In my day (you can hear the crotchety tone, right?) you had to wait for the good shit. The best cartoons were on Saturday mornings. The Wizard of Oz only ran on TV once in May, and you scheduled your life around the Rankin-Bass Christmas specials.
I recall with fondness the taste of candy canes on Christmas morning. For some reason, peppermint tastes wrong in the summertime. I get a mad craving for those chalky, sweethearts during the first two weeks of February and that waxy, overly sweet candy corn at the end of October. But at any other time of the year, I have no desire or appetite for some of my favorite holiday treats.
And don’t get me started on the adulteration of that once venerated Easter goody, Peeps. Snowmen and hearts are not fucking Peeps. Those are sugar-covered marshmallow atrocities!
I know that the world has changed and these days, people of all ages are enjoying instant gratification. Everything you want to watch can be found online somewhere. Amazon will send you whatever your heart desires within days right to your front door. Green houses and worldwide imports keep you in strawberries year round. But something gets lost when there is no anticipation of delight.
If you have the money, you can have whatever you want when you want. But winter strawberries just aren’t as sweet as those you have in May. And a Cadbury Crème Egg doesn’t send the chills up my spine if I get more than a few in a calendar year.
If you’re like me and you enjoy the wait, the expectancy and then excitement of finally having what you’ve been craving, you have to put the brakes on and defer that desire for a later time. I act like those things don’t even exist until their season arrives.
It’s not about denying yourself anything but when you have as much as you want whenever you want, you dull your senses. Too much candy and sweet becomes an unpleasant taste in your mouth. So in order to bring out the best in those things you love, leave them on the shelf for a little while until the time is just right.
“Absence diminishes mediocre passions and increases great ones, as the wind extinguishes candles and fans fires.” –Francois de La Rochfoucauld
As I chomp down on Be Mine and You Rock, I relish the momentary delight of the sugar rush. Once the box is empty, I feel sad for a moment and then wait another year to do it all over again.