Sourballs

If I were the kind of girl who wrote about things sexual, you’d no doubt be wetting your lips in anticipation of reading an entry entitled “Sourballs”. You’d be falling all over yourself when you got to the part where I included a chart that laid out, graphically (in more ways than one), everything I’d ever done, including a shockingly honest listing of the different tastes of all my various paramours’ penii and accoutrements. You’d either applaud me for my candor or condemn me for my brashness. And you’d wish I had comments enabled so you could tell me I had “balls” or tell me I’m a disgrace.

But I’m not that kind of girl, and that’s not what this is about. This is just about hard candy. The kind that will forever remind me of my grandparents’ (mom’s side) house, where I always knew there would be fruit-flavored hard candy — some with bold illustrations of the fruit on the wrappers, and others the ubiquitous sourballs in a variety of slightly washed-out colors and vaguely fruity flavors — in a covered glass dish on a table by the sofa. I loved the way all the candy looked in the dish. Each piece individually wrapped in cellophane, with at least one end twisted. The “cliinnnggkk” sound the lid made no matter how carefully I tried to remove it when sneaking a piece. The squeak of the cellophane that belied my denials that I wasn’t eating candy before dinner. I was such a good actress/liar that even as I had a candy hidden in my fist, I could almost make myself believe I hadn’t taken anything.
When no one was looking, I would jam quite a few pieces into the pockets of my coat, so I could play with them during the ride home in the car and have my own private little stash. The last time my parents came up to visit, my mother brought me a jar filled with hard candy. The lid, although attached Mason-style, still makes a distinctive sound when released, and I like to “sneak” a piece late at night when the apartment is otherwise noiseless.
Anywhere I go — banks, dry cleaners, other people’s houses — I feel compelled to take a hard candy (individually wrapped only!) if one is available. But I still like to think I’m getting away with something, and only take it when no one is looking.
Of course, now there is no need to sneak anything. And back then there really was no need to be so furtive about it either, because my grandparents would have given me an entire brown bag of the stuff if I’d asked. But for some reason, it was more fun to think I was getting away with something, even if it was just taking candy from a Bubby.