I work in an industry where candy dishes are as common as computer viruses. They come in all shapes and sizes. One office has a little wicker treasure chest. When the lid is closed, it usually isn’t a good sign.
Chocolate is the primary candy found in most of these dishes. Sometimes there are tootsie rolls, taffy, or caramels. There is one office that is all hard candy. As much as I enjoy the occasional Jolly Rancher, hard candy is for grandma’s candy dish.
Grandma’s candy dish was an experiment in how much a kid’s desire for candy can overpower his revulsion against old and nasty. The worst was the annual Christmas candy. I am pretty sure with my grandma, the same candy came out every year. I am not saying she used the same type of candy. But she took out the exact same candy, in the same candy dishes, and put them out for us all to wonder how old the stuff was.
I was truly desperate one time and tried to pry a peace of that colorful confection from the stack. I pulled and tugged, struggled and strained, a single peace would not come free. What did happen was the whole wad separated from the candy dish.
There I stood, with a wad of candy that could very well predated my mother’s birth. I was reluctant to try a single peace, I sure as hell didn’t want this glob. Holding it up close, I could see the layer of sugary dust that covered the areas that used to be up.
With a look of disgust, I gently lowered the mass back into the candy dish. It was clear that its only intention was to act as a decoration and a symbol of my grandmother’s generosity. Even though I am betting she didn’t buy new candy since before I was born.
But, that probably isn’t fair. There was the dish of powdery mints that she put out once in a while. You know the ones. They were pink, or mint green, sometimes there was a spoon. They didn’t taste anymore like candy than a box of chalk. The fact that they were mints made you wonder what it was your grandmother was trying to say.
Maybe it was because everyone smoked, and she couldn’t stand the smell of cigarette breath. Never mind that she herself was a smoker. Though not the nice candy dishes that surround me in my daily life, at least the mints were eaten.
But that multicolored, ribbon shaped, unwrapped glob of tacky sugar, it was never touched.
My guess is that in some attic somewhere, that candy is still sitting in those dishes, waiting for someone to put them out.
May they never be discovered.