Saturday, April 26, 2008

I Want Candy

It's trippy to see your kid get to an age where you distinctly remember what you were thinking when you were that age. (Does that make sense? Basically, I totally remember being four). Dredging up the CoolWhip story the other night rekindled a few memories of my childhood- most of them involving grocery stores.

I love to grocery shop- always have, always will. This love has passed on to my children, who view a trip to Costco as an official outing, and it warms my heart to listen to their giggles of anticipation as we approach each aisle of samples. When I was four, I liked to toy with stranger's perceptions. For example, one of my favorite games was to fake a limp. I would trod behind my mother as she pushed the cart, and I would muster my best Tiny Tim face and suddenly start gimping all over the frozen foods section. I would try my hardest to listen to the whispers of each passerby- straining my ears to hear them whisper "poor, poor girl" when really they were probably thinking what a freaking nutcase I was.

Then, there was the day we went to Giant. Giant was this huge grocery store in Herndon, Virginia- and it felt like we went there every other day. We were ALWAYS going to Giant. My little brother would get a matchcar during every visit, and he had more cars than Donald Trump has gold light fixtures. It was seriously disgusting- he could have started his own NASCAR league and invited Mario Batali over to cook him some lil' smokies.

One day, I got sick of Billy and his mini-car obsession, and decided to venture off to pick a present for myself. Not much to choose from in a grocery store in 1980- but I did find a Brachs store display of candy. It featured tiny bags of Brachs candy- all hanging from a silver metal tree- each metal arm featuring a different flavor. I so love Brachs chocolate covered cherries, so I immediately realized I had to have one. Suddenly feeling like I was being watched, I turned around to see 2 young boys- about 4 and six years of age, observing my every move, while their mother read the back of some instant Orange Julius mix or something.

The boys crept closer- for some unknown reason, my candy deliberation fascinated them. Ignoring their stares, I calmly reached forward and grabbed a bag of candy off of the fixture. To this day, I swear that is all I did. I simply grabbed a bag of candy. Unexpectedly, the silver tree, brimming with confectionary delights, suddenly shuddered, and horrifically started folding up on itself, sending bags of Brachs candy crashing. Chocolate covered cherries littered the floor like a bloody, pulpy mess.

This huge mess also made a huge noise, and the mother dropped the can of instant Orange Julius and immediately started screeching and spanking the boys for wreaking such havoc. Ignoring their desperate and fervent pleas of innocence, I silently limped away. To this day, I can still see the pained expressions of disbelief on those wrongfully accused boys, and the outrage of their mother as she clomped on broken bits of candy to gain a better footing for her discipline. I've never been able to enjoy a cheapy chocolate covered cherry since.

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