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.