I am in a blue mood. It's nothing really; as Anne Lamott would say it's very very gold-plated. A workshop I would love to go to is a thousand dollars. A thousand dollars. I looked at the screen blinking, hoping it would change to a hundred dollars. Not to be rude, but who can afford thousand dollar workshops these days? The sky is incredibly gray; I know we need the rain but I miss the sun. I was going to see Lincoln today but have decided against it. The mood I'm in I might stand up and yell: "Abe! Stop trying to heal the nation! It's never going to be healed! And Mary Todd? Get Zoloft, sister!" I'm telling you, movie audiences should send me a thank you note. But something else has added to my melancholy mood: Hostess is going out of business.
Now I hate sounding like an old crabby person rocking on her porch, talking about the good old days. But Hostess going out of business? Wow. That's big. That's huge. Because back in the day, Hostess was the perfect desert for a lunchbox. Hostess and Dolley Madison. Dolley Madison (also owned by Hostess) was good because their commericals were always with the Charlie Brown specials. So if you were eating Dolley Madison's Zingers, you were sharing something with Charlie Brown.
I only got Hostess once in a while: my grandfather took up baking late in life so he was always baking. Chocolate chip cookies, hello dollies, brownies, he even invested in a class in making candy. It's no wonder for a couple of years I had to get clothes in the "chubbies" section. So after he got married and moved out, my mother made lunch. We didn't have time to bake; therefore, I was allowed one Ho-Ho in my lunch.
There was a certain art in eating a Ho-Ho: Since it was rolled up, the trick was to unroll it, then lick the cream. Then you ate the chocolate, bit by bit. Heaven!
Twinkies were good too, although while you ate them you kept on thinking of that quote: At the end of the world, there will be three things: cockroaches, Twinkies, and Cher. I would love to have a music video of Cher eating Twinkies and singing "I'm Still Here."
Ding Dongs were always a bit much. They were very chocolatey, too creamy. They were the Dame Edna of Hostess cakes; too much makeup and a bit loud. Yet you couldn't help but hearing the Munchkins singing in your head "Ding dong the witch is dead! Which old witch? The wicked old witch!"
And then we had the Sno Balls. Oh, Snow Balls! They weren't my favorite because it had coconut, and I was never a coconut girl. But they were beautiful to look at; pink and coconut shavings on them. In late winter, the color would be green for St. Patrick's Day. Who doesn't love a snack cake that can stay seasonal??
I also loved the Chocodile. The chocolate, the twinkie like taste. Oh, Mama! However, I found out that it is not sold on the East Coast (thanks Wikipedia) So East Coasters cannot feel the Chocodile love!
Around 1994 Congress enacted a new law that all processed foods had to have a fat/sugar/calorie count. Suddenly, I realized that say you eat a Hostess Suzy Q, that's 220 calories with nine grams of fat. Ding Dogs? 368 calories with nineteen grams of fat. It meant I had to start figuring out what I was eating. Sometimes I haven't been successful at it. But I've tried.
And others tried too. People can critque Michelle Obama as much as they want, but she has pointed out that eating habits start when you're young. There is a difference between knowing you're hungry or starving, or you are, in Tina Fey's words, "stuffing your feelings." There are times when I get upset about something, Dreyer's Rocky Road becomes my best friend. Yet instead of eating from the carton, I take a small bowl. Progress, not perfection.
So although I'm sad about Hostess going out of business, it's not a surprise. And maybe it's time. I do know one thing. Even though I'm blue, I'm eating green peppers. Maybe it's progress? I like to hope so.
Causes Jennifer Gibbons Supports
Gilda's Club, Greenpeace, Rosie's Broadway Kids,Westwind Foster Family Agency, Amber Brown Fund, Linda Duncan Fund for Contra Costa Libraries