Sample in a Jar

Well, hey there. I know better than to promise that from this point forward I will regularly blog, because every time I say that there is a gigantic lag in posts. Accordingly, I make no promises regarding future posts. For all you know, this could be the last one ever so you should probably print it out and frame it, or put it on your fridge or carry it around in your wallet. I will even sign it for you. That is how selfless I am. You’re welcome.

For most of my childhood, we lived with my Grandmother. She was an amazing woman in so many ways, and definitely is the sole reason my formative years had any semblance of normalcy. She had a spark to her, a dark sense of humor and an easy laugh. I like to think I inherited these qualities from her. My kids definitely inherited her love of “freebies”. Samples if you will. Sometimes, not even samples. Just things left on the table of a diner for convenience. At any given time our refrigerator housed no less than a dozen Smuckers jelly packets that she pilfered from the local luncheonette. She also kept some in her purse. I am fairly certain that she never actually purchased a box of Sweet n’ Low. She just filled up her bag at the table and shamelessly asked the waitress for a refill. In any case, my girls, O and S, adore free crap.

Taking them to BJ’s is a sight to behold. In her normal life, O eats 4 things; mac n’cheese, grilled cheese, chicken nuggets and pizza. S has a more adventurous palate for now, but I know how these things go. On a good day with O, maybe I can convince her to eat a bite of broccoli. Yet when she is in BJ’s, she morphs into a pint sized foodie. She happily gobbles up anything they are handing out. Seared duck with a mango salsa reduction? Bring it on. She begs me to stay for the knife demonstrations so that we can claim our free prize. Spoiler alert…It’s an apple corer. I have 5 of them.

There is no place where their love of samples is more pronounced than at Trader Joe’s. From the minute we walk in, O asks if we can go to the “food counter” in the back. Mean mommy that I am, I make her hold off until I get the produce and the milk out of the way. It does not matter what they are serving, O wants it and she wants it NOW. For example, our local TJ’s was serving a little thing called a “shrimp nugget”. I can’t even say that without my stomach turning. I told her no less than seven times that she wouldn’t like them. She disagreed. She tried one and said they were delicious. She begged me to buy them because she wanted them for dinner. I said no. She lobbied me throughout the store, and I finally gave in because, hey, shrimp nuggets are a new food. We got home. I popped those bad boys in the oven, and 15 minutes later O refused to even look at them. A version of this scenario happens EVERY SINGLE TIME. You would think I would learn, but no. Not even close.

This week’s epic food waste failure involves a product called Pumpkin O’s. As an aside, when did everything become pumpkin flavored for fall? I am sure I am in the minority but I HATE pumpkin flavored shit. Especially products that have no business being pumpkin flavored. I am looking at you pumpkin flavored peanut butter. You may be asking yourself what is a Pumpkin O? Well, allow me to enlighten you. Pumpkin O’s are seasonally flavored Trader Joe brand Cheerios. The nice man behind the food counter offered a cup full of this nonsense to both O and S. I balked because there is no way a 3.5 year old and 17 month old will like this right? S ate the entire cup and O proceeded to declare her undying love for the yummiest cereal in the world. She begged and pleaded with me to buy a box and sucker that I am, I did. I am certain you all know where this is going right? The next morning, I poured both girls a healthy portion of Pumpkin O’s. Neither girl would eat hers. They tasted disgusting. These are different from the ones in the store… and on and on. I knew they would pull this crap because they do it EVERY SINGLE TIME. I had no reason to believe that this would be different, and yet here I am annoyed because there is a giant box of disgusting cereal taking up space in my pantry. This time I decided to take a stand. Every morning I vow to serve them a bowl of Pumpkin O’s. They might not eat it, but they will sit next to it at breakfast every day (until the box is empty). I have also taken to filling their snack cups with this, hoping against all hope that maybe they will actually learn to love one of their samples outside of the store.


One thought on “Sample in a Jar

  1. 1. Your Grandma was awesome. 2. How lucky are we that we had Grandma’s with the kind of spark that made us who we are today? 3. How unlucky are we that this crap passed on to our girls? 4. You know you love free shit too. 5. Pumpkin things are gross. Pumpkins should be painted (carving with A is dangerous), and nothing else. Gross. 6. You’re a sucker and I still love you.

    You’re also a fantastic writer and I hope you sign my copy.


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