Monday, January 7, 2013

The Not-So-Holy Grail

A couple of weekends ago (what with the holidays, I can’t remember exactly which one, but I think it was before Christmas? It’s all a blur, folks) I was in a grocery store when all of a sudden I found the Holy Grail.

Now you may be thinking, what constitutes finding the Holy Grail in the grocery store?

The Grocery Grail (as I like to call it) is that thing you remember from another time in your life, that product which makes your brain go to its happiest place, the one that makes your heart melt like it does at the site of a puppy.  It might be a kind of cookie that your nana used to serve (like hermits, which make me have flashbacks to my grandmother’s kitchen, bad wallpaper and all), or the thing that you ONLY used to drink when you were on family picnics (grape soda!), or the gum that your grampa used to buy you when he took you for walks (Yikes! Stripes! Fruit Stripes gum!).

It’s the Grocery Store Grail. And when you find it, it’s awesome.

Well, it CAN be awesome.

But sometimes it’s not.

Because sometimes, in complete disregard of your feelings, your memories, and your happiest of happy places, the company that MAKES the Grocery Grail will … change it.

So of course, that’s what happened to me.

When I spied the Grail there on the shelf, I may have let out a small but super excited “eeeeek!” and done a dance of joy when I put it into my cart. “It’s MINE THE GRAIL IS MINE!” I whispered to myself.  For the rest of my grocery-getting adventure, I kept looking into the cart and squeeing with joy and thinking, “I’m going home, making a cup of tea, and diving into that bad boy and it will be MAGICAL.”

It would have been magical, too, if my memory of the Grocery Grail had been filled with eating spoonfulls of cardboard, lard, and yellow #5. With, of course, a cup of tea.

But they weren’t.

I swallowed that first bite – somehow – and then placed the item down on the plate. It looked at me. I looked at it.

The rationalization began. “Maybe it’s always been that gross,” I thought. “Maybe I just didn’t know it was horrible because I was YOUNG. YOUNG AND STUPID. I mean, this isn’t exactly a health food item here. Maybe I just didn’t understand the grossness.”

“Maybe,” I thought, “I need to take another bite and give it a chance.”

I took a nibble.

Still bad.

I wanted to cry for about 3 seconds, but then I got  mad. Because I’m not a dumb girl. I have an ability to differentiate between gloriously delicious and horribly horribly awful. This was not about me.

It was about the Grail Gone Bad.

I called someone who used to share my love for what formerly amazing Grail. “Have you… tried one of these things … recently?”

“OH MY GOD,” she immediately said. “It’s SO BAD. It’s the worst thing ever. They definitely jacked that up.”

“So it’s not us?”

“It’s NOT us. It’s THEM.”

“I was so sad.”


So today, you get a public service announcement. If you spy the Grocery Grail? You may want to pass it over. Leave it there on the shelf, all shiny and sparkly, for the next person to find.

Otherwise, you might feel sad and betrayed.

I’m just saying.

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