. We always had it when I was growing up so that's what I buy now. I buy cereal for me (healthy)and separate cereal for my hubby (not healthy). I haven't really ever given bagged cereal a thought. I guess I will continue to never give it a thought. Or maybe I will.......

b. said...

Hey Peeeef,
I just read on someone else's blog that you were born and raised in Vancouver, WA. I WAS BORN IN and spent the summers in VANCOUVER, WA.
We must chat! email me.

Tales of a Saxy Ballerina said...

I like the.......bagged cereal......better because it has a lower price and it tastes almost exactly the same. Big deal. Bags. Boxes. *cough cough* I mean boxen!! And moosen! In the WOODSEN!!:)