I'd like to say that my darling niece Boo would love to be in a tub of Cheetos but the little lass is SO PICKY that she'd complain that they were the puffs, NOT THE FRIED and would refuse!
Darlings, darlings, darlings! La Diva has missed her dear blogging buddies and has been on "holiday" for the last week and working VERY HARD as a Miami tour guide, taxi, on-call chef and ATM to her darling teenage niece Boo and her just as lovely 18-year-old friend Kitty! Sigh...but La Diva is TIRED. I know, I know, some of you out there even have your own teenage creatures to deal with yourselves 24-7 and feel NO PITY but La Diva is
SO NOT USED TO THEM! ARGH!
SO NOT USED TO THEM! ARGH!
When one is living in close quarters with teenagers one discovers some nasty teenage habits: Like what they eat! La Diva had a small inkling but in reality had no idea how BAD the teenage palate really is!
Neon red and not a color found in nature, FLAMING HOT CHEETOS are number one on Boo's list of fave food staples! blech! Apparently, these chemical crunchies are highly addictive to kids and are the bane of teachers everywhere. Click here to listen to the NPR report from a few years back. (Mmmmm....extruded cheese flavored snacks!)
Ahhh, lovely little fishy-shaped cheddar crackers, I was not yet born when Pepperidge Farm introduced them in 1962. Back in the day, when La Diva was a teen herself, I would have these as a treat and they were bought by my parents in a 6 oz. package. In that small pouch, SIX PEOPLE could partake in 55 fishies at 140 calories per serving with five grams of fat. Boo insisted on getting the BUCKET SIZE of fish crackers at a whopping 33.5 ounces! That is more than TWO POUNDS OF CHEDDAR CRACKER CRAP!!!
If the serving size is the same, approximately one ounce, then the carton should be enough for 33 people!! In less than a week, she managed to put a healthy dent into it and then took the rest with her on the plane when she left! La Diva can't imagine the havoc that ingesting almost 168 grams of fat will cause on her cute niece's thighs (and her veins!) in a few more years when time will not be so forgiving!
Kitty couldn't LIVE without her ranch dressing and insisted that she needed it with everything! When we were going to eat leftovers from the restaurant the night before, she said she couldn't eat them as she had no Ranch dressing! She went to the convenience store to get some and lo and behold, found they had none and could not understand why. La Diva told her she's SOL!!!
Ok, La Diva KNOWS she sounds like a cranky old lady when she says this but since when is it not considered rude for guests tell you what they will and won't eat? La Diva was starting to feel like the tail was wagging the dog after a few of these demands, er, conversations.
Here's a ranch dressing fountain, like ANYONE NEEDS FREE-FLOWING CHEMICAL CRAP on tap! yikes! Here are the chemicals, oops, I mean ingredients from the Original Hidden Valley Ranch bottle:
Vegetable Oil (Canola and/or Soybean Oil) Water, Egg Yolk, Sugar, less than 2% of Buttermilk, Salt, Lactic Acid, Vinegar, Modified Food Starch, Disodium Inosinate and Disodium Guanylate, Dried Garlic, Dried Onion, Phosphoric Acid, Monosodium Glutamate, Xanthan Gum, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Spices, Disodium Phosphate, Sorbic Acid and Calcium Disodium Edta As Preservatives. YUM YUM!!!
Ok, we ALL KNOW that kids can be picky when it comes to eating and teenagers have hollow legs and will eat you out of house and home. But what La Diva wants to know is:
WHEN DID THE HUGE "SNACK" PORTIONS COME INTO PLAY?
WHY DO THE KIDS NEED TO CONSTANTLY BE EATING?
There was a time when one could not get a bag of Starburst chews or a bucket o' cheddar crackers besides at Halloween. In fact, La Diva never even had the dough to buy such huge amounts of junk food when she was a kid. (although ONE TIME during summer vacation my sister and I snuck up to the grocery store and bought a can of frosting and ate most of it!)
And further.....we were not allowed (SHOCK, HORROR!) to even eat such a large amount of "snack" food. We hardly ever had snacks in our home, cookies and chips were considered special treats and fruit was de rigueur for lunch. We ate when we were hungry and could have a snack (aka fruit) but we were certainly not allowed to constantly "graze" on pounds of junk food!
The odd thing was, my sister, the PARENT, never said a word. If I dared to say anything, her defensive quip was: "They are on vacation." The problem that La Diva sees in that philosophy that so many times as adults we get tend to get overly sentimental about food from times past and then at 40-years-old and 40 pounds overweight, you hark back fondly to your childhood vacations in Miami when you were allowed to eat pounds of cheddar crackers and ranch dressing and do so every time you go to Miami as an adult just like old times. Not good.
No longer content with just a packet of Starburst candies, teenagers MUST buy the chews in huge bags that La Diva only bought for Halloween treats!
What happened? Did parents just give up? Do kids today have too much disposable income and freedom? Have parents lost control? Are kids today super-spoiled and over-indulged? And, most importantly, how does La Diva handle these incidents when seeing her lovely niece engage in this self-destructive behavior that will surely lead to cottage cheese thighs, a lifetime of bad food choices and hysterical crying in myriad department store dressing rooms?