Quarantine life has neither improved nor ruined my food life. I seem to consume the same amount each day in calories (not enough on the best of days) and the quality is pretty much identical to what is was pre-quarantine (not that great, because I am single).
The one big difference I have seen came when I discovered that my most recent favorite seasonal candy, Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs—which are a peanut butter cup but in a flattened Easter egg shape that somehow changes the ratio of chocolate to peanut butter from what one expects in a peanut butter cup to perfect—is now everyone’s favorite seasonal candy and not my secret favorite thing. They vanished from the local grocery store shelves at least two weeks before Easter. The eggs are usually to be found available in a bulk discount pile of bags of twenty each near the front of the store the day after Easter; last week these precious gems were available for a dollar per egg at my grocery store and the store did not have ten of them to make a “Ten for $10” purchase.
It was a shock to discover that so many of you love these along with me. Even Amazon, which will not ship non-essential items like candy right now—sorry, Amazon, but I speak for all of me when I say that I disagree with the assessment that candy is non-essential—even the online retailer reports that the peanut butter eggs are out of stock, will not be in stock until May, and the price is now $19.00 for two packs of six, which is more than four times the usual asking price. Candy right now has a shelf price and a street value.
My unsolicited investment advice? Buy stock in candy companies.
Cleaning supplies, face masks, paper products, and peanut butter eggs have all vanished from my local grocery store. There may be other comfort foods that people have begun to hoard this quarantine season, but none of them are my personal secret comfort foods, so I have not noticed their absence. The peanut butter eggs, though. A single tear runs down my cheek whenever I think of how poorly you all are eating right now, and how it has denied me my own favorite poor food choice.
This is not to say that I do not have other candy choices available. There are plenty of “fun packs” of the usual suspects from the candy aisle. Everyone seems to think of Snickers and Milky Way bars and other confections as a form of health food, if one judges from the piles of those candy bars still available. It is true that some of those candy bars are almost complicated in their ingredients, and a peanut butter egg can be consumed almost without the pesky extra work of chewing, but Snickers are not spinach.
Quarantine life has exposed each of us at our essential selves, for good and ill. It turns out that almost every one of us is down deep, regardless of gender or age, an eight-year-old boy.
I will venture out to the grocery store tomorrow and I hope some of you will think of others for a change. Well, me. I hope you’ll think of me. I hope you’ll go ahead and leave that bag of peanut butter eggs, if the store has managed to replenish them, behind. But if I have to make the healthy choice and buy a bag of Snickers, well, I can take one for the team.
The WordPress Daily Prompt for April 5 asks us to reflect on the word, “Dish.”
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