Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist


Ailz was at an old time sweet shop yesterday- where they still sell those mid-twentieth century individually-wrapped sweets- toffees, jube-jubes, sherbert lemons (someone still makes them)- and came back with a jar-full.  This led to us discussing sweets in bed-  and numbering our favourites.  She liked licorice and I liked anything with sherbert in it.

I also liked hard fruit candies- the translucent ones- because they looked like jewels. And I liked some toffees but not others. Peppermints were OK.   My mother used to make hard, bonfire-night toffee in trays which spoiled you for anything you could buy in a shop.

Notice I'm writing all this in the past tense. When I stopped eating sweets in adolescence I lost not only the habit, not only the craving, but even the slightest twinge of "Ooh, that looks nice".   Maybe it's because I came to associate them with the dentist's chair, but I think not. Sometimes one's tastes just change, irreversably, with the force of a falling portcullis and there's no way back. It makes me wonder whether I ever really liked them or just thought I did- because that's what's expected of children.  Maybe the realization that I didn't actually want another toffee- ever again- wasn't so much loss as liberation. I remember I had a sweet jar in my bedroom- and I could be trusted not to empty it at a sitting, just as I could be trusted not to wolf down all my Easter eggs at once. In fact Easter eggs, now I think of it, I used to keep for months, until they went stale, nibbling on a communion wafer-sized piece now and then as if it were a duty.
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