Real stories about dating and relationships in New York City. Truth is more interesting than fiction.

Pop Rock Love

Tighten your seatbelts kids, it’s going to be a bumpy week. I can feel it. Must be the weather.

To keep me focused and emotionally stable, I’ve started to look forward to an end of week lunch at one of my new favorite restaurants, which shall remain nameless (because I don’t want the place to become any more crowded than it is). Anyway, it’s less crowded at lunch time and has unfuckingbelievable lunch specials, so a couple times in recent weeks I’ve scheduled my week around taking an afternoon off for a yummy lunch there.

So why am I going on and on about this?

2 things, I guess. The first one really has nothing to do with my original idea for this post. I’ve always found there is immeasurable benefit (to my mental and emotional health) in having something concrete to look forward to. So this Friday I’m going to lunch at one of my favorite restaurants. And (just to give you another example) I’ve made plans with a friend to go to one of my favorite places in the world, this summer. For a couple of weeks. Not sure how I’m going to swing it. But I have a while to figure it out. And all those months of looking forward to it.

Anyway, like I said, that’s not really what this post is about. Just thought I’d share.

The restaurant in question happens to be a short walk from Economy Candy. Economy Candy, let me count the ways… if you’re a New Yorker and don’t know about this place, I’m pretty sure you’ve been living under a rock. It’s the mecca for all sugar fiends. The place that Willy Wonka would go to first, on a visit to NYC. It’s freaking heaven.

Now… as I’ve mentioned here. I have self-control issues when it comes to candy. So I DON’T usually let myself go near the place. Well, not inside. Usually, as I walk past (or within a 3 block radius) I feel a strong tug. And I resist. Because I know that no good can come of me going there.

But a couple weeks ago I couldn’t resist. I’d gone to lunch at the place I love, with my dear friend The Liquortarian, and afterwards as we walked past Economy Candy I just stopped. Dead in my tracks. I asked him if he’d go inside with me and pull me out after 5 minutes. It didn’t work out exactly like that.

I went on a mini-buying spree. The Liquortarian helped to keep me in line by following me around the store (which made me realize how crazy I was being) and I left spending less that $25. Which might sound like a lot, but I could easily spent 10 times that in that place. I love my candy.

Anyway, I went heavy on the retro-candy. Pop Rocks and Laughy Taffy. Things I haven’t even thought about for decades. I also got some current faves… marzipan, gin-gins 

Here’s what I discovered:  Pop Rocks and Laughy Taffy are NOTHING like I remembered. Not a damn thing. Not the taste or the texture or… the feeling of eating them. The joy I thought they’d bring me had nothing to do with the actual candy.  Just this vague sense that I liked them as a kid and so they must be awesome.

Wait, wait… NO. This isn’t an, “There’s a reason s/he’s an ex.” post. First off, I don’t believe in that shit. Relationships end. Usually for really good reasons. But if any individual feels the need to rethink their decisions, I’m not going to give them shit for it. Lord knows I’ve walked those paths myself (never with good results, but I survived and came out stronger).

None of us have total recall. Certainly not for visceral experiences. We can think we remember how something or someone made us feel. But truth is, we really can’t. Not exactly. Time changes things. Time changes everything.

Some of us are smart enough to recognize this and flow with it. To try to learn and grow. Allow our own tastes to change (I seriously can’t believe I used to love Laughy Taffy, that shit is nasty). And some people just seem stuck. Holding on to the past.

Not trying to be profound or anything. The Pop Rocks were talking to me.

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4 to “Pop Rock Love”

  1. The formulations for candy have changed over time. The chocolate they use is less expensive and processed differently – many candies have changed their formula from a simple sugar to high fructose corn syrup, as well as how they process the candy.

    Yes, our tastes do change- profoundly, and that is a part of the fun of life. Your favorite restaurant now, is one you didn’t know about at one time. And perhaps at that one time you wouldn’t have liked it. Foods I eat now are not foods I would have considered eating years ago- and some of the foods were not even available years ago.

    Relationships- well, yes, we do change – most profoundly into our 30’s (for men to their 40’s). Some people grow together and change together- but that is almost odd now days.

    For me- let me change for the better, not by becoming cheaper and more processed. New restaurants, new foods, new ways of cooking those foods – and coffee that comes from a place I don’t even know about but will be my favorite.

    Cheering to change- and coffee

    • Simone Grant says:

      OH. MY. GOD. I totally didn’t think about the fact that the recipes (though it’s probably an insult to all recipes to call them that) have changed over time. That said, my favorite food in the whole wide world until the age of of about 11 was a peanut butter sandwich made with skippy on wonder bread. It makes me sick to just to think of it now.
      So not profound.

      I’ve been thinking about your comment, how rare it is for people to grow together(and change together) nowadays. I think that’s true. And honestly, I see it most in people who seem committed to NOT CHANGE. Or to an extremely high level of tolerance and flexibility. Extremes.

      Yes, cheers to change. And for accepting it gracefully.

  2. TV shows is another one – you have all these great memories about what an indepth/scary/clever show something was and then when you finally see it on some retro channel years and years later it’s just so… lame.

    I also have a habit of banging on to people about how totally fabulous and better-than-anything-they-have-now some food/book/show is, only to be left red-faced when said thing is resurrected and tried, only to come up miserably short.

    Sure we might look back on some relationships with rose-coloured glasses or with a wistful ‘what if?’ but I’m not the same person I was back then and I embrace change in my relationships.

    Not coffee though. I’ll never change my love of coffee.
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