a breakfast serial

One bite-sized story every morning to uplift, motivate, or provoke thought.

Archive for November 2, 2012

the candy rule


Photo credit: alexanderljung

< by Jill >

Sometimes it’s hard to tell whether my memories are authentic snapshots of past experiences or stories I’ve been told my whole life. Sometimes I catch a glimmer of a memory and it draws up long-latent recollections the same way a hangnail snags the stitches of a sweater. The initial thought — be it authentic or imposed — recedes as the other thoughts emerge. And it’s these smaller threads, the ones that are quietly woven into me, that I know, for sure, are real.

I don’t remember the Halloween blizzard of 1991, but the thought of it triggered a vivid memory of something else: The Candy Rule. This rule states that you can eat as much candy as you want on Halloween night BUT when the clock strikes midnight, it all belongs to mom and dad.

Naturally, this impacted my trick-or-treating strategy — it was about quality, not quantity. Specifically, it was about Caramellos, not Crunch bars. I trained my eyes to seek them; to detect the metallic glint of the maroon packaging. I trained my hands to snatch them with swift grace, always heeding the bar’s structural integrity.

Despite my genius (and highly effective) tactics, the bounty was for naught. After my second Caramello, the caramel caked my tongue and clotted my windpipes. Surely, a third bar threatened my very existence. I surrendered.

The Candy Rule won — and so did my parents. They reaped a bounty of Caramellos, which they ate with glass upon glass of milk.