MarytheKay – Aisle 1 at Walmart

By February 16, 2011 Parenting One Comment

I want to thank Kari for allowing me to guest post again.  What an honor to help “hold down the fort” while she’s in Ethiopia loving on precious orphans, and spreading her contagious smile across Africa!

The last time I guest-posted here, I chatted away about food…and my lack of New Year’s exercise motivation.  Here I go again, talking about the same old things.  Huh.  I don’t see a problem here, do you???   If ever you find yourself wanting some *wink wink* good old-fashioned snacks and conversation, feel free to stop on by my blog anytime!  My blog door’s always open, cold Cokes in the fridge!!

Dear Aisle 1 at Walmart,

You really make me mad.  I try so hard to walk past you—right there at the front of the store.  Tricking all the people who have just filled their carts with healthy fruits and vegetables.  Oh, but I’m on to you, don’t you worry.  I know your little trick.  Putting the daily necessities like bread and coffee right next to the middle-aged forbidden fruit.  You know exactly what kind of forbidden fruit I’m talking about.  Things with such sweet and helpful sounding names–like “Hostess” and “Little Debbie.”

Well, I’ve got news for you, Walmart.  Debbie was not little.

No woman can create beautiful snacks that pack 785 calories into 4 small bites, and still shop at Petite Sophisticate.

Oh.  Do I sound bitter?

It’s just that I try so hard.  I really do.  I make a list beforehand, I try to find the most healthy choices in the fruit and vegetable aisles…I take a deep breath, and determined turn down the bread aisle—you know, the dreaded Aisle 1—and already I am assaulted with the choice of wheat vs. white.  My brain says “wheat,” but my heart cries out, “White, please!  Think of the jelly toast, the grilled cheese, and oh my wheatberry—the peanut butter and jelly!”  Some things in life are just meant to be smooth, you know?

Then, after my brain and my heart have battled out the (lame-o) sandwich bread choice, what assails me next?  Well, the bright lights, the flashing neon, and the catcalls hollering at me from the shelves.  It’s kind of like leaving Mayberry, and running smack into Vegas, baby.

You think I’m exaggerating?

Have you SEEN that aisle?  I had to wait 5 ½ minutes just to take a picture without the mom and too-old-to-still-be living at home daughter.  That poor duo could not decide between the Donut Sticks and the Honey Buns.  And frankly, I don’t know which they chose.  I had to look away.  It was just too painful to watch.  Because that decision is easy.  Put them BOTH into your cart and move on.

I mean, am I the only one who feels violated by the colorful packaging and names of snacks that sound like your best friends?  Who doesn’t want a Nutty Buddy?  Doesn’t everyone want to feel like a celebrity eating a Star Crunch?  We all could use a little fancy in our lives with the Fancy Cakes.  And dangit, if that’s not enough, guess what Little Debbie’s motto is?  “Unwrap a smile.”  Who knew a smile was as easy as that?  I’ll take a Nutty Buddy smile with a side grin of Donut Stick.  And heck, while we’re at it, I’d like at least a month’s worth of smiles—how about you?

And, therein lies the problem.

My hips and waistline cannot support a month of Little Debbies.  Smiley, or no smiley.  Heck, my hips and waistline cannot even support a 4-day workweek of smiles.  Already my belt is one smile short of disaster.

I don’t really remember the day I stopped shopping the Vegas part of Aisle 1.  I’m kinda sad there was no farewell party or Bon Voyage.  I know my formerly skinny self “smiled” a lot in high school and college…and partying with no remorse, eating those seasonal Valentine hearts and Christmas tree snack cakes.  I even remember occasionally splurging on a Donut Stick or two in our early days of marriage.

Somewhere between my aerobics days of the 90s and the what the heck happened to my metabolism of my 30s, I started avoiding that part of Aisle 1.

And now.  Now I give people the angry eyes as they grab boxes of smiley Ding Dongs and Cosmic brownies.  Oh, they laugh now, throwing their heads back as they carelessly toss the Oatmeal Cream Pies into their carts. Oh, but just you wait.  Give it another 5-10 years, and they’ll be shopping the Activia and plain almonds soon enough.

How do I cope?  Well, let’s just say I feel like a downright rebel with my processed white sandwich bread.  Yep, I’m eating my smooth jelly toast and grilled cheese sandwiches with abandon.  Toss in a side of Activia and some almonds for dessert—and I am partying like it’s 1999!

So, Aisle 1 at Walmart, go on with your tricks and manipulation.  I’ve got your number.  And it is 1-800-Forget Jenny, It’s the Twinkie Diet 4 Me!!!

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