With midterms and Halloween upon us, I thought this post was timely because stressed backwards spells desserts, and that always eases the pain a little bit. Growing up, the main reason I loved Halloween is because I got to run around my neighborhood with my best friends, with the goal of filling my Halloween candy bag to the very top. Ironically, that Halloween candy sat there for the entire year, filled with all the pieces I rejected. I won’t be shy to admit that I’ve got a sweet tooth, but it’s always been very selective ever since I was young. For this post, I thought I would reflect on my trick or treating days, even all the way back to one of my first outings where the guy opened the door and yelled boo, resulting in me screaming and running away crying. While I can’t have any of my childhood favorites anymore due to this lovely dairy free life, being able to think about why I liked what I liked back then was kind of funny! Here are all of my favorites, ranked, according to my elementary school reasoning!
Starting with the worst…
10. Anything not made out of chocolate
Ever since I can remember, I have not liked any “fruity” sweets, or hard candies. This includes Skittles, Twizzlers, Smarties, Jolly Ranchers, Laffy Taffy, Runts, Starbursts, Suckers, Swedish Fish, etc. For some reason, I just never got hooked on those kind of sweets, but also, I am one to bite Dum Dums and Jolly Ranchers right away because I don’t have the patience to let them dissolve. While I don’t mind the occasional taste time to time, I never crave it like some people do. I never understood why so many of my friends were obsessed with Skittles, and trading all their chocolate for all the Skittles they could find. In my elementary school head, Skittles were overrated little spheres just waiting to break your teeth because they’re so hard to bite into. I also never understood why everyone was infatuated with Starbursts, especially the pink ones (red ones are the best in my opinion). Back then, my classmates were eating all the Starbursts they could just so they could make a bracelet out of the wrappers. It was a good system for me though, as I traded all of my Skittles and Starbursts for more chocolate. If given the option, I’d rather not taste the rainbow.
9. Nut Rolls
I don’t know what I was thinking back then, but I never touched these things when they landed in my candy bag. I gave them straight to my mom because I thought they were boring candies made for adults. In my mind, Nut Rolls were the Raisin Bran of candy. I really was missing out back then because now that I have gotten older, and have apparently accepted that they are for “old people,” these babies are right up my alley. I don’t know if it is because I thought the name was weird, the packaging was boring, or the fact that I wasn’t a big caramel girl as much as I am now, but my elementary school self had no logical reasoning to not like them. I often wonder if today’s kids think the same way that I did back then. If so, I would definitely go back out another round and collect all the candies I thought were for oldies such as Nut Rolls, Pay Day, 100 Grand bars, Whoppers, Take 5, and Snickers. Besides, I still get mistaken for being in middle school, so I would fit right in.
8. Baby Ruth
Baby Ruth is similar to the Nut Roll situation, but more. This one is ranked number eight because it did have some chocolate in it, an obvious deal breaker for me at this point. There were several explanations as to why this was not one of my favorites growing up. The first is that I thought the name Ruth was for and old person, leading me to not eating it because I thought old person candy tasted gross. Second, I always saw my mom eating it, which had no connection to the old person thought, she was an exception. Since she ate them, this “obviously” meant I wouldn’t like how it tasted because she liked weird things that I didn’t (aka preferred a nice pork tenderloin over Wendy’s chicken nuggets). And lastly, I thought it had something to do with baseball. For the record, Baby Ruth was named after the creator’s daughter, not the legendary Babe Ruth. To little Lauren, that didn’t matter, it related too closely to baseball and reminded me of all the cold rainy games I logged to watch my brother. Sorry Baby Ruth, your odds were never really good in the mind of little Lauren.
7. Milky Way
As I am getting farther and farther into my favorites, I have started to see a common trend. I like things based on factors that have nothing to do with how they actually taste. Milky Way is ranked higher than this others because it came in a milk chocolate, and dark chocolate version. Most people in my grade back then despised dark chocolate, so I always ended up with all their Milky Ways. This is probably why I liked them better (there’s a psychological theory that says you liked something more when you have more exposure to it). That right there is probably the only logical part as to why I liked Milky Ways. The other big reason I liked Milky Ways more than others was because “Drops of Jupiter” by Train mentions Milky Way in the song, and every time it played, I thought of the candy bar, not the actual Milky Way.
There was a picture that I was trying to find for this one involving me standing in my swimsuit with dolphin goggles on my head, holding a half eaten Butterfinger. I believe I was about 6 or 7, but I remember always liking them. Peanut butter and chocolate is one of my favorite combinations. I would eat the Butterfingers out of my candy bag first because they were the easy to spot, bright yellow rectangles. Butterfinger would rank much higher on my list if it were not for the fact that every time I bit into it, it would crumble everywhere. Back then, I was still a neat freak like I am now, so those crumbles were frustrating and absolutely unacceptable to me, especially when they got on my favorite shirt from Justice.
5. Kit Kat
Some of you reading this may be gasping at this point for having Kit Kats ranked this low instead of first, but little Lauren had other priorities back then. If given the choice now, Kit Kat would be ranked higher, but I had my reasoning back then apparently. The reason I liked Kit Kats was because I could do more with it than just eat it. This sounds so weird, but I liked breaking them apart (as one should do) instead of just biting into it with no regard to the perforation. I had a legit routine for eating my Kit Kats. After I broke them into two separate sticks, I would nibble off all of the chocolate encasing the wafer. I don’t know why, but it definitely made it last longer which was ok with me. To those of you that just bite into Kit Kats, it is time to stop, because that is not the proper Kit Kat etiquette.
4. Almond Joy
I am fully aware that Almond Joys don’t bring many people that much joy. I was known for being the only one in my second grade class to like these, which again, was a good system for me because I got everyone else’s. There are two kinds of people in this world, those who like coconut, and those who don’t. I have always been one to like coconut everything. My mom always used to sing a little jingle to me: “Almond Joy’s got nuts, Peter Paul Mounds don’t” and that is what I thought of every time I had one. Also a helpful tip for all y’all that don’t like almonds; the red Mounds ones don’t! Here is where the illogical reasoning comes in. Almond Joys would have ranked higher for me, but as a kid, the fact that the almond was not perfectly centered in the middle of the bar drove me absolutely insane. Out of all the Almond Joys I’ve had, I don’t think I have ever found one to live up to my expectations.
I didn’t learn to like these until my middle school years because Twix were my brother’s favorite, and it was against the law to have the same favorite candy as my brother up until then. As my mind matured, I realized two things. First, I realized that saying I didn’t like caramel even though I never tried it before because I thought I wouldn’t like it in the first place was insane. Second, realizing that sharing something in common with Christopher wasn’t a bad thing. These two realizations led to Twix shooting to the top of my favorites list. The chocolate/caramel combo was a game changer, as Twix used to be at the bottom of my favorite’s list in elementary school. The reason it isn’t sitting at number one, is because there is one dynamic duo that can’t be beaten.
2. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
That dynamic duo is peanut butter and chocolate. I would have been thrilled to get all Reese’s in my Halloween bag. I always gauged how well I was doing during my trick or treating outing by how many orange squares I had floating around. They had to be the cups, not the pieces! Usually, I never did get that many because they were everyone else’s favorite too. There is no question about whether or not the pumpkin shaped ones taste better than regular, they definitely do (nowadays they look nothing like a pumpkin). Hitting the jackpot for me was getting one of the special edition Halloween white chocolate peanut butter cups. I am a big peanut butter gal to this day, so it makes sense that Reese’s have been my favorite since basically day one. You may be wondering why Reese’s aren’t ranked number one since they are my favorite. As I mentioned earlier, this list is based on my elementary school reasoning for what I thought was my favorite at the time. So with that my number one favorite thing to get in my Halloween bag was…
1. Anything bigger than fun size
As a short person, any other time of the year I would be saying how fun size is better, but not on Halloween. Back then, it didn’t matter what it was, but if it was bigger than the usual fun size bar, that meant I hit the jackpot for the night. Examples of this that I have gotten in the past are a microwave bag of popcorn, an apple, diet coke (I hate diet coke but the fact that it wasn’t candy was HUGE for me), king size Hershey Bar, toothpaste, and lastly I got a king size Nut Roll and thought it was the grand prize of the night (still gave it to my mom). My friends and I would keep note as to which houses would hand out the best things from the year before. Just like any other little kid, quantity was better than quality.
There are my top 10 candies ranked from my elementary school candy bag. Since then, my taste buds have definitely changed, and some new products have come out that would without a doubt change the ranks of my bag. Some of my all time favorites now are Lindt Chocolate, and Cookies and Cream Hersheys… also can never go wrong with nature’s candy aka fruit (little Lauren would not be proud of the old person I have become). I have found it interesting that as new generations move into neighborhoods, Halloween treat giving starts to follow current trends. My house was always the “popcorn house” giving out the microwave bags, but recently we started giving the bags of Boom Chicka Pop kettle corn, which has become popular very fast. These past couple years I have also seen more granola bars, pieces of fruit, and non food items. I wouldn’t be surprised if in the next couple years things like protein bars and protein shake packets were given out. It sounds ridiculous now, but I also never thought elementary school aged kids would have better iPhones than me right now. If this is what Halloween turns into, there is no question that I will be pulling my butterfly suit out of the closet and making the rounds for some free food!
I hope your Halloween isn’t as spooky as my midterms!