Years ago I had a friend called Liz. She was one of those friends who seems to drift into your life then drift out. I can’t even remember how we met or why, but for a short time Liz was part of our gang.
Liz was a fairly common name and if I remember correctly there was another Liz, not within the friendship group but significant in someone’s life somehow, and our friend Liz needed to be defined as such. Liz wore corrective glasses for a lazy eye, so much so that when she took them off you really couldn’t tell who she was looking at. A descriptor that involved the glasses was used. I refuse to publish it here because in hindsight, while it was all in loving fun, it wasn’t very kind.
You see, Liz was one of the kindest and most gentle people I’ve ever met. She was a tonic in our group of drunken banter and pranks, she was always there with a soothing word, or a quiet hug, she was wise waaaaaaay beyond her years. She was, even back then, a Proper Grownup.
One day we were sitting around drinking tea and beer (the ultimate combo) and talking about our favourite snacks. The conversation took a turn though when Liz admitted, at the grand old age of 23, that she’d never tried cheese and onion crisps. Mouths agape, someone asked for clarification. Liz explained that her parents had been fairly strict about snack consumption so the opportunity had never presented itself, and as an adult she’s never seen the need.
“What none at all? What about…” and we started firing crisp flavours at her “Smoky bacon? Prawn cocktail? Wotsits? Come on… you MUST have had Wotsits!” None of us could actually believe that anyone could get to the age of 23 without sampling such a staple of the British diet.
Someone quickly went on a shop run to grab some bags of Walkers so that Liz could pop her cheese and onion cherry. And after all the waiting, I don’t think she was very impressed. Standard let down.
I was PA-ing at an electrical contractors at the time and a couple of months later, during a tea break conversation it was me that made a casual revelation that shook the room. I was 20 and had yet to try a Pot Noodle. They were aghast. How can you get to age 20 and not have tried a Pot Noodle?
Someone went out and got me one. It was reminiscent of cut up elastic bands, swirled in diarrhea and served in a plastic plant pot. I realised I hadn’t been missing anything and haven’t had one since (although I’m open, maybe they’ve improved?).
I never got to try a Pot Noodle before this, because like Liz’s parents with the crisps, my mum had a problem with processed food. Until I turned 17, she spent at least two hours a day cooking our evening meal from scratch, and while I didn’t appreciate it at the time, I do now. Thanks mum.
As a result of mums dedication to fresh food I never got to try all the processed crap that my friends mums stocked up on at Bejam’s, that always looked so enticing to me. I always wanted to try Findus Crispy Pancakes and never have, so much so that it’s now become a THING, and I feel like I’ve grossly missed out. But, guess what? They had them in Asda the other day and I bought some. Watch out for the upcoming post with my review, try to contain your excitement people.
We all live in a bubble where we like to think that everyone is the same. And in essence we are. But these missed or lived experiences are what makes us different, not a single one of us has the exact same set. We can find people with whom we have things in common but there will never be someone who is the same. Isn’t that cool? We are unique, one in a gazillion.
I don’t know, it just makes me feel pretty special, and we should ALL feel like that! Vive la difference!
And I mean, honestly? Eating a Pot Noodle isn’t exactly high on my list of experiences but it was pretty exciting, at least until I tried it. Let’s hope that the Crispy Pancake lives up to the hype.