Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Lessons I Have Learned From Twinkies

It's that time of year again. Waking up in a room surrounded by your old soccer trophies and stuffed animals, answering the probing "where's that ring?" questions from old family acquaintances at the local grocery store, and wearing sweatpants 80% of your day. It's the holidays and you're at home. All of this free time allows you to reflect on life. Between the bowls of cookie dough, pies, and Christmas candies, you can take a good look at yourself. And then watch TV. On one of the specials I saw, they were speaking about things lost in the year 2012. One of them was the Twinkie. Taking advantage of all this time I have, I have compiled what I have gleaned from the untimely loss of Hostess products. 

Take Advantage of What You Have
Recently, I heard a really sad song on my shuffle. It goes: "Only need the light when it's burning low, Only miss the sun when it starts to snow, Only know you've been high when you're feeling low, Only hate the road when you're missing home, Only know you love her when you let her go" Ugh, sad. It's true though. You only realize what you've lost once it's gone. I've only eaten maybe 3 Twinkies my entire life. However, with Hostess going out of business, I've craved Twinkies like a crazy-person. Especially those ones they've been showing in pictures with a chocolatey filling. I have no doubt it's absolutely disgusting. But, the unattainable is so desirable. If I'd only eaten and savored those Twinkies while they were still widely available. I remember having my serious nutritional doubts when that Twinkie was right at my finger tips, but it seems so much more appealing now that it's gone. 

Maybe we could have done more. Could I have stockpiled an arsenal of Ho Hos in my cellar? Could we have done more to make the workers feel more appreciated? Sometimes you can't anticipate entire companies going out of business or your favorite product being discontinued. Sometimes the warning signs are there, but you just don't want to see them. Sometimes you've shown as much support for that product as you can to keep it from being pulled off the shelves, only to lose it anyway. No matter, it always seems like a shock when it's gone. Does this mean that you should never allow yourself to enjoy another food again, in fear it will be discontinued? Of course not. Just let  it develop naturally. Don't just automatically rebound to Little Debbie. Let yourself find something new, approach it the same way you did before you lost Hostess. Have an open heart and open mind (and stomach), and then appreciate that food while it's there.  

How to Let Go
That being said, I have also learned the important lesson of letting go. No, I will probably never eat a Twinkie again. Will my life go on? Of course. Just because you've lost something important to you doesn't mean you need you hold onto your sadness. No, nothing I do will dull the loss in the moment. Every time I see an old picture of a Twinkie or hear it mentioned I feel a pang of sadness. At first. It's somewhat inevitable. Even old associations with Twinkies can bring back difficult memories. When you can though, you need to let those feelings go. If you come across the Twinkie someday, it is not meant for you. Wish whoever was lucky to have that Twinkie well and realize that you are probably better off without it. There's probably a reason you didn't have some saved up. It just was never going to be. 

Now you've been through this before when they discontinued Squeezits, Butterfinger BB's, and Crispy M&M's. It doesn't really make you sad at all anymore. Look back at the good times fondly, and move on. Appreciate the snaking moments you've shared and wish whatever new directions that company has taken the best.There will be new products available, or you'll notice a delicious one that's been there all along. One day you won't even think about Twinkies at all. 

P.S. Please, mom. This is not a metaphor. I'm talking about Twinkies for heaven's sake.