Do you remember candy shops? Maybe you had the good fortune of parents who raised you on vegetables and whole grains, but not me. I had a father who was born in the ’50s and knew about life’s simplest pleasure – a sweet little confection in a pretty plastic package.
So, I remember candy shops. There are actually still quite a few around, although I don’t recommend many; we like to be more health-conscious nowadays, and much of American candy and chocolate tastes of plastic and fakery. (The plastic stays wrapped around the candy; it does not appear at the top of the ingredients list. Okay? Okay.)
The candy shop – our candy shop – was old. It reminds me of a ’50s diner, almost, but with class. White walls, white counters, white everything – it makes the glass jars and plastic wrappers gleam like diamond. Black trim. Keep it neat, keep it simple; let the candy do the talking. Nice.
If you can’t tell, I really enjoyed the candy. It’s gorgeous, the old stuff – especially the artisan, handmade things. Shiny, colorful ribbons of god-knows-how-much-sugar were in bowls next to jaw-breakers, next to jujus of every shape, next to lollipops swirled like an LSD trip… (Not that I’d know what LSD is like. I imagine it looks a lot like a lollipop, only with more health repercussions and even snider comments from onlookers.)
However, I grew older. Our trips to the candy store became less frequent. My “baby fat,” as it had been so affectionately called, became less cute at ten, at twelve, at thirteen. (Pinching it became less cute, too, but that’s another story.)
So, this phase of life passed. I stopped going to the candy store entirely. I don’t eat candy anymore. I don’t eat very often, honestly; I find that water and fashion magazines sate my appetite quite well, thank you. Have your Chik-fil-A; I’ll pig out on Italian Vogue and Glamour and whatever other trash is syndicating these days.
Eventually, though, I found a new store. It, too, is white with black trim. It, too, is filled with beauty and texture and bursts of color and playfulness and young girls. It’s Victoria’s Secret.
I suppose my only reservation, at this point, is that I no longer unwrap my candy; I am the candy that is to be unwrapped.