I was the childhood friend that respected no boundaries when it came to eating the other family’s food. When I showed up at the door, it was game time.
I knew the pantries of my closest friends like the back of my hand. I could close my eyes and navigate each shelf: the sweets and the savories, the boxes of sugary cereal. I knew the birthdays of all the friends’ siblings to time my visits to follow the scent of leftover birthday cake.
My childhood best friend had a gumball machine that took pennies, but I would always unscrew the top, reach in my hand and grab as many as I could. She loved that.
*Edit: I feel like I must say that I am also the adulthood friend that does this. When I go to Sami’s house, sometimes she will give me a plastic baggie so I can take some treats home with me and not feel so rushed eating them while actually in the house. It makes the visit more enjoyable for both of us.
I blame this on the lack of treats at my own house as a child.
Growing up, we were never a candy dish family and my scientific theory is that because of this, I will never be one.
We couldn’t handle it.
For this reason, I loved to go to my friends’ houses who were a part of a candy dish family that had little bowls of sweets sitting out in plain sight, or baked goods in Tupperware ready to be eaten.
Whether it was reality or in my imagination, the parents of these friends loved having me over and loved it when I ate all of their food. Did I abuse this and often eat myself sick? Yes. I am who I am.
That same Gumball Friend at ALL times, had a bucket of cookie dough in her fridge. Not like a normal sized container. Like a giant, bigger than a sand-castle bucket, BUCKET.
Families like these are like mythical creatures to me.
My mom didn’t bake much when I was growing up. We never just had candy in the pantry. We did Christmas cookies and birthday treats, but never a “bake just to bake” situation. At the time, I probably thought she just didn’t like to bake or enjoy giving her children delicious treats, but in reality, she was protecting us from ourselves.
Portion control was clearly never a strong suit for my family, so if there ever were treats or candy available, which was a rarity, they were gone in one day.
So this Monday, when Max bought a large bag of Cadbury eggs and placed them in a cute white bowl on our kitchen counter, I was confused. The bowl was in plain sight.
He summoned me over to show me and I looked at him bewildered. He shrugged and said, “I thought maybe we could be a candy dish family now.”
Many different situations crossed my mind at that moment. The one where Max and I cut a log of Tollhouse cookie dough in half and ate it from a plate. The entire pumpkin pie that was gone in 36 hours. The bin of sugar cookies that we ate like whole-grain tortilla chips.
We both knew it was a bad idea. He said it would be different this time and he could make them last a week, but deep down, we knew the truth.
The Cadbury eggs were gone by Thursday. While that might sound impressive, (and quite honestly it is impressive for us) it was a LARGE bag of chocolate and there are two people in this home.
Is it too late for us? Probably. We both came from non-candy-dish homes and cannot, and frankly, will not behave appropriately or in moderation around sweets.
I have a lot of goals for us and for our future family. I want our future children to be able to control themselves like a candy dish kid. Those kids were able to show restraint and walk past a bowl of Junior Mints without batting an eye. But it might be too late for Max and me: the formative years are behind us.
My thought is that we just needed more exposure to the sweets and candy and that if we just continue to buy candy and cookies and have them out, we will eventually get used to them and not eat them at an alarming rate. But that, my friend, is a dangerous game.
Are you a candy dish family? Was your childhood home a candy dish family? Have you seen a conversion take place?
Please let me know! Thank you!