I was the girl with hummus and carrots for lunch, whole grain bread hugging cashew nut butter instead of what I really wanted: the sugary peanut variety that came in plastic jars with purple stripes of grape jelly, smothered on thick between white Wonder Bread.
At my house “preservatives” was a dirty word so nothing in the refrigerator lasted longer than three days, save for the strange jars of pickled gardens that mom picked up at our local farmers’ market. The cookies had carob chips. The grabbiest munchies were almonds. If we had soda it was glass-bottled and “natural” with old-timey handwriting, the kind that quaint sandwich shops now sell in Brooklyn but we only had on special occasions.
We also didn’t have cable.
Kelly Tucker’s house had cable. We’d go there every Wednesday after school as part of some faux homework club we devised — we being me, Kelly, and our two other friends. Instead of doing homework we’d watch TRL, and before Carson Daly appeared on the giant television screen we’d raid Kelly’s kitchen as if food had previously been the stuff of storybooks.
She had EVERYTHING. Gushers. Doritos. Air Heads and cheese dip. Frosted Flakes and Cap’n Crunch, Diet Coke and 7Up. The Dunkaroos were supplied in bulk; the fruit was either rolled up or by the foot. And the peanut butter — oh that glorious, glorious peanut butter — was as deliciously synthetic as the product holding up Carson Daly’s hair.
She had the good snack house. I had the shitty one.
And you know what I’m going to ask next: which one did you have?
– Amelia Diamond