“Who Ate My Bananas?”
My children’s eyes grew wide the first time we visited the neighborhood candy store. They were greeted by banks of heavy glass cases filled with endless varieties of sweets – jaw breakers, candy cigarettes, gum balls, Bit O Honey’s – a child’s paradise (and mine, too). A quarter allowance went a long way toward fulfilled their sweet-tooths…and ours.
An entire store devoted to candy within walking distance was one of the perks of residing in a city with 50,000 residents. But, horrors! Hubby was transferred from Appleton, Wisconsin to the suburbs of Baltimore, Maryland where no one walked anywhere. The Mayflower van hadn’t quite cleared the driveway when Daughter plucked at my shirt-tails. “Mom, where’s the candy store?”
“Ah, I don’t think there’s one in this neighborhood” …and probably not anywhere in Baltimore. Inspired, I suggested, “How about we purchase candy from the grocery and we can have our own candy store right here?”
I cleared out two hutch drawers and stocked them with a variety of sugary goodies including an upgrade to candy bars for ten cents. Great plan, right?
Within two weeks a Profit & Loss problem emerged when the money-box didn’t match the cost of supplies. Glitch number two reared its head when I realized the neighborhood children were delighted to have access to the candy, but didn’t contribute a dime. Setback number three arrived when our new dentist cracked, “What-in-the-dickens are these kids eating?”
The Nieman Candy Store foreclosed.
On the surface my children appeared to be well-adjusted moral individuals, but underneath lurked a warped conscience with little compunction about pilfering. Take bananas (go ahead, take them, they all did)! I purchased fourteen weekly, two for each family member, and advised them of their allotment.
“Mom, someone ate my bananas!”
“Okay, who ate more than their two?”
No one fessed up, but after a family pow-wow I discovered four family members preferred their bananas green with a hint of yellow, extra firm, no brown spots and great for eating the day they arrived. The other three (including Hubby) waited for more mature ones where the brown spots obliterated the yellow and attracted flies. For them, bananas reached perfection around day four, but they were long gone into other tummies.
Creatively resolving banana theft I wrote each household member’s name in permanent ink on two bananas. I counted on my children’s sense of decency to cooperate and threw in the Seventh Commandment to back me up. For once they came through.
However, I’m a little concerned that our senior years might find us lodging in an offspring’s basement and since our now-grown children persist in reminding me of my banana stinginess, said offspring might dole out only two bananas a week. Possibly, considering our future, we should skip that generation and continue to overindulge our grandchildren who might think more kindly of us and provide a home with all the bananas and candy we want.
But, in the meantime, we need to discover an old-fashion candy store in SW Florida – any suggestions?