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Opinion

Cereal is essential ingredient for dating

December 8, 2006

Award-winning journalism

This opinion piece won third place in column writing in the 2007 Collegiate Better Newspaper Contest sponsored by the Wisconsin Newspaper Association Foundation. Read more

Finding a worthy partner is always a difficult task. Establishing some source of commonality with another person can seem next to impossible, but Web sites like eHarmony.com have started to make the laborious task easier.

These sites attempt to use personality correlations to match users to one another, but even the most thorough evaluations seem not to ask the most telltale questions. For a question to be meaningful, it needs to reveal several aspects of oneself.

It was troubling for me to see that breakfast cereal preference didn’t make it on eHarmony’s list of questions, as it is a fundamental component of many people’s day.

Unlike lunch and dinner, cereal is the one meal that doesn’t typically vary. A cereal eater loyal to his or her brand doesn’t switch to a different kind midbox — one box is finished before another is opened. This could take days depending on the box size, and even after one box is gone, there’s bound to be a box of the same kind of cereal waiting to take its place.

Cereal eaters love their breakfast and they’re loyal to their brand. I’m no Cupid, but love and loyalty have got to be two of the most desired personality characteristics.

And cereal choice holds much more information than that because, let us not forget, breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

Cheerios Chewers, for example, care about a healthy diet but don’t necessarily make it a priority. Like the tiny Os in the box, they may be plain and uninteresting on the outside, but they’re packed with wholesome goodness and aren’t composed of superficialities like coloring or unnatural flavors.

A Froot Loops Fanatic is happily carefree and unconcerned with reality. This personality type could be fitting if you like to slam a Red Bull before an exam or get pleasure from pain. Be careful, though, because your first date might include base jumping off North Hall or lighting things on fire.

Don’t let the smiling vampire on the front panel of the Count Chocula box deceive you. Count Chocula Cravers live to hate the world around them. Their souls are as dark as the chocolaty milk left in the bowl. But if you are into whips and chains in the bedroom and think Megadeth is for pussies, a Count Chocula Craver might be right up your alley. Just remember, the Count might be smiling, but he’s still a vampire.

A Special K Consumer is often as watered-down as the skim milk with which it is eaten. But if you regularly meet your daily quota for fruits and vegetables even before the lunch break rolls around, or if you enjoy jumping on a treadmill to forget about life’s hardships, the Special K Consumer is right for you.

This evaluative method isn’t completely flawless, as there are some who choose not to eat breakfast. It is sad, but apparently their demanding schedules don’t permit a morning meal. These are the Cereal Killers. It’s hard to ascribe any precise attributes to Cereal Killers, but they likely consume their morning meal through a slice of cold Luigi’s pizza and a pot of strong coffee. Skipping an opportunity to have a bowl of breakfast cereal in the morning is sketchy — not to mention an abomination — so beware of the Cereal Killers.

There are hundreds of other cereals, and for each is another type of cereal eater.

Deciphering between the different types isn’t as tricky as one would imagine. Take a look at the box design, read the ingredients, feel the sweet sustenance in your hand.

Then, the next time you roll over in the morning to find an unfamiliar bedmate, you needn’t worry about an awkward exchange of phone numbers or explaining that a late-night hookup isn’t a usual practice of yours. Instead, simply prop a pillow underneath your head, look your bedmate in the eye and ask the one question that’ll determine the fate of your newfound acquaintanceship: “So, what kind of cereal do you like?”

Ben Jipson is a student at UW-River Falls.

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