Have you seen the indie classic Pecker? Staring my middle school crush, no, crush isn’t the right word. Starring what I planned on being MY leading man, THE Edward Furlong (clearly, things did not go as planned). Remember the scene where he catches his sister shoveling fistfuls of sugar into her mouth? I was that little girl. I lived for two things, Edward Furlong, and sugar.
Had you asked me where, in 7th grade, my favorite restaurant was, I would have replied the pay by the pound, bulk candy, mall staple, The Sweet Factory. Thankfully, taste change as we grow older. At lease some do.
Fast forward to today when my mom casually suggests we should stop by a cute little sweet shop in downtown Bend, Powell’s Sweet Shoppe.
Oh man. One foot in the door and I could feel my teeth ache in the way your body tightens up at the thought of fingernails on the blackboard. All that refined sugar, high fructose corn syrup and artificial flavors and colors welcoming me in.
I escaped with my dignity in tact, selecting only a few treats while my shopping companions clamored among themselves as though at a bazaar. “I’ve only got $5!”, I heard a kid painfully exclaim to another. “I’m setting my limit at $10”, a girl my age snorted to her friend, they both laughed knowing she’d go well over her self-imposed limit. “Buy me something!” an older boy yelled at his girlfriend as she fondled the Willy Wonka candies. How could you not lose a little control in a place like this.
Take a look at all these treats!
My haul consisted of a Nestle Violet Crumble, a few malted chocolate robin’s eggs, and one oft favorite childhood teeth rotters, a banana flavored tootsie pop, last seen by me in 1994. Recoil in my taste for all things artificial banana if you must, but, let me point out this, when you like the flavors no one else does, you end up with more- the only street smarts I developed as a kid.