Freshly Baked: Candy is dandy…

Opinion by Tim Moon
Feb. 15, 2011, 12:25 a.m.

Freshly Baked: Candy is dandy...Freshman year, I had my first cavity. For 20 years, my robust teeth had beaten off all attackers, bolstered by those yearly fluoride treatments that were always the worst experiences of my year (with all those flavors, it’s incomprehensible how none of them managed to be tolerable). I have no idea why it took me so long to get my first cavity, or why I got one here despite my dental hygiene habits being even better than when I was a kid, but it could be because of all the candy.

While my mom was far from being an Amy Chua-style tiger mother, she did keep me from eating too much candy as a kid. For most of lower school, my primary source of candy was from the vending machines at my parents’ offices, which I got to use every time I visited them on school breaks to avoid having to get a babysitter. I really liked school breaks.

As I entered middle school and high school, I became a little savvier about getting my hands on candy, asking my mom for a dollar “for the Campus Shop” every other day or so. Given that our Campus Shop pretty much sold only pencils, erasers and candy, I’m pretty sure that my mom knew that her dollar was going to support my candy habit. Either that or she thought that she’d raised a kid who lost his school supplies daily.

I suppose that should have been a warning sign, but completely misreading signs seems to be a habit of mine, and with all the new freedom I had in college, I could finally buy (and eat) all the candy I wanted. If I was picking up textbooks at the bookstore, I’d add on a roll of Mentos and a box of Mike and Ike’s — those candy displays in the checkout lines are dangerous. If I happened to be near Tressider, I’d pop into TresEx and get a box of Dots. One time, I even bought a five-pound bag of Haribo Gold Bears from Amazon (the best gummy bears, Black Forest and Trolli aren’t even close). That one might have been a bit much.

Candy’s delicious (except licorice, which tastes like sadness), and that’s probably the biggest part of why I like candy so much, but I find myself liking it more and more because of how much it reminds me of being a kid again. Given that my candy consumption was somewhat limited when I was a kid, it’s admittedly a strange connection to make, but along with Lunchables and desserts-masquerading-as-cereals like Cookie Crisp and Oreo-Os, candy always brings me back.

Having only a quarter and a half to go before I graduate and enter The Real World means I’ve got only a quarter and a half left of being a (really big) kid. I mean, sure, you can go on about being “young at heart” even as an adult and you can still dress up at office Halloween parties and you can bring your kid to Chuck E. Cheese’s and tell him to flail about in the ball pit so that you can jump in to “save him” and then stay in there a bit to “cheer him up,” but it’s still not the same. Here, you spend all your time with people your own age, your main source of stress comes from school and you don’t have to worry too much about cooking or cleaning.

Most importantly, you can actually act like a kid and get away with it. We’re all on our way to becoming doctors, lawyers and business executives, and Stanford’s great for preparing for those lives. But from a (really big) kid’s perspective, if you want to view paradise, simply look around and view it — Stanford really is like the best camp ever. I never thought I’d be making friendship bracelets again, but that’s what I happily ended up doing with my house just a couple of days ago, and in a totally un-ironic way at that.

Have fun with things like these! Dress up in costumes and eat, drink and be merry with a whole house of people at Special Dinners. You’re living with a whole mess of friends — get people together one night, make popcorn, put on some scary movies, whisper secrets in the dark and do all that awesome sleepover stuff that you loved as a kid. When are you going to get these chances again?

Oh, and eat more candy. Metabolism’s going to be slowing down soon.

Tim needs to replenish his candy stash. Help him out by letting him know what your favorite candy is at [email protected].

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