a breakup letter…

by Matt Mooney

[As I have mentioned, I am currently curating an 8-week writing group (Flywheel) to encourage others.  Each week there is a topic to write on.  This week’s topic is “letter writing” (fiction or non-fiction).  I am posting my own letter below.]


(photo credit)

 Dear Cereal,

I want to start off this letter by acknowledging my unabashed love for you.  You have been good to me and faithful for so very long.  I do not recall our first meeting and I am sorry for that; my memory had not yet formed though I am almost certain you were introduced by my mother as a step toward what she referred to as “real food”.  Having been weaned weeks prior to our paths crossing-cast aside and spurned by my first love- your timing was impeccable.  And so you were proposed as one of many steps forward.  But I never moved on from you.  I stayed put, never finding anything better in the solid foods than that which my hungry lips were first offered.

Though my parents saw you as my habit early on, I knew better.  You were my friend and my lover.  They limited my consumption until, at the age of 5, I became a vegetarian.  As their concern with my low caloric intake grew, I was allowed to eat anything.  And I chose you most every time.

Getting out of bed was never hard for me as I knew you would be there waiting to be poured into a plastic bowl (I was yet to discover that glass bowls suited you better) and covered with copious amounts of dairy.  In fact, there have been many seasons of milk product variance- from parental controls of skim milk all the way through the days when dad was convinced that unprocessed-farm milk, straight from the udder, was the better option.  The milk mattered not.  It was needed, but peripheral of you, the true north of my desire.  Milk is our third wheel.  One we gladly allowed to come along, but these were our moments together- milk just happened to be there.

Though there have been varying phases of sugar content, each option has been welcomed with open arms and scooped hand-to-mouth with the same affection and indiscretion- charms and oats alike.  Who can forget the college days of discovery whereby Cap’n Crunch became a staple and I broke free of the oppressive rhetoric that you were reserved for breakfast.

And it was you who kept me regular.  You who tirelessly worked to keep my bowels moving.  I am clockwork; and you have always ensured the clock was wound.  I think this virtue of yours is oft overlooked- as though we have grown too pretentious to acknowledge that you do what eggs or pancakes never could.  Everyone agrees that the first meal of the day is also the most important.  And that must feel good for you to hear as I know you can feel as though you are undervalued and overlooked.

It is all this history and the vast storage house of shared memories that make this letter so hard to write.  Because I am saying goodbye.  I know I have threatened and balked before, but this is the end of us and I am sorry it has come to this.  I never saw the day coming and now that it is here, I must say the thought of mornings without you frightens me more than I let on.

It’s just that I am thirty-six now; closer to fifty than twenty.  My metabolism is waning and with the kids, I can no longer head out for jogs as I once could.  I have skimped on lunch and dinner in order to let you hang around for long enough.  And we both know that I unable to reserve my passions and just partake of your fiber-filled morsels of goodness for one or two days a week.  I have a problem and cold turkey will be the only way to an end.

The price of our encounters have risen in costs faster than inflation and the cheapish, generic versions of you have never sufficed.  Besides, I have tired of the looks that I get when I mention you in public.  This has been a problem for us since I turned 8 and try as you may to convince me that Presidents partake, I still feel foolish.

I don’t know what I will eat instead.  Weight loss and withdrawals are a real possibility, but a road I am willing to walk to be rid of you.  Who knows, maybe my recovery will be one that encourages other entrapped within the amorous arms of flakes and frosting.  Admittedly, I may still indulge in reading the back of your box in the morning, as I have never had to face my family at the breakfast table and do not know what that may be like.

So, I am unsure of how to end this letter to you as we know that these sort of things are never easy.  I will see you in the smiles of my children as they grow up knowing you for themselves.  But I must move on to bagels, grapefruits and oatmeal now.  I wish that I could stay young forever as you have somehow managed to do.

Goodbye Lucky.
Goodbye Tony.
May the wind be at your back Snap & Crackle.
Pop, you were always my favorite.
Farewell Flintstones.

You will always be with me in my heart
as well as in the muffin top that spills out over my belt.




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July 17, 2014 at 2:23 pm

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Edna Gattle February 26, 2014 at 5:36 pm

Can not image you without your cereal! Such a bold, brave move. I do have healthy options for you should you be willing to venture in that direction.

Teresa Vinyard Cornett March 3, 2014 at 6:27 pm

it’s not just the fiber….what about the vitamins?! what about the Box Tops? what about my youngest daughter who has another year in private college and the General Mills profits that pay for it?

MKS April 6, 2014 at 10:16 pm

Actually, oatmeal is cereal.

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