Friday, November 16, 2012

Ding Dongs and Wonder Bread: An Odd Kind Of Goodbye To A Sweet Memory


Today, throughout the busy, business of teaching my kidlets the meaning behind Thanksgiving, 
(Didja know that the children had to drink beer on the Mayflower? My students caught that little tidbit!)
I hear the familiar whistle from my phone alerting me that I had a new text message. At recess I notice it's from my baby brother. Thinking he's alerting me that there will be a huge party on his behalf across the country next week, I wait to read it. 
(born on Thanksgiving day nearly 30 years ago and still "the baby"!)
Then, I read it at lunch and this is what it said:
No more Twinkies or Ding Dongs, or Wonder Bread or any more Hostess products!! They went bankrupt and the official last delivery was today!! Go stock up, you'll never see them again!!
This stopped me in my tracks and brought back a flood of memories and of course lessons from my childhood. Odd, you may think but actually not odd at all when I explain.
Not a tortilla

The first time I saw this bread was in the First grade. I was fascinated with the "new girl" because she brought her lunch in a cool lunchpail everyday and in it were these cheese, mayonnaise and white Wonder Bread sandwiches. We traded lunches one day. She had my taco and I got to taste her cheesy sandwich!
 (I didn't hear them referred to as burritos 'til we got a Del Taco in town!)
I also remember the look on my friend Debra's face when she tasted a homemade tortilla from my home. It was unforgettable and she loved it. She had never had a tortilla con mantequilla. (butterrrrr!)
She was hooked!
Ding Dongs

I'd never seen these until my friend brought one in her lunchpail. That shiny foil caught my eye when the sunlight hit it!
(I am convinced that Firsties are part kitty-cat. Why? 'Cuz shiny, sparkly things catch their eyes. Note to self: Cover yourself in glitter and maybe they'll pay attention!)
She let me taste it and I bugged my Mom to buy some the next time she went to the store. She didn't but when I got to go shopping with my Nana on our monthly grocery trip, she bought a box!
(My Nana was fantasticalistic!)
Sno Balls
The first time my Dad brought these home I had to fight my sister for them. There were two, and there were two of us. After my Momma had more kiddos he switched to Donettes.
(So he could get more for his dollar, I'm sure!)
He still ocasionally snuck one in for my sister. 
(Yeah, not so sneaky...I remember and I am scarred...not really 'cuz this is what he'd sneak in for me...oops, I don't think I was 'posed to tell! Sorry boys!)
Ta-daaa! My Fave

Hostess Cup Cakes!

 Now me, I was methodical in my Cup Cake eating routine. I would savor every morsal and it would take me FOREVER to eat it.
(yeah, not so much on the forever side now...can you say , INHALE!)
  1. Take Cup Cake out of wrapper.
  2. Smell chocolatey sweetness.
  3. Run finger across swirly.
  4. Peel swirly off. did it! Save
  5. Peel chocolate frosting.! Save
  6. Poke finger into frosting hole. Lick.Poke.Lick.Poke. Yuuuum!
  7. Eat cake from outer edge first. Yum!
  8. Place swirly in mouth. Let it melt. Yum!
  9. Pick chocolaty frosting bit by bit allowing each tiny bit to melt on your tongue. (you know what's coming...) Yum!
When I was done, it was always a little sad. It would be a long time before I got to have another one. We were poor but I didn't even know it!


Now these weren't my faves but this summer my husband and I were talking about them. I'm sure we heard about Hostess being in financial trouble. What I remember most is my elder daughter asking," What's a Twinkie?"
Well, I just felt like the most neglectful Momma ever!
(sniff...sniff... I will pay for her therapy later...sniff!)
I told that man he needed to take my baby to the store immediately!
He took her to the store and they brought back the aforementioned yummers and to my shock, (gasp...breathe...breathe...)
She says, "I don't like them."
(She was dropped off by aliens, I am sure!)
The Lesson
We take so much for granted. The smell, tastes, sights around us shape who we are. Even though this was a confection that was probably not the best thing for me physically, the memory attached to it from the perspective of a poor little Mexican girl who grew up with tortillas and the memories of introducing her friends to her culture are priceless. The Twinkies will go away but the memory of my Dad pulling up in his big 'ol 18 wheeler after weeks on the rode with a special treat for his 'renegades' are worth every single calorie!

So, with that I say thank you Hostess and to you I say...
So, whattaya waiting for? Go knock down some little kiddo and get your last
Ho Ho!




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