they pay to kiss your feet

since there's no one else around, we let our hair grow long and forget all we used to know. then our skin gets thicker from living out in the snow.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Refusing M&Ms

I used to need M&Ms. I grew up with very strict rules about nutrition and sugar and junk food and didn’t get to eat many things that tasted like they were rotting my teeth. But when I was allowed sugar, something in my heart warmed up and I felt all gooey and good inside.

I didn’t get to eat them often, but each time my parents left me with a babysitter so they could go out and see a movie, they would bring me back a pack of M&Ms and leave it on my dresser for me to find in the morning. I hated babysitters. The whole idea of a teenage girl being responsible enough to protect me and to scare off strangers made no sense. But, knowing that while they were out, my parents were buying a treat just for me was comforting. Because I knew they hadn’t forgotten me, that they wouldn’t forget and I knew that when I woke up they would be back home and I would have chocolate and the stupid babysitter would be back at her house where she still had to live with a mom and a dad and where she probably wasn’t even able to stay home alone.

In college, whenever I was sick or had cramps, friends would buy me a one-pound bag of M&Ms. I guess the chocolate still soothed me then. It made me feel like I was home or like someone cared. I would eat the entire bag in too few sittings and then, I’d swear to never eat another M&M. But, I kept going back. The M&Ms kept coming from friends and old boyfriends and from times when my willpower wasn’t strong enough to resist them in the corner store.

Today, I said no to M&Ms. I received a press release at work for the new, mega-sized peanut M&Ms, which come in colors like teal and maroon and gray. And if you ask me, they’re really ugly and drab and they look a little bit dirty, too. I know this because the release came with a one-pound bag of the candies. And though I opened the bag, I didn’t want them because now, M&Ms remind me of what had been. Of a marriage that used to be intact, of parents that used to be together and of happier, less confusing times. I didn’t want to even try to be soothed by the stupid candies today because what I’m feeling hurts too badly – and it’s a pain too stabbing for even chocolate to numb. But mostly, it hurts to remember and to imagine the things I may have not known about and the things I knew about and how something that seemed so perfect from the outside could have gone so wrong. So, I gave the M&Ms to my coworker, but I got a stomach ache anyway. This time, not from eating too many chocolates but from remembering the times when I did.

2 Comments:

  • At 10:47 AM, Blogger jessgottlieb said…

    But chocolate is good for you! In all seriousness, M&Ms were one of the few unhealthy things allowed in my house while growing up, and they're still the #1 nosh of both my parents. Anytime I hear the name of these yummy candies, I suddenly hear the clink and clatter or M&Ms being poured into a glass bowl or a plastic measuring cup, which happened just about every night without fail. I always knew when my parents were in the kitchen without turning around to look up the stairs because I heard those M&Ms. I never was a big M&M eater, mostly because milk chocolate makes me feel kinda icky, but I do enjoy the peanut variety and the mint variety, and now that the dark chocolate ones have come out, I might be in some big trouble. Ruh roh. Look out, tummy.

     
  • At 8:36 AM, Blogger Lindsay said…

    We should really have lunch or coffee or anything together, soon. I know your pain.... I've felt it before. I've been on the same roller coaster of emotions.

    Always here for you. With lots of love!.......... Lindsay

     

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