Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Made With Real Orange Oil

Years and years ago, when I was still yet a young lass (but not too young to be aware and appreciative of the finer things in life; in other words, I couldn't still have been in middle school, because middle schoolers are aware of nothing outside of their own bratty little heads), I was walking around some store during Christmastime, probably with my father, and I came upon small blue boxes stacked up in a display. The colorful red and gold wrapping of whatever it was in those boxes caught my attention; it all looked so cheery and wonderful, and it came in a BLUE BOX. Boxes are such wonderful things. They keep everything straight and organized and neat, especially if they're all of uniform color and size like these were.

Anyway, the boxes said something about "chocolate oranges," and I knew I had stumbled upon something new. Now I'm sure my father was with me, because I remember that one of the blue boxes was purchased for me, and you know the way that girls can wheedle their fathers into anything. I must've looked up at him plaintively and he crumbled in the sweet gaze of my bright, young eyes. And so I took a blue box home with me. I undid the newfangled thing in the comfortable safety of the kitchen, and noted the sticker on the mottled, shiny wrapping that read "whack & unwrap." And so I whacked. And then I unwrapped. And then...and then I fell in love.

Oh, the chocolatiness, mixed with the sweet, slight hint of orangey exoticism. It's like reading Heart of Darkness, only a Heart of Darkness that ends happily, with Kurtz marrying his Intended and smiling happily in front of everyone, with orchids and lilies draped over everything, and Marlowe fulfilled that he has had his adventure, while his Aunt finds a nice, suitable English girl to marry him off too, and no one had to die, they just went on a little trip to find out what this Africa was all about. That was kind of like what eating my first chocolate orange was like, except probably (maybe) a little less literary.

After that first one, many, many, many chocolate oranges followed. I developed a sort-of obsession, which makes sense when you realize that five years later I would be comparing it to a darkly post-colonial novel about the horror within humanity, and that I've made similar comparisons all year long. I just can't let things go, even if they're not entirely appropriate or healthy. Anyway, Christmas was such a happy time of year for me, because of the comfortable blend of citrus and cocoa blend. And also probably that whole "peace on earth, good will toward men," and the fact that I could enjoy it all bundled together with two weeks off from school, hooray!

I liked chocolate oranges so much that my first MSN Messenger name centered around it.

Then, things started getting in the way, and I didn't have anymore time for the blue boxes and the whacking and unwrapping. Life is like that. But, the other day, when I was in a store, I spied another display of blue boxes, and I decided to get another chocolate orange. It is, after all, Christmastime.

I whacked and unwrapped yet again, as I was so used to doing. I popped a piece into my mouth. I realized that maybe I do hate capitalism after all. Because those jerks at Kraft have changed the recipe, and now it tastes entirely different. Not glaringly different, but enough different that I don't recongize it. The taste doesn't mingle as well. It is DIFFERENT.

And so I have learned, yet again, that you can never go back. It's time for a new Christmastime tradition.


Anonymous Christie said...

I *loved* this post. Good job! I'm also bitter at Kraft because they changed the recipe for their macaroni and cheese, and now it tastes nasty.

10:48 PM  
Blogger juxtaposer said...

YES! Yes, it does. But my feelings on mac & cheese could fill many, many books.

12:31 AM  

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