Friday, February 04, 2005

Lost pleasures

Mermaid Girl's finally at the age where she can follow the plot of a chapter book. RW's been reading her "Pippi Longstocking" at night while I brush her hair. (Yes, we are Her Highness's handmaidens. There's no point in making any bones about it.)

Tonight we read the chapter from the 2nd book where Pippi goes shopping and buys 72 pounds of candy to give to all the children in town. All kinds of yummy stuff like raspberry cremes, lollipops, licorice boats... and chocolate cigarettes.

Mermaid Girl was perplexed. Chocolate cigarettes?!? We might as well have suggested that Pippi ran down to the 7-l1 to buy some strawberry machine guns.

She doesn't know how to read, but she knows that CIGARETTES ARE BAD. When she sees someone on the street smoking, she points and whispers in indignant, scandalized tones, "That person is smoking a cigarette!" As if they're kicking a puppy, or pooping on the sidewalk, or worse.

I was shocked, myself, to think of the merry abandon with which I used to buy candy cigarettes. RW has fond memories of them, too. There was a candy store on my route to school, and I'd pick up a pack of candy cigarettes of a winter morning and eat them on the way down the hill, casually waving one about between my second and third finger, like a grownup. The best part was holding it up to my mouth and then breathing out, so that my frozen breath made "smoke."

Mermaid Girl will never know that thrill.

On the other hand, she can buy these, unheard of in my youth, with her hoarded allowance. So who's the deprived one here, really?


Blogger Carrie said...

I apparently had the best of all worlds, having had both candy cigarettes and ring pops. We bought them at the 99 cent movies on Saturday afternoon, and wore the rings and "smoked" the cigarettes as though we were glamourous movie stars at a screening. The Sweet Tart necklaces were a part of the ensemble as well, as well as purple stains from PixieStix.

Those were the days.

11:33 PM  
Blogger elswhere said...

Oh, man, Carrie, you had it good. What an ensemble! My kid would plotz.

11:50 AM  
Blogger Anna said...

I was never into the candy cigarettes. They tasted yucky to me. Or ring pops. Sweet Tarts, Spree, and Nerds were my candies of choice.

(I love the image of you two waiting on your little queen there. hee hee.)

8:32 PM  

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