My favorite holidays growing up were ranked according to how much candy was involved.
So of course, Halloween was number one, followed by Valentines Day, Christmas, with Thanksgiving bringing in the rear with its pies, cookies and cakes. (Not much candy, but food and sugar just the same.)
Halloween was a sugar addict’s dream. It was like St. Patrick’s Day for an alcoholic: full permission from the world to binge!
I loved dressing up, too, but the truth was that my excitement around the holiday was all about being able to get as much candy as I could and to be able to eat it without judgement or censure.
Candy was my love, you see.
It was my friend. My happiness. My comforter. My solace.
Candy was love to me.
There wasn’t a candy I did not love back except black licorice. Fortunately, my mother loved candy too, and black licorice was right up her alley, so it all worked out.
I had little rituals, such as taking candy corn and eating it one kernel at a time.
I’d gnaw it down in tiny front teeth bites, color stripe by color stripe, ever hopeful that the orange would taste like orange. (It never did – each stripe was always just a creamy sugary flavor. No matter.)
I’s unwrap a Hershey’s Kiss (we only had the classic milk chocolate then,) and put in in the center of my tongue and let it melt, sticking to the roof of my mouth. God, how I loved the sensuality of it!
My number one candy, hands down, was Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. Back then we didn’t have the mini’s or the flavor variations.
It was the classic, regular-sized, 2 pack that you’d hope to score.
I’d save them to eat until the end, to savor. They, too, carried their own ritual.
I’d eat the crinkled edges away first, leaving a round, dense, creamy peanut butter and chocolate sandwich to eat like a sweet burger. I sang a little song of happiness as I finished.
Such happy memories. Looking back, maybe it is sad to think that candy held such a primary role in my life.
But it did. Can’t change that. Maybe that candy kept me alive.
My candy days are in the past. Though I may sometimes feel nostalgic for candy around the holidays, I can honestly say I am happy being candy-free today. My relationship to that candy held a dark side that I do not wish to return to.
That candy became too important. It eventually became my captor. It eventually became my everything.
I relish the clarity, vibrance and self-ness I feel without it.
And my life is sweet enough.