Tag Archives: candy

No secrets

Having just opened today’s mail, I eyeballed a credit card statement for accuracy before I put it in the queue for payment.

There was a charge I didn’t recognize, from a hotel in which I stayed on a recent business trip. All expenses for the trip had been put on my business card and charged to my client. This one, for $39.77, was a mysterious personal charge.

I called Marriott and was put through to the corporate billing office. When I reached a human being about the charge, which had been tagged “F&B” for food and beverage, the billing clerk and I together determined that the charge was made at the hotel gift shop. This still did not jog my memory.

The clerk delved deeper in to the system.

“Our system shows that you purchased 13 paper items.”

“Paper items,” I questioned myself silently, while staring at the stack of greeting cards that has towered on my desk, neglected and unaddressed, for the last three weeks.

“Oh, those must have been greeting cards,” I remembered aloud.

“Yes,” said the clerk, adding, “and one candy bar.”

Embarrassed, I replied, “Did you have to remind me of that?”

She was  not amused. “Would you like me to e-mail you an image of the itemized receipt?”

“No, that won’t be necessary,” I huffed back. Now she and whoever monitors the call for security purposes are privy to my greeting card and sugar addictions.

With a little nudge, I remembered the gift shop, I remembered the candy and I remembered the cards. If you have a June or July birthday or anniversary, I have this great card for you. I just need to remember to send it.

The moral of this story had something to do with memory but I can’t for the life of me recall what it was.

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Filed under Family and Friends, Foibles and Faux Pas, Food, Holidays, Travel

Sweet surrender

I’ve hit bottom.

I started with a pack a day, which turned into two packs a day. Within weeks, I was inhaling up to four or five. For so recent an addiction, this one has taken hold with quite a grip. Today I did something of which I am not proud.

It started last October, about a month after I had given up alcohol, coffee and chocolate. At Halloween, when there were pounds of candy in the house, I turned away from chocolate and turned on to SweeTarts–and the powder form, Pixy Stix. We had such a large supply that I was able to make it last until Christmas, when I became distracted by other forms of sugar. The loneliness of January turned to the darkness of February and I missed my old pastel-hued habit. For Valentine’s Day I asked my husband to substitute my traditional box of chocolates with SweeTarts. He gave me a big bag of individually packaged heart-shaped ‘Tarts, five to eight to a pack. When they ran out about three weeks ago, I got the shakes.

It turns out that no grocery or drug store in my area carries them. The ones my husband found were available for a limited time for the holiday. I started making special trips out to find them and with each failure to score came worsening withdrawal. A friend gave me a tip that they’re available at the movies, which was going to be my next tactic.

This afternoon I went to the mall to drop off some watches for repair. The clerk said the repairs would take 20 minutes. My first thought was to check to see if Target stocked my substance. Sure enough, my newly expanded Target had two boxes. I grabbed both of them and resisted opening one while I waited in the checkout line.

I had 15 minutes left to kill. Ordinarily at the mall, I’m tempted to try on clothes or shoes or costume jewelry. Those didn’t interest me one iota. All I wanted was to break into the SweeTarts.

I found a bench where I pretended to check my e-mail. I pulled out a box and began to tear at the corner. I imagined what I would look like, a desperate 51-year-old woman, sitting alone on a bench at the mall on a Saturday afternoon eating Willy Wonka SweeTarts. Sheepishly, I placed the unopened box back in the bag. I picked up my watches from the repair store.

Slowly, I walked to my car. My pace quickened. I ran the rest of the way, got in the car, ripped open a box and devoured half of it. That’s more than five servings. I was fulfilled.

I know I have an addiction. I’d like to break it, truly I would. Dr. Andrew Weil, whom I follow on Twitter, just within the last day or two, tweeted advice about breaking the sugar addiction. I had considered that divine intervention and pledged to myself to confront it like an adult. But today I caved.

The remaining SweeTarts are now in a covered candy dish in the dining room, with the spare box tucked away in a drawer. I’ll try to make them last, maybe I’ll even have the courage to give the spare box to a deserving child. Maybe I’ll overcome the habit and get to where I no longer feel like a herion addict without them. Or will I just be back on the street the next day, trying to score Pixy Stix?


Filed under Foibles and Faux Pas, Food, Health, Holidays

Desperate times

I just activated my emergency Snickers bar.

You might be saying to yourself, I thought she was forced to give up chocolate. Well, desperate times call for desperate measures.

I made it through Halloween without a single piece of chocolate, which took great will power; but I was committed to good health and respectful of my dietary restrictions. However, I did stash one Snickers bar, perhaps as a measure of security, where I could get to it in an emergency.

Recently, some minor yet frustrating annoyances have graced our doorstep, which have called for generous amounts of patience and flexibility. The first was October’s fender bender and the various inconveniences that ensued.

I fully appreciate that the flies in my ointment are mere gnats compared to what the world’s poor, sick and homeless face every day. All the more reason to face one’s irritations with proper perspective.

So, as my gnats began to reproduce and mutate, I consulted my handy new manual, How to Say It, to be sure I addressed each inconvenience—and the person behind it—appropriately. Chapter 13 on Complaints offered a wealth of tips and techniques for airing one’s grievances, firmly but politely. I drew upon the insights offered in Chapter 13 to respond to statements like, We’re sorry, Mrs. Welch, but the rug you ordered in August, that was to be delivered in September, might (but we cannot offer any guarantee) be delivered in mid-January, and We’re sorry, Mrs. Welch, but the home project that was to be done in October is delayed indefinitely. We hope to start before Christmas (but we cannot offer any guarantee).

Chapter 13 gave me the right words but it provided no guarantee. Or result. I was on the edge.

With the ointment now full of horse flies, the only weapon I had left was an illegal, fun-sized Snickers bar.

Now, following a Snickers breakfast and paying the piper for it, I will leave  to catch an early flight with an impossibly tight connection. I will be optimistic about not hearing your flight is delayed, your flight has been cancelled or you missed your connection. (Heaven knows, the airlines offer no guarantee.)

Either way, I know the newsstand sells grown-up sized Snickers bars. And extra strength Tums.

Optimism aside, is it an omen that an enormous fly is buzzing overhead as I write this?


Filed under Food, Health, Holidays, Rants and Raves, Reading, Travel

Bah! Humbug!

Alas, Halloween weekend is upon us. At the risk of solidifying your impression of me as a grouch, I must confess this is not my favorite holiday. I did endure in good humor a week of Halloween episodes of my favorite TV shows, but am relieved to have that over with.

Those who know me well know there aren’t many holidays I do like, mostly because of their power to impose unrealistic demands on us. But, as the next two months unfold, you will learn this about me soon enough.

So, what’s my beef with Halloween? I’ll hit the couch and tell you that much of it goes back to childhood. For some reason, I frequently got sick on Halloween night. Not from too much candy; I didn’t even make it out the door for trick-or-treating. Whether I spiked a high fever or spouted a projectile nosebleed right there in my Mary Poppins costume, something tended to strike me.

When I was seven, we moved to Cleveland on Halloween day, so I would have missed trick-or-treating altogether. I was heart-broken. My parents suggested I go out the night before to score some candy. So out I went, on October 30th, without my friends, in my Japanese kimono, ringing doorbells around the neighborhood. What did I find? That most people didn’t buy candy until Halloween day, so I caught many neighbors off guard. But don’t worry, I got over that and I trust they did too.

In those days, kids were cut off from trick-or-treating around age 12, which I think is an appropriate age. Nowadays, trick-or-treaters come in all ages, many without costumes, and this bugs me.

Believe it or not, up to 500 trick-or-treaters come to our door every Halloween. They begin before dinner and ring the doorbell well past 10 p.m. There’s a large Halloween attraction on the street behind our house, which draws people from all over. So, after enjoying the haunted houses, pirate ships and mazes, kids, teens and adults go around the block to trick-or-treat. What the news stories always capture is the cheery neighborliness of this gathering. So how can we not open our door enthusiastically?

Perhaps the most difficult part of Halloween is new to me this year. This is the year I had to give up chocolate.

So, if you happen to be at “Scary Perry” on Sunday night, stop by. I’ll be the one shot-gunning Pixy Stix.


Filed under Foibles and Faux Pas, Food, Health, Holidays, Rants and Raves