Monday, March 29, 2010

When Popcorn Isn't Popcorn

“I’m going to make some popcorn,” said my Newport, Oregon roommate, Kim, to me one night. “Will the smell bother you?” I automatically assumed she meant something like Orville Redenbacher microwave popcorn, which has a very toxic smell when microwaved. There are many unpleasant ingredients in microwave popcorn; even people without chemical sensitivities, which I have, have reported getting sick from it.

"The smell of popcorn doesn't bother you?" I ask.
“Well, let me ask you something first. How are you used to it being cooked?”
“In the microwave.”
“Well,” she said, “I have kettle corn, and I cook it on the stove. I put real butter on it.”
“Oh!” I said, surprised. “Of course! I should have figured you had a natural way to do it.”

This conversation was a bit of an epiphany to me. Just because something has been done a thousand times before the same way, just because every experience in your life has been the same way, doesn't mean there isn't the potential for things to change. Just because you've been hurt a million times doesn't mean there isn't the potential for happiness. Just because the only thing you ever thought existed in the world was microwave popcorn - doesn't mean you won't get lucky and find people who make kettle popcorn. They do exist in the world. Maybe I can find other "Kettle Popcorn People" in the world. Maybe I can find other people like me. Maybe, there is still hope.

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