originally posted here June 25, 2006.
When I was a kid my dad would come home from work, about every other week, with a roll of Mentos in his pocket for me. It was always presented in the same way–half eaten, with the empty part of the tube twisted into a tight little tail.
“Well that’s rude” you might say. “Half-eaten?” Yes, that’s right, a half-eaten roll of mentos every other week for more than a year.
Sure, he could have bought two rolls–one for him and one for me. He also could have eaten the whole roll himself and brought home nothing. I would never have known (at least not before I noticed the pattern). But, nieither of these options would have meant what the “half-roll” meant to me.
It meant that he thought of me at the gas station when he perused the candy selection at the counter. It meant he knew I wouldn’t mind if he shared a few on his drive home (we do, in fact, share the same serious candy addiction). And it meant he loved me enough to stop eating halfway through the roll. I fondly remember the tightly-twisted, empty tail on the roll as a visual representation of the willpower used on my behalf.
People show their love in lots of different ways. Many times, the love “receiver” doesn’t understand the “love givers” language which causes all sorts of problems – thus all the self-help books on the subject. But, when it came to my dad and I, there was never any problem at all.
Dad, you may not have ever realized what all those half-eaten rolls of Mentos meant to me. I suspect though, they were always given in the same spirit of love as they were received. Through them and the many other years of “candy sharing” I have always known you loved me.
I love you too.
Wanna share some gummi bears?