On being reminded of being 10.

by Pseud O'Nym

Last night bought me crashing headlong into a childhood memory, and lest you labour under the delusion that my childhood memories abound with fond reminsences or cherished recollections let me put you straight on that one. My childhood was a fairy tale alright, a fucking grim one. I know that children have a different view of their own childhood to that of their parents, but even as a child I was aware that I wasn’t enjoying my childhood, seeing it as something that had to be endured, or tolerated, until I could finally escape my childhood and teenage years. I thought I had too, but every once in a while there’ll be something that immediately transports me back to being 10 years old.

So last night. We were having a communal meal. All very civilised. Then the conversation tuned to chocolate, what with it being Easter Sunday and all. ‘What’, asked LMS’s mother, Marge, ‘was our favourite chocolate?’ We all thought about it although I suspect LMS thought about it the least. Paul went first, any chocolate that had orange in it, he said. Now to me any chocolate that’s been mucked about with by either orange, mint, ginger or anything like that is frankly an abomination. And as for contaminating chocolate with coffee? There aren’t words strong enough to convey exactly how wrong that is!

Contestant number 2 was Joe, LMS’s father. His favourite chocolate was the now discontinued ‘Matchmaker’, which didn’t find you a partner but instead was something better, a box of long, thin crunchy chocolate sticks. He had the good sense to choose something that was a childhood favourite and so free of adult opprobrium. Contestant number 3 was LMS. Well she likes all chocolate. Or nearly all, but we’re getting to that. But she settled on Lindt chocolate, possibly because her favourite chocolate is white chocolate and she’d been given a white chocolate Lindt Bunny. Paul then remarked that his brother-in law-was the C.E.O. of Lindt Australia, the news of which I thought LMS took extremely calmly.

Marge was contestant number 4. Her favourite chocolate is 100% dark chocolate. 100% dark? Mind you, this from someone who’ll freely admit that kedgeree was her favourite food as a child. Part of the reason she likes it, is I suspect because nether Joe or LMS do, so it remains eaten only by her. And possibly because it allows her to pityingly look down upon those with less refined tastes. !00% dark chocolate is basically virtue signalling in an (in)edible form.

I was up next. Was it going to be something worthy, something organic, something fair trade? Possibly all three? No, I’d sooner eat a chocolate starfish than say any chocolate that combined all three of them? No, my favourite chocolate is Ferrero Rocher. It always has and even though it got the reception at the table it did, mild amusement from some, abject horror from others – you can guess who was who – they’ve always done it for me. And unlike other brands, they have had the good sense to know a winning formula when they see it, and not to piss about with it. Cherry coke, anyone?

Marge declared herself disappointed, not least because she had bought me a box of ‘Booja Booja’ chocolates for Easter.  Gluten, dairy and enjoyment free. In case anyone at the table hadn’t heard it, she said it again. So would I, she asked as sweetly as the chocolates were not, mind if she got them so we could share some.?

Immediately I was 10 years old.

It wasn’t that I got edible presents very often but more when I got them I’d be invariably cajoled into sharing them and there are few things as infuriating to a child as when you are a box of pleasure and that pleasure is then snatched away from you, all the good one’s gone, and you have to style it out. So I said this yesterday. Normally I just think it. I mean it’s different if I choose to share, that’s my choice, but when someone buys you something with the expectation they’ll have some? There’s a term for that, I know what it is, but I looked it up on Wikipedia just in case and thankfully I did, because now I know it’s considered ‘objectionable’ so I haven’t used it.

But still. 10 years old. My brother grinning at me, knowing the pain I’m going thought. Choosing on purpose, on fucking purpose, the one’s he knew I liked. Oh yes, they’d all be generous with my goodies, wouldn’t take only one when two or three would do just as well.

Which is why whenever I buy edible presents I try and ensure their  contaminated with something I won’t eat, so the recipient knows I won’t have any and with LMS, I tell her that anything edible she gets from me she’s not allowed to share.

Because I know how it feels when adults make you share and Christian it is not.