“I have measured out my life with coffee spoons,” J Alfred Prufrock lamented in TS Eliot’s iconic poem about a life of solitary predictability.
I, however, am measuring out my life in Peanut M&Ms. As we live through this unpredictable Covid 19 era, my daily ritual is helping to singlehandedly keep one major confectioner in business. It started out innocently enough. As fear of Covid hit our shores, local stores were rapidly running out of goods. And we consumers were running out of time to stock up on food and necessities before lockdown. And—absolutely—we knew we needed treats to shore us up for coming dark days.
Our freezer became filled to bursting with pints of Talenti Pistachio and Hagen Dazs Belgian Chocolate and Coffee along with feedlots of frozen meats for homemade winter meals. But for my daily mid-day snack, I required one specific treat. It’s from Mars Inc. It’s Peanut M&Ms. Single user packets!
I don’t buy my M&Ms in bulk because then there’s no portion control and I have no control over portions. I only buy the Peanut M&Ms because there is a higher ratio of chocolate to candy shell than there is in plain M&Ms (trust me on this). However, I don’t eat the peanuts. I toss them! Yes, that is nuts, you say. But I say, why waste snack calories on nutritious peanuts when I can use those extra calories to splurge on the above-noted ice creams at night.
What started innocently enough in the March lockdown as my daily 3 pm snack soon became an obsession. I kept buying M&M packs by the dozen at Vons both for the quantity savings and also to avoid any extra worry-fraught outings to the grocery store. This was in the days when we were all bathing and grooming our home-bound groceries in fear of the plague.
From one pack a day, my habit grew to 1 ½ on particularly bad, rising Covid toll days and I often consumed them before 3 pm. By June, I had easily decimated over one hundred packs of peanut M&Ms.
I wish I had started saving the wrappers in March so I could make my own personal memorial quilt of this time of Covid. A bright yellow remembrance of this year of living (and eating) dangerously. However, I did start saving the wrappers in June because with the recent spike in cases, the end of the recovery road seems ever further away and, thus, my pile of yellow packets grows ever higher.
Let Prufrock measure his endless days in coffee spoons. I will measure my endless days of lockdown in M&Ms consumed and wrappers collected. There’s nothing predictable about this pandemic except its unpredictability. So, I will take comfort in my little, nurturing rituals of quarantine life.
How do I eat my daily treat? This may be TMI so quit reading now and/or I will warn you before we get to the ewww part. First, I pour out the pack and spread my M&M medley on a napkin. Then I eat the blue and red ones finishing up with my favorite—the browns. Here comes the ewww part. After sucking off all the chocolatey goodness, I spit out each peanut into said napkin until all my rainbow-colored morsels are all gone. And I’m done! Until tomorrow, that is.
Things are predicted to get worse but I’m ready for it. My M&M stash is secure till the end of days.
What’s your wild or dirty little secret Covid indulgence? Spill the beans… or the peanuts below!