Today we have a sucker or a lollipop or both, depending on how you were raised. When I was little, we actually called these suckers and they were the only good thing about going with your mom to the bank or the dentist’s office. It’s a simple little treat as candy goes, other than the unfortunate name, so I opted for a quick 2-color doodlewash to illustrate it. My mom loves to tell a story about taking me to the bank when I was a tiny kid and how I had an aversion to green suckers which can be found in a previous post. But it’s true that I liked cherry best, or whatever artificial stand-in they injected it with to roughly approximate the idea of cherries. It also painted your tongue a bright red so it was quite possibly my first experience with painting. Well, at least it was fun to stick out your tongue and look in the mirror to see just how bizarre it looked.
Truthfully, suckers were extra amazing because they never appeared at home. Not once was a candy dish filled with these little gems. So the only way to get them was to be given one as a gift, usually from a complete stranger. This was always a bit confusing, as I was obviously told to never accept candy from strangers. I knew the dentist, of course, I just wasn’t a big fan. I didn’t like people sticking their fingers in my mouth, so he wasn’t someone I could consider as a friend. But everywhere we went, from bank tellers to gas station attendants, there always seemed to be someone ready to offer me one of these. I would look at my mother imploringly each time to see if it was okay to accept the gift and she would always smile and nod. So, I had to assume, it was only okay to accept a stranger’s candy when you were in the presence of your mother. Thankfully, my mother was a good judge of character and so I managed to survive into adulthood relatively unscathed.
I haven’t had one of these suckers in years. It’s not that I’ve completely lost a taste for them, it’s just that I’ve never purchased one in my life and nobody has been nice enough to give me one recently. Perhaps I just don’t look quite as cute as I did back then. I’m not entirely sure of the reason, but I now leave my dentist’s office with a toothpaste sample and a lecture on the importance of daily flossing. I’ve no idea why they suddenly thought that since I’m now over 6 six feet tall, I no longer require a bribe to come back. But sometimes, I think it would be rather nice to still be offered a little treat. Well, perhaps not. I think if my accountant said, “Now don’t you look cute! Would you like a sucker?!” I’d probably find myself a bit terrified. But I’ll never forget all those little wrapped sugary gifts of my childhood. Even if they don’t seem to come to me now, I love remembering them and that alone still makes me a sucker for lollipops.
About the Doodlewash
Sennelier L’Aquarelle: Sennelier Red, and Ultramarine Deep. Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon with black ink in a little red cloth hardbound l’aquarelle journal I found in a Paris shop.