I like candy. When I was little, I dreamed of growing up so I could get my drivers license and drive to Minute Man and buy all the candy I wanted, whenever I wanted. I used to wonder how adults controlled themselves: cars + money=eat candy all day. I also knew that at my wedding, my dream wedding, there would be candy, candy for everyone! Skittles, licorice, those big fat suckers you can get a sundance, chocolate covered cinnamon bears, hot tamales, mambas, gopstoppers, runts, peanut m&ms, etc. etc. I could go on and on. Candy was very very important to me.

Recently my son heard a book on tape about a boy who bought a jawbreaker and was obsessed with breaking his jaw on it. Unfortunately his jaw did not break so he wrote a letter to the candy maker about his disappointment. Ever since hearing this book, my sweet little boy has been obsessed with jaw breakers.

Can they really break your jaw?

How big are they?

What do they taste like?

Where do you buy them?

Do they ruin your teeth?

Have you ever had one?

I told him, yes, my son, yes. One day, back in the olden days when I was a girl, I bought the biggest, the largest, the most hugest jawbreaker at the BYU candy jar. It cost like FIVE DOLLARS and it was bigger than a fist. It was bigger than a baseball. Bigger than a softball. It was about the size of a nice loofah.


Yes. That big.

DId it break your jaw?

I said, no, son. No it didn’t. But it did break my spirit.

The reason is, it was beautiful. It was white with speckles and it was smooth and I loved it. I loved it so much for so many reasons. It was fun to hold. It was fun to carry around. It was fun to talk about but most of all, it was fun to have a challenge. A wonderful perfect delightful challenge. I knew it was going to change my life forever.

And it did.

At first I treasured that jawbreaker. I treasured the time we spent together. Every day I would lick as I read books, I would lick as I jumped on the tramp, I would lick as I watched my mom get her hair done at Larry’s Hair’m. It was my passion.

Then, as days went by and other things piled on, I had less time for the jawbreaker. I thought about it. I wanted to eat it. I felt it was important, but more and more it wasn’t getting done.

Not only that, the time I did spend licking felt not so fruitful.

I licked that thing for days and days and days. I kept it in my underwear drawer and took it out whenever I could. I licked it til my tongue went raw and my mouth got tired and it never ever ever got any smaller. In fact, the more I licked, the bigger it seemed to get.

Soon, that beautiful gift of love began to be not so beautiful anymore. As the days wore on, I found myself licking not because I wanted to, but because I had to. Like it was my duty to finish that jawbreaker. I grew more and more bitter until finally, after months of toiling and licking and worrying and licking and much much lint, I threw the jaw breaker away.

He stared at me. You threw it away?

I threw it away.

The biggest jawbreaker in the world?

Yes, now that you say that, it was in fact the biggest jawbreaker in the world and I did, in fact, throw it away. And, for awhile, after that jawbreaker, I couldn’t even eat just regular candy.



No candy?

nope. No sixlets, no butterfingers, no sweettarts, no nothing.


How can something you LOVE turn on you like that? Where had I gone wrong?

This story and the retelling of the story has affected me deeply on a very deep level.

What is the moral? Well, you know, there are a lot of things to be said right here but the most important thing is this: I want to get the love back. I want my candy to be my candy. No more of this jawbreaker stuff. Is that too much to ask?

We marathon together!



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14 responses to “Candy

  1. What I want to know is…did you still have tons and tons of candy at your wedding?

    • Oh there was candy. A huge table with candy–every single kind of candy I mentioned and more. In fact, I didn’t even want other refreshments but my mom forced me to have a few crackers and cheese too.

  2. every time i read one of your posts i just like you more, ann dee. this was so great. i’m marthoning tomorrow on that thesis. it is due tomorrow night. have we not procrastinated enough? sadly, too much. but i do have excuses: flu this weekend, last-minute work project due TODAY (i could kill them). thesis tomorrow. marathon: still a maybe. i will try.

  3. CLW

    Ann Dee, in all our time writing on this blog together, I have to admit that this post rates right up there with the beautiful post you wrote about your mom.
    I loved that one best of all.
    Because that was our best post of all.

    But this one is very very close.
    I’d say it’s about one grain of sugar from a pixie stix (flavor-red) stick close.
    You are smart.
    You are funny.
    You made me laugh out loud.
    I am so glad I get to write with you.

  4. Wow. I never knew jawbreakers could be so profound. What a fabulous post. 🙂

  5. I love this post. I’m having deep, profound thoughts right now. And not just about candy. Thanks Ann Dee.

  6. You lost me at chocolate covered cinnamon bears. Immediately my mouth started watering. Can we have candy in class at WIFYR?

    This was a beautiful post. Thanks for making my morning a little bit better.

    • This is funny because these memories all came up as I took my kids and a friend to the candy counter (no longer the candy jar sadly) at BYU. I bought chocolate covered cinnamon bears and ate them last night as I wrote this. We most definitely can have candy in class. The more the merrier.

  7. Juliette

    LOVE this post! It made me smile and laugh and think about my candy eating days. I totally think you should use these stories for your memoir/autobiography/personal history. I would totally buy it and read it.

  8. andiwyo

    I loved this post, and I love that you had a candy table at your wedding!

    My big brother used to buy those huge jawbreakers too, and I swear he’d work on them for a year or so. I always preferred Jolly Rancher sticks and those big fat Laffy Taffys they used to sell at King’s. I didn’t discover chocolate covered cinnamon bears until I was married, but now I love them with all my heart.

    As far as the marathon goes, I’m going to shoot for 700 words a day. It’s such a small amount, but I have three different freelance projects due on Friday, so I’ll be cutting it close as it is. If I can do 700 a day, I’ll be happy. Really happy:).


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