In search of story

December 29.22: Coping, but barely


Jeweled confection —

how dare we bite in? —

so perfect a morsel,

toothmarks would be sin.

The art of the little,

meticulous craft,

we must linger over,

admire, fore and aft.

From various angles

its magnificence savored,

the eyes are the palate

to guess at how flavored.

To taste with the eye

is the manner of some,

while others prefer

to taste with the thumb.

To find telltale hole,

the proof of the borer,

causes mannered among us

to recoil in horror.

What weaselly ways,

what etiquette lack,

to know what’s inside

and then put it back!


You may recall, dear reader, the indignities of my youth, with blue jeans not allowed. Not proper, said my mother. And yet — and yet! — there were the Fannie May or Mrs. See’s chocolates all pristine in the aerial view, but — what’s this? — a hole in the bottom? A hole which just happens to be the exact same size as my mother’s thumb? This is proper?

Thus did I learn that proper is a relative concept. My mother being the closest of relatives.


More thanks to photographer S.W. Berg.

18 thoughts on “December 29.22: Coping, but barely

  1. You had to know which ones held the pink cream. Those devilish little things, looking so wonderful in their little brown crinkly cup. One bite and YUCK, followed by “you have to eat it!” Monty Hall and his doors had nothing on the Fanny Farmer box. At least the Whitman’s Sampler had a guide. Still rules though, “You can’t start on the second layer until the first layer is empty!” Great memories, Maureen.

  2. Godiva gives you a picture guide. And they go on sale, usually at 50%, the day after Valentine’s Day. Just in case you needed that info.

  3. This was a fun post since I am such a chocolate connoisseur. I’ve eaten candy that looked like that, but it always felt like I was doing something unacceptable. As for checking out those creams, oh my goodness, but was I ever guilty. The first part of the week I was in a couple of stores and looked for a nice box of Russell Stover, but no one had them. Godiva, yes, they were there. But, I was just looking for the old mainstay so I could check each square and layer out. Probably better that I didn’t find it. 🙂

    • I think that’s hilarious — there you were, chocolate shopping just so you could play the game of which is what. I do hope you keep looking. Some things just must be had!

  4. Oooooo, Whitman’s Sampler! And Schrafft’s chocolates and boxes of chocolate covered cherries! How did any of us manage to hold on to our teeth? 🤗

    My grandmother was all about ‘proper’. Elbows off the table. Sit up straight. Sit with your knees together. Please, thank you, excuse me, may I help you? Tuck your blouse in. Don’t scuff your feet. Speak when spoken to. It goes on and on.

    BUT, like your mom, her thumb went into the bottom of every piece of chocolate before the candy got to her mouth. Didn’t matter if the chocolate was in a box with its own roadmap, it got the thumb exam anyway. Can’t be too careful I guess. 🥴 My mother apparently inherited that gene from her mom because she kept the tradition going.

    I, on the other hand, never did that. I am guilty of starting the next layer before the top one is finished. Hey! Go for the gold before it disappears, right? 🤣

    Thanks for the trip down Memory Lane Maureen.

    • I am laughing here at the comments from you and Dan and Judy and Lois and at how much they all overlap. To quote Judy, I think we all lived on the same block. Our mothers and grandmothers were sure related! And I’m with you totally, Ginger: go for the gold before someone else does!

  5. When I was growing up, any chocolate was mana from heaven. I loved everything I bit into! Needless to say there weren’t any of those fancy ‘Jeweled’ confections back then.
    To this day, I can’t perceive not liking any kind of (dark) chocolate, especially one looking so good.
    Have a wonderful, healthy and sweet New Year!

  6. Excellent picture, words and comments! I am a bit shocked by the finger in the chocolate, but I do remember the finish the top layer rule. I’m now wondering if chocolate boxes are less likely to have two layers these days when chocolate oranges have segments with concave sides.

    • Given what else we are noticing, it would not surprise if the two-layered box were now a mere one. What fun is it if you can’t sneak something from the bottom layer? Not that I would. As for being shocked, I fear you wouldn’t have survived a box of chocolates with my mother. She had a VERY inquisitive thumb. As for the photo, it is a great one, isn’t it?

  7. If I’d been there, I’d have volunteered (nobly) to polish off those coconut ones.

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