We are doing fine, thank you

Eating cereal as an adult is a simple affair. It goes like this:

  1. Before you begin, imagine you recently came to the surprise realization that there’s probably no God. You subsequently split with your church and left behind everything you once believed. Now you’re 33 or so, probably wearing cargo shorts, headed for divorce. You just spent your first night in a small, shitty apartment because you let your soon-to-be-ex stay in the house to provide some continuity for the kids. That night you lay on the carpet listening to Arcade Fire, mourning your 10 year marriage and the passing of your former self. You slept on an old mattress on the floor. For the first time in your life, the future is completely unknown. For the first time in your life, you are free to cut your own path.

  2. Take a moment and really feel this (if the above is already you, simply proceed).

  3. You should now be in the correct frame of mind to consume cereal as an adult.

  4. Take the cereal box down off the shelf. It should be labelled “Cinnamon Toast Crunch” because this is the only cereal that should be purchased or consumed.

  5. Place the box on the counter or table in your kitchen.

  6. Pick out your favorite, or perhaps only, bowl from the cupboard.

  7. Set the bowl by the cereal box.

  8. Go to the refrigerator and take out the milk. Ideally this should be real dairy whole milk, extracted from a doomed cow, but if you must you may use some horseshit oat/nut/bean milk that’s really just weird oil.

  9. Set the milk on the counter by the cereal and the bowl.

  10. Open the cereal box. Catch yourself thinking about your spouse and kids and how you are probably destroying their lives. Pause and breathe.

  11. Pour the cereal into the bowl. Overfill it a little.

  12. Open the milk, and pour it over the cereal. You need enough milk for good general coverage, but not so much that you risk spilling it when you begin to eat.

  13. Close the milk container.

  14. Reach into the cereal box and roll the plastic inner bag closed (to preserve freshness).

  15. Tuck in the cereal box lid. Don’t worry if it’s fucked up and doesn’t really close right.

  16. Grab a spoon, and take your cereal over to wherever you normally eat.

  17. Sit down, and eat your cereal at a leisurely pace.

  18. Consider your life. Cry a little, perhaps. Or munch stoically. Stare out the window.

  19. Depending on the depth of your crisis, you may wish to pour a second bowl. This is why you left the cereal and milk out, although you closed the cereal to try to avoid this. Still, it’s not wrong and your new heathen gods will show you mercy.

  20. When you are truly finished, put the milk back in the fridge.

  21. Put the cereal back in its quiet corner.

  22. Place the bowl in the sink and fill it with some water so it doesn’t get crusty and impossible to clean, but don’t actually wash it. Leave it there. You have done enough.