The Back of the Cereal Box
I can get lost reading the back of a cereal box, staring at it, stupefied, before the coffee kicks in. Right now, I’m pondering the back of the Reese’s Puffs cereal box, which lists 18 Things to Do Before You’re 18. Some of the things on this list disturb me.
Okay, I realize this list is not meant to be taken seriously. People who eat Reese’s for breakfast are not, by nature, a serious lot. However, I wonder what kind of values General Mills is trying to impart on impressionable young minds. Nos. 6, 7 and 8 all have to do with celebrity: 6. Go backstage at a gig, 7. Meet your idol, 8. Play a part in your favorite TV show. Three of the things have to do with risk taking: 1. Ride the world’s biggest rollercoaster 2. Bungee jump, 14. Conquer your biggest fear. Some you could live your whole lifetime and never achieve: 10. Make a discovery 13. Invent a word that makes it into the dictionary.
The list got me thinking about kids and expectations. What are our children expecting out of this world we’re giving them? What do they think their adult lives will be like? Boy tells me he’s going to own a Mustang and live in a big house with a swimming pool. Girl is going to be a mad scientist chef who drives a pink convertible. They say they’ll let me swim in their pools and ride in their cars. I tell them to give me advance warning before they come pick me up, so I can secure my teeth so they don’t go flying out of the car.
But I wonder — do they think life should be as it’s depicted on iCarly and Hannah Montana? Will they be disappointed to find out they may never party with a rock star (at least, not if I can help it)?
General Mills did throw in a couple of sensible items, probably to appeal to moms: 15. Raise money for charity, 16. Pass your driving test the first time and (my favorite) 18. Reach 18 year of age — yes!!! But these must seem pretty dull to Reese’s eaters. These are the kinds of things that could be on the back of a different cereal box. Like Raisin Bran. Or better yet, Life.
Posted: October 8th, 2009 under Uncategorized.