Wednesday, February 20, 2008
sweet n' sour
My oldest and dearest pal, L, is a lover of candy. At least, she was when we were little and used to giddily tote our loonies to the corner store in search of a sugar fix. Her devotion to the stuff of gummies was so self-sacrificing that during an early 90s screening of a Macaulay Culkin film (was it My Girl?) she pounded back a bag of Sour Kids in the theatre until her tongue was raw and bleeding, and she could eat no more. Literally. Tongue. Bleeding.
The things we do for love.
She also has a mild undiagnosed case of obsessive compulsive disorder, which, as you will soon discover, was married to her candy addiction in the most peculiar of ways.
But first, a classic example. Throughout elementary school, L would arrive at my house in the mornings and become an innocent victim of what was (and still is) my chronic tardiness. As she waited patiently for me to finish getting ready, she always informed me of what she was "wearing". Allow me to clarify. L had a Sears catalogue in her bedroom and everyday, starting from page one, she "wore" whatever the model had on, left to right across the spread, until she had gone through the entire glossy tome. She even donned the accessories. Considering it was the 90s, her daily announcement was usually something like this: "Today I'm in a red double-breasted polyester blazer with a gold broach and gold earrings, black stirrup-pants, and faux snake-skin ankle boots." When I look back on this, I realize that when she told me about her daily outfit, I never actually pictured the clothes on her. I pictured them on Pat Benatar.
Back to the candy and the OCD. Back to that corner store. Can you guess? Working in a clockwise direction, starting at the immediate left of the front door (where the ice cream cooler was), L spent a good few months buying treats based on their consecutive positions in the store. This often included the consumption of things that were not altogether appealing to a sugar-loving kid - for example, a Royal Canadian Mint ice cream bar (even if it was January) which had "nuts". She did it not because she wanted to expand her candy horizons, but because she craved a systematic approach. If there were 687 varieties of junk-food delicacies in that store she would check each one off her list until, goddammit, she had hit them all!
Oh, L. You are the girl who insisted on reading out loud every Sweet Valley Twin book you owned while it was my turn to rescue the princess from King Koopa in World 6. You are the girl who introduced me to Def Leppard when we were seven. You are the girl who has kept every t-shirt you've ever owned, including a Hypercolour, a Vuarnet, and a Bodyglove.
I have been there to witness it all, and