It’s important, now and again, to test the character of your children. Find out what they’re made of. See on which side of the fence they stand.
And it occurred to me a few days ago that my sugar-deprived, artificial-color-isolated children have never had to choose: Red Vines or Twizzlers.
We were in the hell of major-retailer-mid-December and I had a moment of weakness. So I bought a package each of the licorices in question, and I explained rivalries. I explained fake loathing. I detailed college football rivalries as an example. And then I explained all that rides on the question at hand.
After dinner I gave each boy one piece of each type of red licorice.
A lot hung in the balance.
Not just because I, naturally, want my children to share my taste. Nor because I, pathetically, want them to choose me over their father, the latter being a heathen of the Red Vines tribe, those who have no idea what they’re talking about when they proclaim that nasty wheat candy flavored with red air is better than Twizzlers. Those who blaspheme against candy when they lay their lame “they’re better when they’re a little stale” nonsense on the thinking world.
I told the kids to look, feel, smell the candy. They compared. They constrasted. They elaborated extensive comparisons. They liked the twist of Red Vines, the shine of Twizzlers, the smell of both.
Looking a bit foolish for even considering the Red Vines, they sampled and thus began their Test of Humanity and Worthiness.
Both spat out the Red Vines. Victory! These children are mine, they choose light over dark, they will never really align with their father…
But they both changed their mind. They had handed back their lame licorice; now they asked for it back.
Was this just because they ran out of candy and were willing to eat trash just to get their sugar fix? Was this because they’d been brainwashed? Had I failed them as a mother? I mean, other than the corn syrup and the red dye #Cancer?
Nope. They each took another bite and reluctuantly handed it back. They wanted more licorice, but not that nasty, foul substitute for real candy.
I gave them another two pieces of the superior candy. Might as well eat well tonight, boys.
Now, I’m not saying that discerning my children’s taste in red licorice was a watershed moment. It didn’t change our lives to know we align together, against the cretin amongst us who prefers wheat-flavored candy. We weren’t modified fundamentally to know we stand with the righteous.
But that night, just an hour after the Twizzlers triumph, the boys chose, for the first time in their lives together, to curl up on the little one’s bed and fall sleep together. No fighting, no teasing, no meanness.
If red dye and corn syrup are all it takes to get this kind of harmony, I’m buying stock in corn and joining the Chemistry Association of America. Or the International Chemistry Lobbying Association. Or something.
[Sure, your explanations of why Red Vines are allegedly better are acceptable here. You can post them. I won’t delete them. But I will gaze upon you with the stink-eye you deserve.]