Maybe it’s just a trait of my generation, but I constantly find myself eating things in bar form. Breakfast bars. Snack bars. Bars to save time. Bars to burn calories. Walk your dog, do long division, do yoga and eat a bar – all at the same time! Bars that taste like brownies. Bars that taste like fruit. Bars that taste a bit like sidewalk – but promise to give you rock hard abs (neglecting to disclose, of course, that they achieve this effect by becoming a rock physically lodged in your abdomen).
I’m eating one right now. It promises me that it will make me happy and thin. It promises that when I bite into it, I will close my eyes, rock my head back in serene joy and sunshine will spill out from somewhere and bathe my skin and shoulders like warm water. It isn’t working. I’m still functioning under the same florescent hum that illuminates the rest of the cubicles in my area. And it doesn’t really taste like ‘cookie dough,’ which is another of its claims. It isn’t disgusting, but it certainly doesn’t inspire the satisfaction that comes from whipping up a batch of chocolate chip cookie dough in the middle of the night and then allowing that unspoken ravenous instinct to take control, preventing even a single spoonful from enduring until the oven can pre-heat.
On the other hand, real cookie dough can’t easily be dropped in my purse and saved for work-time consumption. That is, after all, the real draw of the bar. Its supreme convenience. Someday, working girls like me will be able to go weeks without eating anything that didn’t come in a slick wrapper and cardboard backing. They will conduct meetings, coach soccer, catch up on the daily news, and knit Christmas presents, all the while devouring a protein packed three course meal. They won’t even go out after work because they can eat a mojito bar without leaving their desks. Chase it with a caffeine loaded coffee bar and they can clack away through the night.
After a few decades, no one will remember what real cookie dough was supposed to taste like. Then if, by some strange chance, someone should stumble over a recipe book and take the time to dust it off and peer inside, they will discover that cookies were once made from scratch. Maybe she will try, for the sheer novelty of it, to combine the elements as described on the tattered yellowed page. She will scoop in with her spoon (after Googling the word ‘spoon’), place it on her tongue and her head will rock back in serene joy, feeling the sunshine pour down her face for the first time.