Green and Purple Ketchup???

It was the year 2000 and we were all up in the chicken nuggets for like every other meal at our house.  Our three boys, along with the two boys who stayed with us after school and during summer vacation, could eat some chicken nuggets.

Do you know what goes with chicken nuggets? Ketchup. Lots of ketchup! 

We are on a very tight budget at the time and I had become quite good at bargain shopping. I clipped coupons from the Sunday paper, studied the grocery adds each week, planned our menu, shopped the sales and ended up buying mostly the same items week after week.  

Keep in mind. Smart phones were not prevalent, and the internet was geek speak to this young mother of three very active and energetic boys.  I had plenty to do without learning how to surf the www interweb thing-y. 

My- how times change quickly….

I must have made a really good impression on our boys, though.  One day while shopping at The Winn Dixie in our small town, we were on the cereal isle.  Did you know they market directly to little kids on the cereal isle?  All the bright colorful boxes with the prizes are right at their eye level and temptation to look at all the pretty colors at your own kitchen table is really high.

On one particular trip to The Winn Dixie, as usual, I had given my “Mom” speech about how the boys were NOT to ask me for anything.  I have a list; I have coupons and only a certain amount of money to spend. 

Kyle was seated in the shopping cart rearranging the canned goods and other items I had already put in the basket (he liked to stack stuff) Cameron and Matthew were walking beside me.  Sometimes they would mention how awesome something was and say, “I’m not asking you to buy it, I just want to look at it”. So we would look and then move on.  But then the cereal isle happened and all the pretty colors could not be more hypnotic to young grade school children. 

Cameron picked up a box of something magically delicious and exclaimed quickly, “Mom!!! This one has a yellow sale tag.  Do you have a coupon for it, too?” In fact I DID have a coupon for it!!! So we brought home the marshmallow sugar coated cereal and I felt like the #BestMomEver since the boys had learned that if there is a yellow sale tag AND you have a coupon, then life is sweet!

And then one day…a marvelous thing was invented that appealed to all children everywhere. At least for those gathered around my table each week over chicken nuggets or any other food that deserved a large squeeze of ketchup. 

Heinz Ketchup rolled out the kid friendly EZ Squirt bottles along with GREEN KETCHUP!! My boys just HAD to have some…but dang, the stuff was pricier than the original RED and more than the store brand for sure… (I know.  Store brand ketchup is not always the same as the real deal but we were on a tight budget!) 

Finally, I found a coupon for like buy 2 get one free or something and The Winn Dixie had the GREEN ketchup on sale for buy on get one, so like SCORE!!! I picked up four bottles of GREEN and PURPLE ketchup. Two of each!  My boys were going to be so excited! I could practically hear them shouting for joy!!! Especially Matthew.

Matthew was my ketchup KING.  He had ketchup with practically everything and he especially had been after me for the new fancy colors of ketchup.  What a great idea! I would make his day and we would live in the wonderful world of Colorful Ketchup for the rest of our lives!

It really didn’t happen that way, though.  I brought the goods home, whipped up some chicken nuggets and blue box macaroni and cheese (another childhood favorite of the boys) opened up the kid friendly bottle of GREEN Ketchup and in all of the excitement no one really thought about the mental mind game that changing the color of a condiment can do to a boy…or a mom for that matter.

I don’t know if any of us could actually taste the GREEN and PURPLE ketchup for just thinking about how it wasn’t RED.  We just couldn’t do it.  I believe I tasted the Green stuff, but while it tasted like ketchup, my mind said no it didn’t.  It was just plain weird.  Odd how this affected our dining experience that day at lunch.

So we wiped the plates clear of the Non-RED ketchup and pulled out the faithful store brand stuff we had been used to and hey- presto!!! Lunchtime was saved!!