March 20, 2007

It's A Mixed Bag

Bags of candy containing assorted flavors present a problem in our household.

There are two philosophies regarding mixed bags of candy. The first philosophy is that you should select the flavors you like, and leave the others. Why would you waste candy by eating it when you don't like it? Leave it for someone who does like it. This makes total sense.

But there is another philosophy. This is a philosophy formed when a person who likes all the flavors confronts a bag containing only a few. And it happens again and again, through nearly ten years of married life. And so she never gets to eat certain flavors. This philosophy states that if you don't like all or at least most of the flavors, don't eat from the bag at all. Buy non-mixed bags, containing only the flavors you like. You selfish, thoughtless, inconsiderate jerk.

It has taken me over a dozen years of sharing a household, but I have nearly trained Paul not to THROW AWAY the flavors he doesn't like, which was his former approach to mixed bags. And there are times when I wonder if maybe I should have allowed him to continue that. In some sense, it solves the problem: he goes through all the flavors at a steady rate then, some consumed and some destroyed. And what happens when I forbid it? I get a bag of, say, all the blue SweeTarts. All the Mr. Goodbars. I like blue Sweetarts, but I like them combined with their purple and orange and pink friends; Mr. Goodbars are my favorites, but I like them better when I'm also eating Krackels and plain Hersheys. But first I have to finish off these leavings--and by the time I do, Paul has left me another picked-over bag. This is the kind of situation that gradually begins to seem fraught with underlying meanings. He gets the first pick; I have to accept whatever he leaves behind. He doesn't worry about what happens to the things he doesn't like; it's my job to take care of that. You see how this is dangerous ground?

It isn't that I don't understand his point of view. I like Hershey miniatures, but I don't like the Special Darks. Does that make me a bad person? No. Does that mean I should have to eat full-size candy bars instead of cute miniature ones, just because I happen to dislike one of the four flavors? No. Does that mean I should force myself to eat the Special Darks, out of a sense of duty to the bag of Miniatures? No. What I do is this: my mom likes the Special Darks best, and I give them all to her. That's using smart and considerate candy management principles.

The only time Paul and I are in harmony is with jellybeans. He likes the oranges, the yellows, the greens, and the blacks, ONLY. I like the pinks, the whites, and the purples, ONLY. Neither of us like the reds. We can peacefully share a bag of jellybeans. There, our marriage works, and we are happy. But we have not yet been married long enough to share a bag of Hershey Miniatures.


Jennifer said...

This is hilarious! I like the special darks and mr. goodbar. I like all jelly beans. I'm easy to get along with.

desperate housewife said...

I love how after a while, these seemingly meaningless slights start to take on a life of their own, fraught with passive-agressive hostility.

jen said...

hahah "candy management"

How can you not like reds? mannn.. send them to me please!

You know what I hate? When I eat all the orange and yellow starbursts and save myself a pile of red and yellow and the husband comes in and goes "ooh!" and just grabs them. HEY! I ate all the lesser ones and now I'm going to eat the red ones you can't just take them, that's wrong!

The secret is to buy your own candy and hide it. No sharing. Well, sometimes I share with the kids. But they don't get choices. I can foist the special darks on them.

Michele said...

I have to agree with Desperate Housewife, that all of these little things take on a whole new meaning when you have been married a while.

I remember one of my mother's friends telling me when I was engaged to beware of all of the "funny, quirky" things about my future spouse, because those are the things that make you insane with annoyance once you have been married for a while.
She was so right.

This post is so funny.

Shannon said...

I'll take the red beans. That is the ONLY flavor of jelly beans I will touch.

Special Darks? Who eats those?

nowheymama said...

Umm... *I* eat Special Darks. (Blush.)

I was going to respond, but my response is turning into a post. A post on expensive allergen-free foods and how what looks to you like a few tablespoons of something that can be thrown away is actually, like, $2 worth of soy whatever that is a full serving size for a 5 year old.

Yeah, and that's the short version.

coffee stained said...

hahaha. I can totally relate.

Although when you buy a bag of solitary flavor candy, the argument then becomes who ate the last one, or who ate more than the other. Equal divvying is a big issue in our household when it comes to candy.

Shannon said...

My mom likes Special Darks, too, so I should have kept my big mouth SHUT. I didn't mean to offend. Care to partake in my leftover Special Darks? :)

Mommy Daisy said...

"But we have not yet been married long enough to share a bag of Hershey Miniatures."

Ha, ha, ha. LOL!

Candy isn't too big of an issue for us. I'll eat almost all of it. So, if hubby doesn't like it, I'll eat it.

But we do have this similar (but different) issue with food. It usually involves snacks. Let's say there's a bag of potato chips. Husband snacks on them for 2 nights. I eat a few 1 night. Next 2 nights husband. Then I eat the small handful of crumbly leftovers in the bottom with lunch the next day. It never fails that husbands response later that evening will be "Geesh, did you have to eat ALL my chips!". Excuse me! I didn't, you did. I just finished the crumbs that were left in the bottom. AHH!

nowheymama said...


Yes, I will gladly take your leftover Special Darks.

We should all set up an online candy trade!

JMH said...

Send all the Special Darks my way. They are my faves!

MommyDaisy: My husband does the SAME THING with chips and ice cream. I feel your pain!

penny said...

The answer is clear: hide all mixed bags of candy other than jelly beans. When you're through with whatever candy you wanted in the mixed bag, present them to Paul to finish off. You will have your own candy speak-easy, so to speak.

Emily said...

I am 100% with you on the jellybean front. My fiance does the same kind of thing to me. I am somewhat picky, so I tend to buy mixes that only include kinds I like (the new Snickers, Milky Way regular and dark, Twix, 3 Musketeers--THUMBS UP). Then he goes through and eats all the Twix and I have to make him sleep on the stairs until he buys me more. It's a tragedy.