Fads of the 90s

Sometimes I feel truly blessed that I got to experience both the 80s and the 90s. And while I was fairly young during the 80s, I can still appreciate a good tight rolled on your jeans and I still own a crimper. However, there are so many reasons to love the 90s.

However, my two favorite fads of the 90s have to be the “mini” fad and the “clear” fad.

In the early 1990s, a marketing fad equating clarity with purity began with the remake of Ivory soap from its classic milky solution; the idea spread to many companies, including PepsiCo. Crystal Pepsi was marketed as a caffeine-free “clear alternative” to normal colas, comparing clearness with purity and health. 

PepsiCo launched the cola in April of 1992, and began to sell it nationwide in 1993. A large marketing campaign was launched, for which the company invented the world’s first photo-realistic, computer-generated bus wrap printing. A series of television advertisements featuring Van Halen’s hit song “Right Now” premiered on national television on January 31, 1993, during Super Bowl XXVII. In its first year, Crystal Pepsi captured a full percentage point of U.S. soft drink sales, approximately $474 million.

Coca-Cola followed suit by launching Tab Clear in December of 1992.

Initial sales were good but quickly fell. Pepsi pulled the drink off the market and returned several months later with a reformulated citrus drink titled “Crystal From Pepsi”, but this was short-lived as well.

Funny how soda companies were trying to make their drinks look more like water…

The min fad, I believe, began our downward spiral into an obese nation. Foods started appearing in smaller sizes, not to encourage people to eat less, but to justify eating more. “Who cares if you eat an extra donut, they are small.” So you would eat 5-6 mini donuts instead of just one regular sized donut and all would be wonderful.

Mini Oreos arrived in 1991. I can still remember sitting in my friend’s tree house one afternoon, eating an entire row of the delicious, bite sized treats. There were probably 20 cookies per row, but it didn’t matter. They were small… it couldn’t be that bad.

I saw a commercial the other day for Burger King advertising mini burgers… are we heading back to the ways of the 90s? One can only hope!

Happy Birthday from Your Friends

I have blogged about, or at least mentioned, Dunkin Donuts in 8 of my previous posts. Clearly I have a strong love for this company.

It makes me laugh because Abby (my sister) has a serious love hate relationship with Dunkin Donuts. While she likes their vanilla chai tea, she used to date a boy who worked at Dunkin Donuts. She first started dating this boy her senior year in college. After graduation she moved to upstate New York to coach swimming at Hamilton College. She tried to break it off with this boy countless times, but he was blinded by his love. He moved to upstate New York to be near her and when he couldn’t get a job, decided to settle for a position at Dunkin Donuts. He would work during the day and come over to visit Abby after work. When she first told me this, I thought “wow, that is awesome. Free donuts and coffee delivered to your door.” What I didn’t account for was the fact that the smell from Dunkins lingered on his clothes and would fill her apartment. Soon, she was bathed in the sweet smells of donuts and coffee. Apparently, this is NOT something that you want your apartment to smell like day in and day out. Unfortunately for Abby, she had totally captivated this boy’s heart, which was realized fully when he gave her “the deed to his heart” for her Birthday that year (yeah, I can’t make that kind of stuff up). No matter how much disgust she expressed for his odor (and eventually just for him in general), he wouldn’t go away. He was like a lost puppy.

Thankfully, Abby was finally able to end things with this boy. I am not sure how she did it… He was like a child who had to be told “no” over and over before he fully grasped the concept. I have a theory about this boy, but I will save that for another time… (don’t worry Abby, I won’t embarrass you THAT much) He eventually found a girl (now his wife and mother of his child) who appreciated his unmatched loyalty and devotion. It is worth mentioning though that she didn’t have to deal with his Dunkin Donuts “cologne”… however I don’t think that was the only thing Abby had taken issue with…

Thankfully, my relationship with Dunkins has always been a positive one. And now, we are taking our relationship to the next level. I received this early Birthday present in the mail last week. If this isn’t true friendship, then I don’t know what is. I can’t wait to use it one day on my way to work!

Thank you friends at Dunkin Donuts, for not only remembering my Birthday without the aid of Facebook, but also for the sweet present!

True Love

I am taking a break today from my vacation re-cap for three reasons:

1. It has come to my attention that many people are jealous of our awesome trip and I don’t want to rub it in further by talking, yet again, about our vacation.
2. All of my vacation pictures are on my computer at home.
3. I had a funny conversation this morning that is worth repeating.

One of my good friends Noelle (author of Jaded Inspiration), and I were chatting online this morning. Typically, we both sit at our desks at work and complain about our lives to each other. Common conversations include the following:

1. Complaining about the fact that we are smarter than everyone else we work with.
2. Complaining about the fact that we are smarter and better looking than our significant others.
3. Our love for Dunkin Donuts
4. Reeses (Noelle’s dog)
5. Emailing/texting each other when the other one isn’t online to figure out what not.

Below is the conversation I had with Noelle this morning:

me:  HEY!
Noelle:  supppppp
me:  not much. pretending to do work but really working on my wedding
Noelle:  sweeeet. hows that going
me:  pretty good. finalizing our save the date and guest list. i can’t decide if i should give you a plus one
Noelle:  dont bother
me: how has bobby (AKA her husband Justin) been behaving lately?
Noelle: hes been fun. he came with me to the gay bar
me:  no way. that is true love
Noelle:  yup. he loves me

So yet again, Noelle has shown me all that I have to look forward to once I am married. Honestly, I can’t wait. Right now, I can’t even convince Matt to watch “Brokeback Mountain”  – just wait till we are married!

Neutral Face

Matt and I have a running joke about my facial expression. He loves to poke fun at what I call my “neutral” face. I define this as the facial expression you make when you aren’t doing anything… your face’s natural resting position – no smile, no laughing, no anger, stress or tears. Well, at some point in my life, as I matured, my neutral face when from one of a sweet and innocent child, to a pissed off and bitter young adult. This has posed somewhat of a problem in my life.

I will be working at my desk or walking around school, and while most of time I actually AM annoyed, frustrated or stressed, people seem to think that is what I am ALWAYS feeling. At first, I was confused when people were asking me, “what’s wrong?” or telling me “smile Molly.” I didn’t understand why people were so concerned with my attitude, especially when I didn’t think anything was wrong. And to be honest, the act of smiling requires some conscious thought and effort. I mean, do people really just walk around smiling without thinking about it? I know that this blog is supposed to be about PMA, but let’s be real – not many people have a smile as the natural resting facial expression. I know for a fact that Matt’s neutral is an open-mouthed, dog-like panting face (those of you who know him are TOTALLY nodding your head right now!)

Well, apparently I looked pissed off all of the time. But I have gotten used to this, especially with Matt’s constant teasing. However, today at Starbucks, the barista TOTALLY called me out on my neutral face. And apparently, it worked in my advantage.

I had to work a little later than usual today and I wasn’t particularly excited about. I decided that I would treat my self to a delicious treat from Starbucks (shhh, don’t tell my Dunkin Donuts friends) as a reward. I walked in, ordered my drink and stood at the counter waiting to pick up my drink. Naturally, I was wearing my neutral. Of course I smiled and said thank you when the person took my order, but really, was there a need to stand at the counter with a silly smile on my face – why create unnecessary wrinkles?

The barista handed out a few drinks to other people waiting and then announced that she didn’t have any more orders to fill. I reminded her of my order, in what I thought was a polite way. She looked at me and was like, “wow, that is some scowl, I am going to upgrade your order to a venti” (I ordered a grande).

After that, I had a reason to smile – and I owed it all to my neutral face!

America Runs on Dunkin

On my way to work, nearly every morning (though I would appreciate it if you don’t tell my fiance this), I make a stop  at Dunkin Donuts  to get a medium french vanilla coffee with skim milk and two Splendas . For $1.89, I get a piping hot cup of goodness. It is hard to put into words how much enjoyment I get out of a cup of Dunkin Donuts coffee. For me, it is about so much more than the coffee.

Growing up in New England, Dunkin Donuts are a staple. On nearly every corner, you see one. I remember receiving a text from my sister once when she came to visit me when I was living in Boston that said something like this, “I just walked 5 minutes from the T (the subway, for those of you not from Boston) to your house and passed 4 Dunkin Donuts.” In my home town alone,  we had 5 or 6 Dunkin Donuts scattered around… and no high school.

From 5th grade to 8th grade, I was often driven to school in the morning by my mother who worked at the elementary school down the street. Many mornings we stopped at Dunkin Donuts so I could run in and get a maple frosted donut and pick up a medium de-caf with milk and sweet n’ low. I owe her my love of Dunkin Donuts coffee; I think it must be genetic.

This morning, when I stopped in for my coffee, I walked up and stood in line waiting to place my order. Before I even opened my mouth, my coffee was put on the counter, prepared to perfection. It is an incredible thing, when in a city of over 8 million people, the manager of a small, but very busy Dunkin Donuts, knows who I am and how I like my order. I think it took my fiance 6 years to figure this out.

And this is why I love Dunkin Donuts so much. The coffee is good, the memories are close my heart, and they provide the “small town comfort” that is so easily lost in the city.

America runs on Dunkin… and I am proud to be an American!