Growing up, we had no limitations on what we could or couldn’t eat. A bowl of cereal with spoonfuls of sugar poured in – go for it. Bread with gobs of peanut butter and jelly – why not. Toast with butter and syrup – all you want. For my parents, I think they were happy that I was actually eating something since I hated all other meals other than breakfast (with that much sugar what was not to love) and never put limitations on it. Except for one thing – orange juice was reserved for breakfast only.
Now, growing up I thought this was perfectly normal until you find out that the rule belongs to your family only. When we asked Why we could only have it in the morning? It was explained that this drink was expensive. And best served at breakfast. I’m sure my siblings and I made requests to be allowed to drink it at other points, especially if there wasn’t anything else (other than water) to drink. And mom (the food shopper) obliged. We had trail runs of frozen orange juice that had to be mixed with water – horrible. The ones that weren’t in the refrigerated section rather on the shelf next to long life milk – disgusting. And last, random store brands that were on weekly special – offensive.
The only OJ that was suitable for the Pierre kids was Tropicana – no pulp.
My parents^ (my mom wasn’t solely responsible for this decision) explained once again that if we wanted to drink the good stuff – the expensive stuff – that we’d have to promise to keep it to breakfast only.
The golden elixir had its place. And we were taught to respect it.
I thought it ridiculous as I got older. And am sure, that whenever there were no eyes around to watch that I drank it freely through out the day. I know this because engrained in my memory bank is hearing my mother wonder How could the orange juice be empty already? I only brought it on *place random day here*.
Then I grew up, moved out. Brought and drank Tropicana whenever I wanted (except for those years where I pinched my pennies tightly). So is the pleasure of being an adult. Yea!
Until the other morning, when I awoke and decided I’d make smoothies for me and the mister. I go to the freezer and pull out our frozen fruit. Open up the fridge get the yogurt, look at the door to pull the OJ and nothing. Huh? Okay, I had brought two large family sized Tropicana no pulp OJs. I scan the inside closely and nothing. Bewildered I exam the kitchen and there’s the box – discarded by the bin. WTF?!?
With me scratching my head, trying to figure out where all the OJ went, Burs comes in.
“Babe. I don’t understand how we’ve gone through 2 boxes of OJ in six days?”
“Oh, lil Burs drinks it all the time. Guess no smoothies then?”
“That’s insane. They were extra large family sized containers. Not the half quarts.”
“Yea, don’t worry about it. I’ll pick up some more later.”
“Don’t worry about it. DON’T WORRY ABOUT IT?!?! Are you mad! Each one cost four pounds fifty ($6.00).”
“Wait, WHAT? Why are we spending that much on orange juice?”
“It’s not just orange juice. It’s Tropicana. Crap. Damn the yummy golden drink.”
“You know, yesterday I threw away a full glass of it. Guess the lil one didn’t drink it before going to school.”
This is when I passed out.
Once I came to I told Burs that we needed to enact the It’s only for breakfast rule. He gave me the ‘my wife is bat-shit crazy’ look. But complete sense comes from the crazy sometimes. Obviously respect needs to be had for a container of drink that costs $6.00. SIX DOLLARS!!! Ok, £4.50 but still. If it had cost 6 bucks when I was growing up, trust me, we would have gone without.
Instead, he calmed his penny-pinching wife down. He moved me away from the crazy and enjoyed granola with yogurt because without OJ, what else can you do? Which meant that later on we had to go to the grocery store. While in the milk, yogurt, OJ isle – Burs headed off to get the orange juice, as I picked up the yogurt. And what did he put into our cart not Tropicana but Sainbury’s Best (or some crap like that). When I made a reach for the Tropicana I’m totally sure I saw a glint in his eye that said “*itch put that down.” In reality, he said “This way if its wasted it isn’t that great a loss.”
I think we’d be better off forming respect for Tropicana. But I’ll try his way. And go without. I’ll miss you Tropicana! //I shed a tear here//
^My dad only spoke up because he’s thrifty and sided with my mom during all such arguments. Because my old man doesn’t drink OJ. Or anything citrus for that matter. Never has as long as I’ve been breathing on this beautiful planet. Which makes me realize – that with one less person consuming OJ, it should have lasted a hell of a lot longer. Maybe my mom was drinking twice as much. Hmm, have to discuss this with the siblings.