My mother, in her housecoat on a Sunday. She is trying to quit smoking. She tears open a package of plain M&Ms and pours them into her pocket, and it’s an ingenious idea. Candy on your person, for any kind of emergency that occurs—nicotine craving or chocolate urge, need for candy or desperate desire to replenish dangerously low sugar reserves.
My mother eventually quit smoking, and I am sure the M&Ms cured her. As far as I know, she never poured candy in her pockets again, but ever since then, I have thought about it. I have thought about just carrying M&Ms and Goobers and Raisinets with me wherever I go. I have considered lining the insides of all my coats with Hershey’s bars and pouring hot cocoa in my shoes and padding my bra with Almond Joys.
I get a little worried when I realize there’s no chocolate in the house. I get a little panicked when I think that I have no access to something sweet, and no way to fix that. I get emotionally fraught when there’s no candy at hand and no one wants to give any to me; when it is offered, I sweep up huge armfuls like there is a candy shortage and the person who gets the most stuffed inside their face wins.
As I understand it, this isn’t regular, ordinary everyday behavior. A large majority of people don’t have deep emotional attachments to sugar. No one understands candy the way I do. So probably you should all give it to me so that I can take care of it.
Or probably me and candy need to take a break. We need to step back and re-evaluate our relationship. Our terribly, terribly troubled relationship. Our desperate, desperately one-sided love affair that only leaves me feeling sick and greasy and bad. My rerouted digestive system, it doesn’t like candy. It reacts poorly. It rebels and the world is a worse place for it, particularly the world in a small radius directly around me and my sick stomach, and I still can’t stop. Part of the Wonder of Weight Loss Surgery is supposed to be the Pavlovian-style relearning that takes place—eating X makes me sick. I will no longer eat X!
I eat a lot of X. Am I stubborn, or stupid? Don’t answer that.
I don’t want to do it any more. I don’t want to eat candy. I mean, I want to eat candy. I want to eat all the candy. I want to swim through a sea of Hershey’s Kisses and shower in a waterfall of Reeses Peanut Butter Cups. I want my pockets to always be overflowing with Kit Kats and Nestle’s Crunches. I want the glorious bounty of bad chocolate to always be inside me.
But I also need to stop. Just—stop. I am tired of being a mess. No—let’s be excitingly positive about this. I am eager to be well. I am excited to be healthy. I am super-glad to have my (relative) youth and general well-being ready to spend it on being happy and feeling good about things. All the things. All the things inside my head and all the things in the world, all the things that are good. Feeling guilty and gross and sick is surprisingly not good. Will I be able to function? Will I even feel like myself? What will I fill my pockets with, if not candy? I am thinking ponies.