Have you bought your heavily discounted Valentine’s candy yet? It’s always so tempting to stock up right after a major holiday, isn’t it?
The week after Christmas, I was at Walgreens picking up some cold meds when I walked down their Christmas aisle. Of course, all of the seasonal items were half off or more. A bargain hunters dream! I glanced at everything as I walked down the aisle but didn’t really see anything I couldn’t live without until my eyes landed on a box of candy. Not just any candy, mind you…but a Whitman’s Sampler box!
So, what’s so special about a Whitman’s Sampler box of chocolates? I mean, I this girl loves Fannie Mae chocolate candies – I was seriously addicted to this candy when I lived in Chicago – and I won’t turn down Godiva chocolates either. But I’ve always had a special place in my heart for a Whitman’s Sampler. It was the first box of candy I ever received at the age of five… and it came from my father. As a little girl, that’s something you never forget.
I was in kindergarten in Beltsville, Maryland. The kindergarten classes were putting on a performance for the school and parents and I got picked to sing a solo! The song was “All Night, All Day (Angels Watching Over Me),” and my class would also sing along during certain parts of the song. I was so excited about getting to sing this song. Once I got this solo, I would sing it at the top of my lungs at home and every other chance I got. My teacher, Mrs. Flannagan, practiced with me in our classroom too. I remember she had an old-fashioned upright piano in our classroom. It reminded me of a player piano. In fact, it might have been! I loved that song and I was so ready to sing it on the day of our show.
The morning of our show, my dad told me he might not be able to make it to my performance. He said he would try but he wasn’t sure it would be possible. I was disappointed, of course. It’s not easy for a five-year-old to understand that her father has to work and a kindergarten performance isn’t a priority. I hoped he would be there but of course, as they say, “the show must go on.” So, when it was time for my solo, I walked up to the front of the stage and hesitated for a few moments. I looked across the auditorium to see if I could see my dad. It was as if I was delaying the start of the song to make sure he had time to get there. But of course, I had to start singing, so I did, never really knowing if he heard me or not. But I sang like he did…
After our show, I found out that my dad wasn’t there. Of course, I was terribly disappointed. Once I got home and my dad arrived from work, he apologized for missing my singing debut. I was still a little upset but then, he handed me a box of Whitman’s chocolates. Needless to say, dad got a huge hug and was quickly forgiven. A whole box of candy to a five-year-old was simply the best! And while Whitman’s has a description of what type of chocolates you are getting on the inside of the box lid….as a five-year-old I chose a different way of identifying them. I smashed each candy right in the middle to see if it was something that looked appealing to me! Honestly, they were all pretty appealing to me!
So, after Christmas, I bought that box of candy and I’ve enjoyed sampling these wonderful chocolates since then. Each bite is a memory. My favorite flavor? The orange cream dark chocolate, followed by the vanilla cream. And naturally I get to enjoy them twice since this box has two layers! But the best part? Reliving the memory of why I love a box of Whitman’s candy so much and maybe even smashing a piece or two like I did when I was five.