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The Sweetness of Today…

I was at Target a little while ago, standing in the 40-foot long candy aisle lamenting the lack of interesting choices. There is enough sugar in that aisle to put a diabetic into a coma just from reading the ad circular in the newspaper yet I couldn’t find a single thing that I’d want to consume. What’s happening to me???

I am a sugar junkie from way back. Real sugar, Red Dye #2, pure sucrose, the more refined the better. None of that pansy-ass fruit juice-sweetened crap. I’m talking hard core. Anyone who knew me in my youth will attest that I always had stuff bulging in my pockets, like those giant pieces of Bazooka (I learned how to multiply by 15 cents when I used to buy 4 or 5 of those at a time– I still think of them when I do that equation). My teeth are a mess, but I’m still drawn to those blasted candy aisles…

Something is changing though. I’ve analyzed my craving for sugar over the years, trying to figure out what keeps bringing me back even when the desire isn’t there. I suppose candy was a friend, a place I could find comfort when I was lonely, a way to buy friends. Now, it’s a relic — it holds no meaning. And maybe that’s why I don’t cherish my relationship with it anymore. The magic is gone.

Recently I’ve been in contact with several people from my past; high school classmates that I’ve been in touch with sporadically over the past 25 years and others whom I haven’t seen since graduation. Once in a while I pull out my yearbook and glance at the people they were back then. I look at the person I was and realize that I’m not that person anymore. How could THEY possibly be the same?

Thanks to the internet, we are beginning to catch up and modify some of these conceptions of each other. Things we might not express verbally are so much easier said in writing, and I am warmed by the words I’ve read, the sentiments we’ve shared in response to the loss of one of our cherished classmates. Those teenagers, those awkward young men and women have grown up and become real live adults. Some went off to see the bigger world when we left school while others stayed behind to help the world we knew grow and change by creating families of their own and finding rewarding careers within what once seemed such a small area. 

There is a different sweetness to the passage of time. Flavors that once seemed meaningful are no longer palatable but have been replaced by new, more savory choices. We may, from time to time, wander the aisles of our memories, looking for the comforts of our past, but the choices have changed, the packaging is different, and sure as heck, nothing costs only 15 cents anymore!

We’re older, maybe a little wiser, and the loss of our “young” friend, Doug, is bringing us out of our middle-aged comfort to realize that there are things we all need to say to each other, would like to share. I hope we take the opportunity to do it.

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Categories: Life
  1. October 19, 2008 at 6:14 pm

    We spend our teens and twenties trying to pretend we’re something we’re not; our thirties are spent trying to figure out who we really are, and finally in our forties we get comfortable with who we are. It’s too bad that most of our lives is just a grim struggle for survival.

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