Kitchen Table Talk: The currency of candy

28 Apr

I pay my 3-year-old in Gummi Bears.

It’s true. In order to get her to cooperate with directions, finish her “chores” or even just put on her own shoes, I pay her with Gummi Bears. I even have a formula for calculating how many Gummi Bears she should get for completing a task: The more difficult she’s being+the need to get a particular task accomplished=the amount of Gummi Bears she earns. She does get a raise if she cooperates without me having to ask her (in other words,  I ask once, she does it) and a huge bonus if she does something completely on her own (without me asking at all).

It’s a very subjective scale and can be altered based on my whim (and my tolerance for her whining) but it works. It is the best $.89 I spend all week. But our bartering good behavior for Gummi Bears got me thinking–what if candy replaced money?

Think about it. We could go back to a system of bartering but rather than wampum, we’d use candy. Instead of paying $100 for clothes, you would pay 18 Butterfingers and 23 mini Snickers. That boat you want? 17,500 Peppermint Patties. The house you’re buying? 100,000 bags of Swedish Fish.

OK, so maybe replacing all money with candy is a bit ridiculous. I’ll admit it would be  messy, we’d all get fat and there would be a huge need for dentists. But on some level, we already do it. We bribe our kids with M&Ms to use the potty. We get assaulted with candy bars at work or school for participating in a discussion or having a good idea during a meeting. We celebrate holidays with all kinds of candy–candy canes, chocolates, Peeps. We use candy to express our gratitude, sympathy and happiness. Candy has become the currency of emotions.

And not only is candy the currency of emotion, it’s the bank of memory. I can distinctly remember the bowls of  Hershey kisses on my great-grandmother’s living room table or the Andes mints that were always at my grandparents’ apartment. I still smile whenever I see (or eat) a Coffee Crisp. All of these little pieces of chocolate bring back so many fond memories. I can’t say that money does the same.

There are lots of benefits to using candy instead of money. For starters, being pelted with a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup hurts less than being pelted with quarters. Bribery via chocolate is not a felony. A bowl full of colorful candy is way prettier than a bowl full of money (ok, so this one may be up for debate). Candy tastes better (have you ever accidentally put your hand in your mouth after handling coins? Disgusting). And quite frankly, I have to work a lot less to get candy.

They say that money can’t buy happiness. I’ve never heard anyone say that about candy. So I’m sticking with Gummi Bears.


One Response to “Kitchen Table Talk: The currency of candy”

  1. Jackie S. April 29, 2010 at 9:41 am #

    As a true candy lover, I think using candy as currency is great, but I’d probably end up broke because I would eat all my money LOL! 🙂

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