Monday, March 9, 2009

Feeling My Oats

I've had an on again, off again relationship with Oatmeal. If Oatmeal and I had a relationship on Facebook, it would probably be classified as 'it's complicated'. That's saying something, because I really hate that relationship status. I actually de-friend people who list their status as such. Anyway, back to my complicated relationship with Oatmeal. 

This relationship began early in life. I think it had something to do with me really liking Wilford Brimley. So because of my affinity for Cocoon, warm breakfast, and all things Brimley,  I began spending time with Quaker Instant Oats in elementary school. Typically it was the Cinnamon and Spice flavor. I don't really know what 'spice' it was. They weren't really specific about that, but I didn't care.  Then I found  Cap'n Crunch, so Oatmeal and I were on a break. The Captain was fun and exciting, and I was young and stupid.  Sure, Oatmeal and I would still talk every once in a while, but it just wasn't the same. We weren't really exclusive, so we just sort of drifted apart. 

Oatmeal came back into my life in 2003. I discovered 'Oatmeal For Women' by Quaker and fell in love instantly. It was Vanilla Cinnamon, and it was beautiful. I loved everything about this Oatmeal makeover, and it was like we had never been apart. Now I'm not really sure what made it 'for women' to begin with. I convinced myself that it was just some marketing ploy, and eating it every morning wouldn't actually turn me into a woman. I actually started eating my lady oats right around the time that I met Kate, and it didn't scare her away, which was something. She didn't get jealous either.

And then something terrible happened. My blue boxes with the feminine font stopped showing up in the breakfast cereal aisle at my local grocery store. So then I thought it was just my grocery store. I traveled to other grocery stores, but it was nowhere to be found. Just like that, they were gone. No note.  No phone call. Nothing. I just looked online and some guy (or, more likely, some woman) is selling a box of lady oats for $24 on Amazon. I'm thinking about it.

So after getting abandoned like this by my lady oats, Oatmeal and I broke up again. This time I thought it was for good. Oatmeal had it's chance, and then left me. So I ran back to the Captain and found comfort in his delicious crunch berries

Then we moved to Charlotte and began hanging out with Matt and Kath. My friend Kath is sort of an Oatmeal evangelist. She is single handily bringing back this breakfast treat. Not the instant kind, but old school, cooked on the stove with water AND milk (and plenty of other stuff). Her blog even has a 'Tribute to Oatmeal' section. I wonder what the YIFY 'tribute' page could be. Probably something about television. 

Anyway, I was skeptical at first about this whole cooked Oatmeal thing, mostly because I don't really cook.  I do grill stuff, but I don't think I can grill Oatmeal. So that's strike one. Also, Oatmeal (done right) takes a little bit more prep time than my Cap'n Crunch. Two strikes. Throw in my complicated history with its instant cousin, and I thought that was that. But Kath was persistent. She's all, 'oh, you should really try it' which sounded a lot like 'you should meet my friend, and I'm not going to let it go until you go on at least one date.'  So I decided to give it a shot. 

My first date with this new Oatmeal was a double date. Matt and Kath came over to my house to help me through the awkward first encounter. Kath cooked and I paid attention. Sort of. Me and the new Oatmeal really hit it off. I stayed sort of full until noon and I could mix in enough ingredients to make it taste good. I'm trying to come up with a dating analogy for that last sentence, but all I can come up with is something about Oatmeal looking pretty hot after a few beers, and that just sounds inappropriate. So forget that I even said that. Next it was time for our first date together. I wasn't completely ready to be alone with Oatmeal, so I brought my laptop with me. Kath has an instructional video on her blog about how to cook Oatmeal, so I put that on one of the burners, while I made my oats on the other burner. Did I mention that I'm a huge nerd? Oatmeal didn't care. She doesn't judge me. 

So now Oatmeal and I have a date every morning. Oatmeal and I have gone on vacation in six states in the past couple of months. We'll even rendezvous in the hotel restaurant or the airport food court. I'm not ashamed of this relationship anymore. Kate is very accepting of this relationship. She's not quite as head over heals with Oatmeal as I am, but she rarely turns down a bowl as long as I'm doing the cooking.

Now it's only been a couple of months, and I don't want to get ahead of myself. I've had my heart broken by Oatmeal in the past, and I don't know if I can go through that again. But I feel like we're in a really good place right now and hopefully we'll be spending many more mornings together.  


Sara said...

Hey Bro,
I'm with you on the vanilla cinnamon oatmeal for women. I loved that one. Whatever you do, don't try the weight control cinnamon flavor - ugh!

Allison said...

When you're on the road, try Jamba Juice oatmeal. It's the real deal and so yummy!

Kath said...

Que romantico!!!

You better not go "off again"!!!!

Grilled oatmeal...hmmm....

And shame on Kate for not liking it 100%!

(PS. I'm bringing you an oatmeal topping on Thursday. It's not a big deal, but just a little something fun :) )

Nate said...

Sis - I'm with you 100%. Weight control oatmeal is bad news.

Allison - I had Jamba Juice Oats last week in Napa. They are way better than Starbucks Oats.

Kath - Kate likes her oats, but not the whipped banana or all of my toppings. Looking forward to my oatmeal topping, I'll be mixing it in, because that's how I roll.

Abby said...

I just came over here from Kath's blog and I just have to say that your oatmeal post was hilarious. I had to share it with others.

Nate said...

Welcome Abby, and thanks for sharing.

Annette said...

I have to say that you are completely undermining the place of oatmeal in human evolution with this whole "oatmeal is delicious with tasty toppings" thing. Oatmeal is supposed to be the human equivalent of Purina Rat Chow (yes, this does exist).

See, They (capital T) did this study with rats; fed them all the Purina Rat Chow they wanted. Weighed them daily. Every single rat maintained their weight within a gram. Then They (still capital T) took some of the rats and fed them an unlimited supply of chocolate chip cookies.

Those rats got really, really fat.

After a few weeks of this, the fat, happy, chocolate-chip filled rats were put back on their limitless diet of PRC, never a chocolate chip to be seen again.

Every rat's weight went back to within a gram of it's original, pre-choc level.

"This is because," They (capital T) cleverly concluded, "PRC is filling and healthy, but does NOT taste good. Rats eat enough to meet their basic nutritional requirements; then they stop."

Now, by fancifying your basic rolled oats, you are turning Ma Nature's Own Human Chow into some kind of delicious abomination. This is very, very wrong, and probably the sign of the Impending Apocalypse. I can also assume that this "Kath" person must be some kind of Harbinger of Doom, or one of the Four Horsemen (hereafter to be referred to as "My Nemesis").

God be with us all...

Nate said...

Annette - You wouldn't happen to be the same Annette who had a facebook status that made mention of "Francis Restaurant for oatmeal brûlée and biscuits for breakfast!"

If so, then I believe your previous comment was tongue and cheek. Wrong on so many levels. Five levels, in fact.

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