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So I’m sure you’ve noticed over the years that in most commercials for large companies portraying a man and a woman romantically entwined, a woman with kids or just a woman who seems to be a homeowner, they often make sure to flash a wedding ring at the camera. Because it must be clear to anyone and everyone that this woman is married and not living in sin, a single mother or capable of buying a home as a single person. Heaven forbid!

At first I was all offended-like when I noticed this was so prevalent. For like 30 minutes. Then I found it amusing. So after that I’d play spot-the-gratuitous-ring-flash. I did that for 30 minutes until I got bored and distracted by the game.

But every once in awhile I come across such an obvious flash of ring that it’s hard not to just laugh. What year is this again?

It’s always apparently stuck somewhere in the back of my head. Along with a ton of other stuff I no longer think about because it just gets me all feisty.

Er, more feisty.

So imagine my surprise when I was suffering through commercials tonight and saw an ad for a local casino. The premise behind the ad was that a man wanted to propose to his girlfriend by having room service bring up pancakes with Marry Me written on them in blueberries. So they show the scene of the whole event with the couple in the hotel room, in their PJs, obviously after both spending the night at aforementioned casino. Unmarried even!

Sounds like… progress?

Speaking of… pancakes. The first thing I thought of when I saw the ad was that they were going to make a pancake that said Marry Me on it.

When I was little, every weekend my dad would make pancakes for mom and me. He worked a lot during the week and so this was our time to have breakfast together. So we’d have a bunch of pancakes and once the batter was down to the last few pancakes I would get to choose what I wanted it to be. Sometimes it would be words in the pancake (like my name) but most often it would be characters. Usually (given my age) from Sesame Street. His crowning achievement was Mr. Snuffleupagus.

But that was a long time ago in a world far far away. My parents split a few years later and the pancake breakfasts sort of split with the divorce. Only to be replaced, quite frankly, by much happier parents (after some time).

Breakfast at mom’s was replaced with cereal or oatmeal (not a fan of cooking, that one, even though she’s rather good at it), whereas breakfast at dad’s was organic peanut butter and butter on toast. Seriously, he used to put both peanut butter and butter on toast and PB&J sandwiches. Drove me crazy but I couldn’t complain because he just seemed so happy to be making me food.

I don’t know what was worse: the overabundance of butter or the organic peanut butter. Dad worked parttime at a co-op (it was a provision of membership, plus he was dating the manager). So he’d always get organic peanut butter. Probably other organic-y stuff too, but I just remember that the peanut butter really really sucked.

On the plus side, I had full run of a co-op (since I would hang out with the manager’s daughter when I was there) so we got into everything. Like riding on this big conveyor belt thingy that brought crates up from the basement. And we got to package cheese. Lots of artisanal cheese.

For some reason I remember a crane being in back as well, but little kids’ memories sometimes fail. And since I was seven at the time, I may have imagined it.

I find it so odd what memories remain after all these years.