Like a Duck

As far as I can remember, I have only ingested Cotton Candy, once in my life. As a little kid, the opportunity did not present itself very often. Being the youngest of seven kids, we did not attend amusement parks or fairs frequently. Yet, I can remember a few times, here and there.

When we went, we normally ate our lunch on the tailgate of the station wagon. It was always something Mom had packed. She would pullout a large brown grocery bag filled with bologna sandwiches on white bread. We would have Fritos, or pretzel sticks. And. I don’t think we drank a thing. Probably water from the fountain, once we returned to the park.

Certainly, we never thought about asking for something like Cotton Candy. I guess it just wasn’t in the budget. I was a little older when I had my first spool. By then, a few of the older kids were not on the trip to the park, which I believe was Kings Island.

Cotton Candy always looked so intriguing to me. These big fluffy clouds on a paper-towel-cardboard-roll thing. And it was extremely fun to watch them make the stuff. Like magic, how they would dip the stick into a vat and wind it around. Suddenly, out of seemingly thin air, would come something that looked very much like my Aunt Delores’ hair. Only pink.

On that particular occasion, I can remember asking Mom and Dad if I could get some. It just looked so dang good. Well. The skies opened up, and the light shined through on the little Cotton Candy Stand, and Mom said yes. And on that day, you could have Pink. Or Pink.

I chose Pink. And that was strike one.

I wasn’t entirely sure how to go about eating this fluff. So Mom showed me. She pulled a long strand, and kind of whirled it around, and then floated it right into her open mouth. “Like that!” she said.

My turn was not nearly as graceful. The biggest part of the pink fuzzy slipper, landed on my nose and cheek, having 1/4 of the mess, actually reaching my mouth. Any moisture on my face was immediately transformed in to Big Pink Sticky. That was strike two.

The part that reached my mouth dissipated so quickly, that I barely knew it was there. And a little disappointing, I might add. It tasted mostly like the sugar packets we would steal from Frisches’ Big Boy. Yet somehow less satisfying.

I tried again, having sensed that I must have been missing something. The second time was very much like the first.

And now we are at strike three.

I felt obliged to finish the hive of Cotton Candy. Although I was very generous in “sharing” it with my Mom.

That was the first and last time for me.

I’m a little quirky like that. A sort of “All or nothing kind of gal” when it comes to food. Heck. When it comes to a lot of things in life. If a certain kind of food is on my mediocre scale, I would rather pass it by, than waste my time eating it. Conversely, if I like something, I can eat it again, and again, and again, without fail or disappointment.

I guess the same goes for experiences. I have to really enjoy something, to want to do it again. But if something is just so-so, I would rather pass. That might explain a lot about my Introversion.

Perhaps we are all just a little bit this way. We have our likes and our dislikes. We make our choices to reflect those preferences. But it is the time before we “know” that makes me wonder. What makes us want to try the Cotton Candy, or ride the motorcycle, or knit the doily? What nudges us to buy that first pack of Toaster Strudel, or visit Tempe, Arizona?

However it is that we make our choices, we certainly do make them.
I suppose part of it might come from outside conditioning. The other part might be instinct. Ahhh. That mysterious inclination, that old gut feeling. The inkling. The hunch.

Whatever it may be,I have learned a couple of things. If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it probably is a duck. And the other? If it looks too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true.

Today, you will have thousands of choices to make. Just take your time with each one, and choose wisely. And is sugar on a stick is your thing? By all means, enjoy the big sticky.



“Choose well. Your choice is brief, and yet endless.”
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


“To choose not to choose is still a choice for which you alone are responsible.”
― Gary Cox, How to Be an Existentialist


“What you choose also chooses you.”
― Kamand Kojouri