Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Oreos Turn 100!

I wrote this article several years ago for an "Oreo Moments" contest. I took second place. (The winner was a picture of a baby with Oreos smeared all over his face. Go figure.) I thought it would be nice to run it here to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Oreo cookie. I hope you enjoy it.

Oreo cookies have long been my personal vice.  When I was a child, I loved Oreos because they were, and still are, divinely delicious.  They also held a special place in my heart because my grandfather worked for Nabisco and eating Oreos made me feel close to him.  Although I knew that he was the vice president in charge of marketing, I preferred to believe that he baked each and every chocolaty, crunchy, delectable cookie all by himself. My friends were much more impressed that I had an Oreo cookie baker for a grandfather than they would have been if I had told them the truth.  I mean, how exciting is marketing?
Now that I’ve grown up, I find that I still have a soft spot for the chocolate cookie with the creamy white center.  In fact, Oreos have become extra special to me because of the role they played on one very important day in my life.  My husband and I had been blissfully married for 3 months when a friend of mine asked me if I knew of a good home for her puppy.  Diane and her husband were in the middle of a bitter divorce and both were moving into apartments and could not keep the dog.  I felt badly that her marriage was ending.  Quite frankly, I couldn’t even imagine my new marriage ending.  At 3 months, the golden glow of marital togetherness hadn’t yet dulled.  I was in love, and I could only pity anyone not as happy. 
Chris and I both loved dogs, but neither of us had ever had one; his brother had asthma and my parents traveled a lot.   In what may have been the easiest decision either of us ever made, we decided that we would be a good home for her puppy.  So our family grew by one.
I had arranged to go to Diane’s home to pick up the dog on a Friday afternoon in October.  Before leaving work at 5 PM and 0 seconds, I dashed to the vending machine, dropped 3 quarters in the slot and punched E7.  Out dropped a snack pack of Oreos.  Dinner!  I placed my cookies on the car seat next to me and drove off, excited to meet our new puppy.
Molly was black and white, just like an Oreo cookie.  She took one look at me and dashed in the opposite direction.  I took one look at her and offered her my heart on a silver platter.  She didn’t want it.
An hour later, Molly's personal belongings – her bed, food, snacks, and blanket – were in the trunk of my car and Molly herself was seated next to me.  She still didn't seem to think a whole lot of me, and had pressed up against the passenger door as far from me as she could get.  I decided to give her some time, so I opened my cookies, started the car, and headed for home.
Ten minutes later, sitting in traffic that was moving just a bit slower than a crocodile in a snow storm, I noticed that Molly had scooted over and was cautiously sniffing me.  I reached out to pet her, and she licked my fingers – fingers that still had Oreo crumbs clinging to them.  I took another cookie from the pack and ate all but a tiny sliver that I fed to my new friend.  Together, we demolished the rest of the cookies and began our life-long friendship.
Chris took me to task for what he rather unfairly called "bribing the dog with Oreos."  I think he was just jealous because she decided that I was her favorite person.  Together, Molly and I (and Chris too) moved our residence four times, raised two children, adopted another dog and shared a lot of Oreo cookies in the thirteen years we were together.
Molly died a few years ago; my grandfather passed away in February.  I miss them both more than I can say.  But all it takes is a single Oreo cookie to remind me that they are both still with me, living in my heart and in my wonderful memories of our times together.


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