“Where did you get that!?”

I remember the weekly trips to the grocery store. It was a family adventure. I remember walking down the aisles and, for a break in the monotony, making sure I did not step on any cracks on the floor. With such little feet, it was easy to stay within the tiles. I remember the aroma of coffee after it was freshly ground. You could buy the beans and grind it before you left the store. I also remember marshmallows in boxes. Chips, too, and soda in returnable bottles.  But I stray from my opening question. “Where did you get that!?”  Let me explain.

Treats were just that: treats. A bag of candy was a treasure. Three little boys to share a bag of candy. I do not know if mom and dad ate any at all; but I figured that whatever was in the bag, 1/3 belonged to me.  Anyway, my older brother apparently was not much of a candy eater. My younger brother was a candy consumer. It was essential to have a safeguard, or the candy would be gone within a day or two. That disturbed me and not just a little. I was incensed. The candy was gone and not because I had eaten my third. It was gone because my younger brother knew neither about fractions nor sharing. Egregious. I am sure I complained, but I took things into my own hands.

As I have already shared, I figured a third belonged to me. And I counted out my third and hid it. My own personal cache. That way, I was assured that my third was protected, and I could enjoy the candy for an entire week. It was a grand and successful scheme. My younger brother never found my hiding place, and I made sure not to retrieve any candy when nobody was around to divulge my hiding place. It worked brilliantly. It also became fun, a bit of a taunt against my younger brother. He would see me eating some of my portion and would demand, “Where did you get that!?” I would reply that it was part of my share, he had eaten his, and I consumed with nary a sense of obligation to share. There was not a bit of guilt either. He could had proportioned his third like I had. It was his fault he had no more to savor. He likely consumed more than a third of the candy, but my third had been secured, and I was not going to share any of it with him.

So, what is my point? Why do I need one? We are amid a COVID-19 pandemic and have been ordered to engage in social distancing. Memories arose and I elected to type about them. I could claim that my point is the importance of limits and boundaries. That would be valid. I could confess that I enjoy gloating about my success at protecting my third and taunting my younger brother. That would be valid. I could confess that I was selfish. But, I won’t. I think I was justified. It has been fun to reminisce. I still like candy. I still have tendency to want hide to the treasure. I will share but am still mindful that if I am not careful, someone will eat more than their fair share. The danger now? If I hide it, I may never be able to find it. When I stumble across it, it is likely stale. Stale is still better than not finding it. It is also a pleasant discovery, and I find myself asking myself: “Where did you get that!?”