Dear Halloween Candy,

You are my weakness and nemesis. My knees turn to rubber when confronted with a piece of candy corn. I swoon at the sight of orange and black gummy bats. 

Shamelessly you prey on my sense of nostalgia. You conjure up crisp nights when I’d roam the streets for hours, my queen-sized pillow case gradually swelling with sweet treats. When I returned home, I’d dump my booty on the bed and let it sift through my fingers, like Midas with his gold coins. “Mine,” I would bellow. “All mine.” 

An extensive sorting process followed. Inferior candies like Smarties, Dum Dums and Necco Wafers were benevolently gifted to my little brother who didn’t know better. The only exception was Good N’ Plenty. (I wouldn’t wish that candy on anyone. Surely there’s a fiery place in hell reserved for black licorice that masquerades as innocent pastel candy.) Good N’ Plenty was tossed into the trash, along with anything vaguely virtuous, i.e. toothbrushes, apples or boxes of raisins. 

Let’s face it, Halloween candy. Those were our glory years, but since then, our relationship has eroded.

Shall we begin with your calorie count? You look so harmless in your miniature, mouth-friendly incarnations. How could something so petite move the needle on the scale? But one fun-sized Butterfinger leads to another and, before you know it, I’ve cleaned out an entire Jack-O-Lantern bucket. That’s 9000 calories and three pounds of sugar! All consumed before the first trick-or-treater darkens my door.

 And what about your insistence on coming earlier with each passing season? This year I first encountered you in a Walgreens on July 21. It was 104 degrees outside and my ears were still ringing from the explosion of Roman Candles on Independence Day. I was innocently meandering down the candy aisle in search of sugar-free gum when a glint of black and orange foil caught my eyes. 

And there you were: Hershey Kisses, garbed in come-hither harvest colors of red, orange and gold. Bags of plump mellow creme pumpkins hanging temptingly from hooks, autumn mixes of Jelly Bellies mingling with Ghostly Peeps and seasonal candy bars of every persuasion flaunting fall colors.

Trick or treat, you crooned seductively.

“No! A thousand times, no,” I said. 

But then I noticed you were marked down 50 percent. 

And now it’s October. Since July I’ve bought and consumed more bags of you than I care to count. For my Halloween party I had plans to dress up as a sexy kitten, but now, because of you, I’m going as Moby Dick. I can’t wait until November 1st when you’re banished from the store and I will be able to stroll down the candy aisle, free from your siren call…. 

 Wait a minute. What’s that glint of red, green and silver? And is that a chocolate Santa?

Dear Christmas Candy,

You are my weakness and nemesis.

Karin Gillespie can’t trust herself to go down the candy aisle until April when all the Easter candy is cleared out. Visit her at karingillespie.net

This article appears in the October 2015 issue of Augusta Magazine.