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3 Stages of Cotton Candy

2011-08-17

As a child I was strongly of the belief that there was no such thing as "too sweet". Cotton candy and elephant ears could have easily supplanted any meal. As my parents walked the dogs in the morning before I left for middle school I would take advantage of my lack of supervision to add copious amounts of brown sugar to my oatmeal, stopping only when gooey threads of sugar and oat-starch could span the foot-long gap between the bowl and my spoon as it trekked for my mouth. It wasn't until a couple of weeks ago that I realized that this has all changed.

You don't become an adult over night, it's much more like a videogame where you accrue experience points that are cashed in for incremental change resulting in gaining "levels". Every meal is a battle with food with new experience points on the line. Meals with less familiar foods offer greater rewards in terms of experience points, these are the boss battles. After many battles I no longer have the desire to even face cotton candy, I realized a few weeks ago; it's too far beneath me. Kind of like in videogames where the weak creatures no longer attack you.

At a sporting event I watched as a little girl paint herself blue as she ate the colorful spun sugar. In the back of my mind I could hear the music that plays when you gain a level in Final Fantasy VII. The acquisition of my new level brings me one step closer to full adulthood. The urge to eat tasteless spun sugar has been replaced with the dread of my beard painted with sticky blue and laced with rogue strands of sweet cotton.

In retrospect I realize that I actually won this particular food battle by simply choosing not to fight. There's probably a larger lesson in that...