Ah, the memories: Trick-Or-Treating in the neighborhoods we grew up in; costumes we bought - or costumes we made (usually at the last minute!); parties and Fall festivals; visiting our first "haunted" house; begging our moms to buy our favorite candy to hand out to our friends, but finding out later that the begging didn't do any good - our parents always bought their favorite!
What I find extremely funny is that now I'm doing the same thing! This morning while doing a little grocery-shopping, I found myself in the just-for-Halloween-candy-aisle, searching through what was left of all the sugar-coated, chocolate-coated, individually wrapped, bags of goodies. Of course I wasn't alone, and peeking out of the corner of my eye I happened to notice that the other three or four adults standing in that section were all middle-aged (like me). Surprised that none of us standing there had any kids roaming about, I could only assume that those parents of younger children had already prepared and purchased their treats and were (wisely) at home making their final preparations for an evening of fun with their families.
Did you ever notice how just standing in a candy aisle, with your mouth watering over all those sweet, gooey, delicious selections could bring back a host of childhood memories? I still enjoy sitting around with friends and family comparing the favorites we loved as kids: fake candy cigarettes (which our mother's abhorred), Pixie-Sticks, wax soda-bottles, wax lips, wax teeth, the (nasty) gum that came with the baseball cards, Zotz, Pop-Rocks, various bubble-gum and candy-bars...I'm sure we can all add to the list! It's really no coincidence when you think about it, how so many of our fondest memories (especially those of our childhood) contain a thought or two centering around candy. Whether it's digging through the trick-or-treat bags, pulling out our favorites and hiding them for later so that no-one else (or the kids!) can swipe it, or just having enough change in our pocket for that favorite candy-bar in the check-out line, candy holds a very special place in every one's heart.
A dentist's worst night-mare and a mother's last resort for bribery, a small piece of candy or chocolate can be an intense instrument of persuasion or "drug" (if you will). Depending on your "flavor" of choice, that first bite can totally transform a person's current state of mind. Taste and smell are amazingly powerful senses - when triggered, those senses have the ability to take us back in time, completely change our mood, even emote feelings of pure pleasure!
Sometimes those cravings for candy or chocolate are just that - our taste buds are screaming for something sweet, something to satisfy a hunger, or even cure a "bad taste" left over from perhaps a too-spicy meal. Personally I find that I derive the most from chocolate when eating it only for the sheer pleasure of it!
There's an old advertisement for Tootsie-Roll Pops that I've disagreed with my husband over for years....remember that old owl who was always wondering "how many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie-Roll Pop?" I believe that old owl had it completely wrong. Commercial after commercial, that owl could NEVER wait and just savor that lollipop (which my crunch-happy hubby is in total agreement with - he can't even suck on a mint or cough drop properly!) Me - I believe it's all about the enjoyment...with everything us working moms tend to be involved in these days, why do you think we "crave" chocolate so much? (Gentlemen, it DOESN'T always have to do with hormones!)
Simple pleasures....some might say "guilty" pleasures, but a pleasure all the same. The next time you indulge in your favorite sweet - be it a form of chocolate, gum-drop, jelly-bean, taffy or gum - try savoring that first taste. Let it linger on your tongue...for just a moment. Close your eyes and let your senses take over. It's really only seconds out of your day, but those few seconds can immediately transport you elsewhere and perhaps even ease a weary mind and body. A bit of Joy from one little piece of candy...no wonder these kids are so excited at my door tonight...they've already got BAGS full of the stuff!
There goes the doorbell again - have a treat - and HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!
Pay it forward - spread a smile!
(photo courtesy of Google images.)