Sadly, this post is going to be about raisins. Yes, that’s how low I’ve sunk, I can’t even diatribe about anything proper like taxes or global warming. All I’ve got right now is raisins.
Last night, I was flipping through a women’s magazine, admiring the pictures, reading the advice columns, skimming the headlines of the weightier articles on how to clean the grout in your shower. I skip over anything that might be intellectually stimulating, but I carefully read the fashion articles. I read these primarily because if there is an actual gene for fashion, I am lacking it. I can’t put outfits together. I don’t know which prints work together and which ones don’t. I do get that checks and plaids don’t work, but that’s about the extent of my fashion knowledge. I certainly don’t understand the art and science of accessorizing. I wish I did. I wish I was one of those women who can take a blue scarf and twist it into an exotic fashion statement that elevates my polyester pantsuit to new heights, but alas, it’s a skill I lack.
Because I lack this essential accessorizing gene, I read fashion articles so I can marvel at those who have it. The articles in these magazines are all about accessorizing. The editors take a picture of a woman who is wearing a fairly straightforward outfit. She looks nice, a bit like the woman down the street maybe, the one who always puts on a full coat of make-up to pick up her child from pre-school. The kind of woman who would NEVER wear an over-sized, bleach-stained t-shirt over a pair of ratty sweat pants, clip back her dirty hair, and go grocery shopping. The kind of woman who would make sure she was wearing two shoes that matched each other before she left the house. The kind of woman who would probably NEVER speak to me!
So the editors take this picture, then, in case you want to duplicate the outfit, they break down everything she’s wearing, tell you how much it costs and where you can buy it. This is the part I read carefully because I am HORRIFIED by how much things like “bangles” cost: Blouse…$85 at Le Shack; Skirt…$275 at Skirt World; Scarf…$125 at Scarf Store; Shoes…$174 at The Shoe Place; Cardigan…$125 at The Sweater Barn; Faux Gold Metallic necklace…$380 at The Jewelry Shack; Earrings…$85 at Earring Emporium; Bangle…$250 at Bangle Bazaar. Basically, by the time you buy everything the PTO Princess is wearing, you’ve spent $1000!! For ONE PTO outfit!! Who does this??? Seriously, I own sweatpants in four different colors, and that’s fancy enough for me. I have a special pair made of some shiny material that I wear when I want to dress up. And the nice thing about sweatpants is they don’t need accessories. They make a statement on their own, the statement being: “I am wearing clothes simply to cover up my body because I don’t wish to frighten small children or cause ducks to fall over dead; I do NOT wear scarves or bangles EVER!” Fashion…sheesh!!!
Oh, but this was about RAISINS…sorry. Right, so as I’m flipping through the magazine, ogling the accessories, I see an ad for raisins, which sends me off in a whole different direction. Because I find raisins repulsive. They belong to the “sticky” food category, and I do not eat sticky foods. There are four basic food categories: Crunchy; Creamy; Chewy; and Sticky. Crunchy and Creamy equal DELICIOUS!! Crunchy is tortilla chips and popcorn. Creamy is ice cream and chocolate mousse. Chewy is also divine, like a really good steak. Sticky, however, has no redeeming qualities…unless it’s cotton candy, which actually melts in your mouth, so even though it’s terribly sticky, I include it in the creamy category. Well, and then you have foods that have overlapping qualities, like Taco Bell burritos, which are creamy and chewy, but overlap is mostly a good thing.
Raisins, however, have no redeeming qualities. They disturb my palate. They taste strange and they stick to my back teeth in an unpleasant manner. I mean, Tootsie rolls stick to my back teeth, but Tootsie rolls are like poo-shaped morsels of chocolatey goodness, even if their shape is somewhat disturbing. But Tootsie rolls are delicious and raisins, well, they are far from delicious. And the advertising campaign for raisins is an egregious misrepresentation of what they actually are. The reason the ad caught my eye was because it screamed in bold letters: PLUMP, JUICY RAISINS and I take issue with the adjectives. Because raisins are NOT plump. Obviously, in their original incarnation as GRAPES, they were plump. When they became raisins, however, the plump was sucked right out of them and they became dried up, mummified, sticky things that resemble mouse turds. And juicy??? Really??? Juicy implies that a raisin is ‘full of juice,’ but when was the last time you bit into a raisin and had raisin juice drip down your chin? That’s right….NEVER!! Raisins aren’t juicy, they’re dried grapes. They are has-been grapes. There is no juice because the makers of raisins have sucked the juice of life right out of them!!
I will grudgingly admit that, occasionally, a raisin that has been baked into another food might actually have some redeeming qualities. However, all my admission proves is that if you cover something with enough sugar, it can be rendered palatable. Hence the reason that I can choke down an oatmeal raisin cookie without too much distress. It’s the very LAST cookie I would choose, but at the end of the day, a cookie is a cookie. You can always eat around the raisins and spit them out at passersby.
What is the point of this pointless diatribe? I am calling for truth in advertising!! We are being misled by Madison Avenue and I refuse to stand for it!! Raisins are NOT plump and they are NOT juicy!! I demand a retraction!!! I understand that no one is going to buy DRY WRINKLY HAS-BEEN FRUIT, but that’s not my problem. Call a spade a spade and a raisin a dried up grape with no liquid in it. If raisins really need an image adjustment, let the fashion editors take a stab at them. Wrinkled and desiccated they may be, but add a really nice bangle and a couple of scarves, and even the ugliest raisin can hold its head high!!