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Valentine’s Day 3…I swear this is the last one

Valentine’s Day 3…I swear this is the last one

I’ve never hidden my candy obsession from you. So I don’t want to start now. As is my modus operandi, the few days following any candy-bearing holiday are when I strike. I am not stupid. I know that those chocolate Easter eggs or cherry candy canes will taste exactly the same the week after Christmas as they do the two months before. I can wait, to buy 12 boxes of cherry candy canes for twenty-four cents a box, I can wait.

Since Halloween I have built up quite a healthy (or unhealthy as the case definitely is) supply of candy. My candy drawer is what YOU might call way too full, although I would never describe it that way. It has reached an all time high to the point that it has now begun to seep into my freezer (a ten pound bag of Snickers, Milky Way,Twix, and M&M’s -plain and peanut- and three or four bags of candy corn, for mixing with peanuts. If you don’t know already, mixing a few pieces of candy corn with a few peanuts tastes exactly like a Payday candy bar. If you didn’t know this, try it, it will change your life…for about a minute.) and there is a two and a half-foot tall stack of candy canes sitting in the corner of my kitchen. The candy drawer has candy from Halloween, Christmas, and most recently Valentine’s Day.

I think we can all agree that I have indeed proven my expertise in the candy arena but some might not know that I am also a professional clearance shopper (For Christmas you will be getting a Scooby Doo Ipad cover. I do not care if you don’t have an Ipad and if you hate Scooby Doo, it was a dollar fifty so I will pretend that I picked it out especially for you and you will pretend that you absolutely love it. It’s how the world works.) So I’m just going to say it: As far as clearance shopping for candy, Valentine’s Day is the worst because there are only a few different things to choose from: chocolates in a heart-shaped box or those stupid little chalky “conversation hearts.”

Which brings me to the point of this entire essay. Yes, I realize it took three paragraphs to get here but bear with me, I think it’ll be worth it.

Chalky conversation hearts are one of the worst candies on the face of the earth. If you like them, please skip this part because this could ruin it for you. Conversation hearts are just heart-shaped Necco wafers which are only good for one thing: making the walkway up to the Christmas gingerbread house you make every year. And conversation hearts come in deceptive packaging.. They come in these cute little personal boxes all red and pink and full of the promise of love and good conversation. We were supposed to give them to people as gifts because if there’s one thing that is universal, it is that we all love eating chalk. (Sidenote: I do give props to the candy companies over the last few years in their attempts at evolving the candy hearts into something more closely resembling an edible. Now they have ones that taste like the inside powdery part of Runts. These are actually quite good but then I get all excited and eat the whole box and have those little painful citrus bumps on my tongue for days.)

My other issue with the “conversation hearts” is that they do not truly represent conversations. I think the candy companies could do better. I realize that over the years they’ve tried to jazz up their sayings by getting all Imy (pronounced Ay Em EEEEE) and texty. But still I think some changes need to be made.

Let’s first examine some of the familiar sayings:

GO GIRL – ok, seriously, has anyone really said this since 1992? I myself never said it but honestly, I haven’t even heard this since the early nineties. Even then it made me cringe.

U R MINE – Oh I get it, now we’re teaching kids very early on to be possessive of their significant others. All along I thought we were just giving them something to throw at each other during the Valentine’s Day party at school.

DON’T TELL – Yikes. I think that best explains what we are all thinking.

GO BOY – I’m not sure this was ever even a catchphrase. It’s almost like the candy company is trying to coin a cool new saying.

EMAIL ME – Do little kids not talk on the playground anymore? Or is this an attempt to draw nostalgic adults back into the world of crappy candy?

LUV ME – This one not only teaches horrible spelling but also, no matter what color you choose, if you hold it up very close to your nose, you will smell desperation and patheticness-osity-fullment.(I teach made up words.)

MY HERO – because every little girl needs someone to swoop in and save her. We just can’t do anything for ourselves!

GOT LOVE? – This one made my list because of its laziness and lack of creativity. It’s a crutch and I do not like comedy crutches.

DARE YA – This one kind of falls under the “DON’T TELL” category. Yikes again.

JUST DANCE – Did Nintendo expand into the world of candy making? Or are the people who come up with these just aging and trying to grasp at anything that seems to be “hot” these days?

HOLLA – I’m not sure but I think this short-lived phrase lost its luster around 2004. I don’t know, I ain’t no HOLLAback girl…

GUESS WHO? – My problem with this one is more of a safety issue. If you don’t know who is giving you the candy, perhaps you shouldn’t put it in your mouth. Have we learned nothing from the never-true rumor about the razor-blade-laden apples?

DRAMA QUEEN – Ahhhhh behold, the rarest of rare, the passive aggressive conversation heart.

TEXT ME – Look how hip the candy makers are!

CHICKS RULE – I am not a fowl.

And those are just the ones I could read. Also among the hearts, I found many smudgey sayings (Romy thought one that said “CUTEY” said “CURRY”) and one heart that even had a smudgerific (made up word) picture that looked kind of pornographic.

I think it’s time we got real with our conversation hearts. Put something on those hearts that I feel comfortable giving to people. In my proposal to the candy companies about these much-needed changes I also plan on sending them some ideas for new sayings on the hearts:














Those are some hearts I would gladly give out.

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Posted by on February 22, 2012 in Random


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Trick or Treat

Trick or Treat

I loved trick-or-treating. I loved putting on my little vinyl one piece Wonder Woman outfit and donning that plastic mask that was held on by rubber bands and staples. I could never get my nose holes to go anywhere near my nostrils so by the end of the night the inside of my mask was covered in exhale condensation. I loved the few minutes before it was “OFFICIALLY” trick-or-treat, the anticipation of knowing that in an hour or two I would have enough candy to last me for quite a while. I loved the smell of burning leaves as I started off in search of my loot.

Here’s what I didn’t love so much: I didn’t love that we were only allowed to trick-or-treat at the houses of people we knew because we didn’t know very many people in the neighborhood ( sing along, you know you want to: in the neighborhood, in the NEIGHborhood) so our stash would be low considered to the kids who were allowed to run around all willy nilly through several neighborhoods where they knew no one and had better chances of eating a razorblade. I didn’t love that the only neighbors we did know were elderly. Not that I don’t respect my elders or that I have a problem with senior citizens. But by the end of my night my orange pumpkin was not full of fun size Snickers, Butterfingers or Milky Way bars.  No. By the time our allotted two hour of candy begging was over, my bucket was always full of root beer barrels, butterscotch disks, chick-a-sticks, pre-packaged popcorn balls, handfuls of pennies for Unicef and the most hated orange and black wrapped pieces of peanut butter “kisses.” This is quite possibly the Ishtar of all candies.

The best part of trick-or-treating was coming home and dumping the loot all over the floor to sort it out and get ready for trade. This, of course, came after the parental inspection for any suspicious looking treats: slightly opened toffee rolls, busted Pixie Stix, unpackaged candy of any kind and the ever-urban-mythed: razorblades in apples (in all my years of begging for candy I have never been given an apple. Not once. And if I had been given an apple it would have been fastballed back at their door after they closed it.)  Trick or Treat. Not Trick or Give-Me-Something-That-Will-Help-Me-Poop. 

Upon peeling off the thin vinyl one piece costume and tearing off the now, quite moist plastic mask, the pumpkin is unceremoniously dumped on the living room floor.  The real work now begins.  The first task is to take the unwanteds (see above, also known as elderly candies) and set them aside.  Then you must organize and inventory the remaining candy.  Chocolate goes in one corner, mini packets in another and the cheap hard candy assortment off to one side.  The trading begins.  If all is in perfect harmony in the family, this will be an enjoyable task.  For instance, if your brother likes orange candy and you do not and you like mint chocolate and he does not, smooth sailing.  If this is not the case, things can get tricky. Strategies must be employed to gain the best harvest.  Negotiations can get tense.  The talks can take up to fifteen minutes but hopefully in the end, everyone gets what they want and no punches were thrown. 

Now the eating begins. If it were up to me, I would devour the entire contents in one sitting, run around the room on a sugar high and then crash with a severe case of the shakes, only to repeat the process ten minutes later. 

But it was never up to me.  After the anticipation, the hard task of working up the nerve to knock on doors and beg for candy, the anxiety of wondering how much candy will pass inspection and the tension of the trade talks, the evening ends with me sitting on the floor with half a chewed tootsie roll in my mouth as the candy is whisked away and rationed out over the next several weeks.

They say that often people who were deprived of food hoard it later on in life when they have freedom and choice. 

Halloween may be the reason why I ate my weight in sour gummy worms last night.


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