Popcorn, Previews And Fruit Cocktail

English: Unpopped corn kernels, prepared for p...

English: Unpopped corn kernels, prepared for popping. – Studio photo of Popcorn. Taken in 2011. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For years I was the type of person that would not start eating her popcorn until the movie started, the official movie. I would wait out the commercials, the “Exit” sign warnings, the “Please Do Not Disturb Your Neighbors” and “No Smoking” announcements. I didn’t even start eating my popcorn during the previews which to me, are almost as good as the movie itself. I had rules, my own strict, self-imposed rules.

Until last night where I saw the movie “Gloria” and as soon as we sat down and immediately I began munching on the popcorn and sipping Diet Coke. Hey, look at me! I surprised myself and then thought, “what on earth have I been waiting for all these years?”

Delayed gratification is fine when you are young and you want to save the best for last. The way I used to eat “fruit cocktail” or “fruit cockentail” as one of my kids used to call it was representative of my style. I would eat the most banal fruits first, picking out the pears and eating them first. Then I would sequester the peaches and eat them after that. Next to last would always be the plump, juicy grapes, it was a close tie for first and second but really who could not have the fake cherries as their number one favorite. I mean really, I was a kid.

I think if I would have it now (and don’t put it past me) I would take a spoonful of everything right up front, maybe sequester a few grapes for the end. The squishiness in my mouth is utterly delightful. But, the cherries? No big deal anymore. They don’t elicit the same excitement as they used to do when I was little. In fact, they have no taste.

Maybe growing up and getting older you realize you don’t have to wait to the end to enjoy the best things last. Why wait? I’ve always been surprised when my daughter used to read a book’s ending before starting it. This to me was unheard of but you know what? I kind of understand it now.

I don’t think I could ever do it, it’s just not my style but I understand her now, apparently she was a better teacher than I was. She always wanted to see her birthday cake as soon as it came in the door unlike her brother who wanted to wait until the last second, when I would come in with the candles lit. I admit it, I am more like he is.

I’m learning from my two kids, more and more. I love it.

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Fruit Cocktail: A Lesson In Life

When I was young and canned fruit cocktail was served as my dessert (barbaric, I know) I would eat my fruit cocktail with enormous precision and I would never, ever, vary my personal style. First, I ate up all the chopped peach pieces. After that came the pears. If there was a random pineapple that came next. Grapes were the next to eat, one at a time, each squishy piece exploding (a slight exaggeration) in my mouth and after that, well, what can I say, the ultimate reward, the fake bright red cherries. The cherries were the charm, the gift, the prize. They were ALWAYS left for last.

Last night, after years of not having fruit cocktail at all, I decided to have some. It looked so comforting and soothing. I opened the can (by the way, I noticed that all the good stuff is at the bottom of the can) and poured the “lite” mixture in to a shining, blue bowl.  As I looked at it I stopped to think, and then question.  Why should I leave the grapes and cherries for last?

Life is short, enjoy the fruit whichever way you want. So, I started eating grapes with peach pieces or pears with peach or cherries with grapes. It didn’t matter, I ate with no strategy. I just ate. I mixed it up.

What I found out is that a) I am now a bona fide old person and b) the fruit pieces really all taste exactly the same. It was a little sobering, a tad bit shocking and definitely disappointing. Also, not having that luscious, heavy, thick, high fructose syrup that we used to always drink when I was a child was like replacing fruit nectar with slightly sweet water.  I think the world was a better place way back when.

So, do your thing. There’s no use saving the best for the last. The last could be now. Eat what you want (yeah, yeah, in moderation)  and try to enjoy the little things in life. Dwell on the good things, not on the bad. If you want to eat the cherries first, you can. Do what makes you happy and more importantly, try to make other people happy. Carpe Diem.