When I was younger the only hardware store my dad ever went to was Ace Hardware. It was close to our house, at least closer than the nearest box store, and my dad liked that it's locally owned instead of being an MNC like the box stores. Except I think the thing he liked best was found in the checkout lane. My dad loved black liquorice. But his favorite was the black piece inside a package of Chuckles.
So my dad would be at home and decide to work on whatever was broken. He would come get me from wherever I was playing and he would ask if I wanted to go to Ace with him. I always said yes, because Ace was the one store where I knew my dad would buy candy. So we'd go to the store and I would be all antsy while my dad took his time. At the time I thought he was babbling, talking to himself, about whatever it was we were there to buy. Most of the time I didn't know most of the words he used. Then would come the good part. We'd get in line and I would start eyeing the candy. Usually my dad would pretend that he didn't see the candy, or the fact that I was literally dancing around waiting for his permission to pick one. Sometimes he would tell me right away,
"Hey grab me some chuckles okay? And get yourself something too." And I would pick two packages of Chuckles. Sometimes he would wait until after the cashier had started ringing up whatever we were buying. Once or twice he managed to surprise me, not saying anything, but when we got to the car he produced two packages of Chuckles out of the bag. See, I always picked Chuckles too. Because my dad loved them. And even though I thought the black one tasted gross, I wanted to be like my dad, so I picked Chuckles. And even though he would try and trade me his green one for my black one I usually refused the trade. Because I wanted to be like my daddy.
So, after we got in the car my dad and I would have to eat our Chuckles before we got home because my mom would get cranky that my dad got me candy and didn't get candy for everyone (by which I think she meant her). Or she'd complain about the liquorice (because she hated it) and steal the green ones (because they were her favorite). We'd eat the Chuckles in the car on the way home and my dad would talk about whatever home repair thing needed done. I usually tuned him out. Because home repair. But then when we got home he would usually tell me that he needed help with his project, and I would have to hand him tools, or be a third hand, or whatever he needed. I never minded because, hey I got candy.
As a kid I just enjoyed hanging out with my dad and getting candy that no one else got. Now that I'm an adult I realize that my dad assumed my brother would pick up how to use tools and take care of his business, but I'm a girl. My dad wanted to make sure that I would be prepared to deal with life, and this was his way. He wasn't talking to himself, he was talking to me.
So yesterday Leah and I ran errands and had to stop at Ace. And Leah bought me a package of Chuckles. And I enjoyed my black one most of all.