M&M Stories

M&M Stories

M&M's have been a part of my life, and my memories, for years

M&M’s – those little round, hard-shelled nibbles of chocolate-y goodness. I became addicted to M&M’s at an early age. My mother, my grandmother and my aunt kept bowls of plain M&M candies throughout their respective houses, so I had access to the candy wherever I went. My mom, my aunt and I would sit at the kitchen table playing Yahtzee or rummy, each of us with a bowl of M&M’s within reach, nibbling throughout the game. Almost mechanically, we’d roll the dice, eat an M&M, roll the dice again, eat another M&M, write down a score, eat another M&M…well, you get the picture. M&M’s have been a part of my life, and my memories, for more years than I care to remember.

I had M&M’s so often as a child that I would come up with new ways to eat them. Sometimes I’d eat them by putting a handful in my mouth. Other times I’d eat them one at a time. Sometimes, I’d put one in my mouth and suck on it until the candy coating dissolved. Or, I’d bite them in half, and suck the chocolate out of each half. Yes, I was a weird child. I went through a phase where I’d dump all the M&M’s out of the bag and then divide them by color. Then I’d eat all the dark brown ones first, followed by the light brown ones, then the yellow, the orange and the red. I would save the green for last, because, you know, the green ones made you, well, you know. This was back before the red dye #2 cancer scare that kept the red M&M’s out of the package, and way before the blue M&M was even thought of.

Back then, there were only plain M&M’s and peanut M&M’s. I wasn’t a big peanut fan, even if they were chocolate and candy-coated, so I always had the good, old plain M&M’s. I still prefer the plain M&M’s, although the peanut butter M&M’s are a close second.

One not-so-pleasant M&M memory occurred during a driving trip to Colorado in the early to mid 1970s. We were taking a family vacation – my parents, my younger brother, myself, and our dog, a Yorkie named Woody. We were in the family truckster, the trusty station wagon. Back then, there were no seat belt laws, and children could ride in the back of station wagons and pickup trucks. So, to keep us from arguing, my brother, who was probably 7 at the time, got to ride in the very back, and I got the back seat to myself. Well, to myself if you don’t count Woody.

I was riding along, reading a book and eating M&M’s. Woody was watching me intently, following my hand from the bag to my mouth and back again. All was fine until I erred in moving my hand from bag to mouth and dropped an M&M. It landed on the seat and started to slide between the seat and the back. I went to grab it when Woody went into protective mode. Yorkies are fierce protectors by nature. But, he wasn’t protecting me; he was protecting the M&M. When Woody went into protective mode, you didn’t want to mess with him; he had sharp little teeth and if he got his teeth into you, he wouldn’t bite; he’d pull. Believe me, I know; I have scars. First he’d growl, and then he’d grab if you weren’t still. Stupid me - Instead of just sitting still and ignoring that blasted M&M, I tried to get it from between the seat and the back. Mistake. Woody went on alert, and growled every time I moved even an inch. No more eating M&M’s, as he growled if I moved my hand. Since I knew what came after the growl, I became very still. I think I rode that way, not moving, for quite a while after that, until we finally needed gas and my dad took Woody for a walk.

That whole experience hasn’t kept me from eating M&M’s though. I still love them, although I can’t eat them like I used to.