October 23, 2012
It’s here again, folks. That time of year when every retailer from small drug stores to super-big-box utopias display those tempting Halloween treats from one end of the store to the other. I get hooked every time, walking by those well-marketed end-caps whispering and winking and opening their coats to reveal Almond Joys. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. $100,000 Bars. When I walk past them (and I have finally mastered that ability), I can actually feel my heart lurch a bit and the longing swell to almost bursting. The confections call my name, they promise immediate satisfaction, they promise not to put on that extra weight that settles in every October and multiplies through New Year’s Day.
I suppose it’s obvious that I have food issues. I used to be one of those moms who would buy Halloween candy “for the kids” as soon as it hit the store shelves, say, in August. You never knew when the big candy makers might run out of the good stuff, or go on strike. I always made sure the kids in our neighborhood were covered.
Of course, the supply of candy I’d stash away – always about three times what the trick-or-treaters in our neighborhood could ever possibly mooch – would dwindle to almost nothing in a short while, and being the altruistic soul that I am, I’d head right back to the store to shore up supplies.
This year, I have to say that I’m proud of myself. I’m doubly proud, actually, because now candy makers have amped up their efforts, packaging a heart-stopping mix of all the “good stuff” in 10 lb. bags and slapping a $20 price tag on the whole shebang. “Instant gratification for a mere $20” is how I translate that, and the old me would have bought two, just to be on the safe side.
Surprisingly, I have yet to buy the first piece of Halloween candy this year. Maybe it’s because our children are grown and gone, but I don’t think so. In truth, back in the day I stocked up early for me, not for them. I think I’ve refrained from buying a lot, and early, because I’ve paid dearly for those seasonal indulgences on the scales and in the gym for many years. It just isn’t worth it any more.
Oh, I’ll go buy the good stuff a day or two before the Big Day, and I’ll probably sneak a piece or two before it’s all said and done, but I won’t gorge myself. Chocolate, after all, is cheaper than therapy.
I will not, and I repeat will not, become one of those moms who hands out toothbrushes, apples or dental floss on October 31. I do have some pride, and toilet paper and egg yolks are a bear to clean off of wet brick.
Carole Townsend is also a Gwinnett Daily Post staff correspondent and author of two books: “Southern Fried White Trash” and her newest, “Red Lipstick and Clean Underwear” (released October 15). She is also a regular guest on FOX News Radio station WYXC 1270 AM on Wednesdays during the Live Drive at 5. Townsend has been quoted on msnbc.com, in the LA Times, USA Today and the Christian Science Monitor, been featured on FOX 5 Television News and CNN, and is often a guest on television and radio shows nationwide. She currently travels throughout the southeast, meeting readers at book signings and speaking publicly at various events.