Black Jelly Beans
I’ll let you in on a few secrets. First, my children don’t read the newspaper. Second, my husband reads them all on the weekend after I’ve clipped my column and stashed it safely in a shoebox. Third, the good candy is hidden under the spice drops. And lastly, my childhood philosophy of the black jellybeans still reigns strong today.
There was always a candy dish in our living room. A fancy blue painted one with a gold trim. My mother kept a variety of candy in there that would change seasonally, but near Easter it was always filled with jellybeans. Everyone knew it was there – friends and all of the kids in the neighborhood. In a matter of minutes, the candy dish would be empty except for the black jellybeans because no one ever liked them.
So it would go that the candy dish in my very own house that should have belonged all to me (I have no siblings to share with), would more likely be bare than not. Except for those leftover black jellybeans.
One day I decided that if I wanted to have any sort of candy, I was going to have to eat those unwanted ones, so I forced myself to eat one. Was it my favorite? No. Was it tolerable? Yes. Perhaps if I trained myself to eat them and actually enjoy them, I would forever be guaranteed my own personal stash of candy that no one ever steal! Not only that, but I could have easy access to all of the black jellybeans at the houses of everyone in the entire neighborhood! People would practically be begging me to eat their candy!
I thought this was brilliant, and to this day, I still agree. Although still not my favorite, I have assured myself a candy supply of black jellybeans.
Nowadays, it’s harder to find jellybeans that include the black variety, but I’m still fighting the same candy dish battles with my family. If I put out a bowl of candy, whatever it is, it will be devoured in the blink of an eye and I’m left licking sugar crumbs out of the bottom cursing candy companies for not including black jellybeans anymore.
But then something happened. A friend bought me a bag of spice drops. “These are my favorite candy!” I cheered, because I think all those years of training for the spicy beans has tweaked my tastebuds to prefer those flavors. I ate half the bag myself and then, not wanting to be a pig, set out the rest.
No one touched them.
“Those are disgusting. How can you eat them?” I heard them say.
And so, next to the kitchen sink is a dish of spice drops.
And below them, a secret layer of the sweetest non-black jellybeans ever.