When I was in high school, the little store on campus sold giant cookies. They seemed about U.F.O. sized and everyone’s favorite choice was the chocolate chip kind because you could see endless amounts of chocolate chips through the plastic wrap that held it all together.
The computer lab lady always had one. I don’t think she took a break for lunch, and she rarely left the computer lab, so the big cookie was what sustained her and gave her the energy to keep things in order.
Computer labs were a special place. We were learning how to sign up for our first email accounts and surfing the net was something very different than it is today. I don’t remember exactly what there was to do on the internet in those days since there was no YouTube or social media. Still, we managed to waste time on the internet.
I like to think about the wheel-sized cookies the little store would sell us. Everything seemed bigger back then and cookies shouldn’t be left out of being preposterous in size. They must have cost about a dollar which was more expensive than the bag of chips or other snacks on the counter.
In our society, nothing can be too big. Cookies or cars. Houses or dreams. Until things do get too big, and then they become pocket-sized. High school computers and printers were larger. Hairdos too.
Everything seems bigger when you're smaller. The size of the teacher’s ruler. The globe in the corner of the room. The school bus that could fit your whole class and more. The yearbook felt like an encyclopedia. The walk home. It was longer then.
We could use saucer-sized cookies in our lives. Not for the calories, but for the feeling that there are some things that are still too big for us to hold in our hands, and still we try.
We need to be more like our adolescent selves. The thinkers and the daydreamers. The backyard fort builders and the break things apart to make them better kind. Things didn’t always turn out the way we planned. They still don’t.
Life is less interesting when everything feels small. When you have tiny feet, the town park feels like Disneyland. It just keeps going. The slide is almost too high to try. The monkey bars, Olympic workouts. I want to have those feelings again.
Dads need to feel tall again. Ties too long to wear. Store shelves too high to reach. Popcorn bags too filled to carry.
I think I’m going to drive to a store somewhere where I can find a really big cookie. Chocolate chip wrapped in clear cellophane. I’ll pick it up and it will feel like a 100 pounds. Everything that is too heavy always feels like 100 pounds.
I’ll take it to the checkout counter and I’ll tell the sales person that I’ve been wanting to eat one of these since I was kid. That they weren’t as big as I remember them. Then I’ll take it home and I’ll share it with others, and I’ll tell them that really big chocolate cookies are still worth finding. Or at least worth dreaming about.
Abe Villarreal writes about life and culture in America. He can be reached at email@example.com.