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Envy – The sweet tin


Part one of themed weeks in Judith’s Room. Starting with Envy as a title. This has proven to be more difficult than I imagined as I can’t think of anyone I’m envious of at the moment. So again, I had a look in my past and came up with this memory…

Envy got me for the first time when I was in the 4th year junior school. I sat next to Caroline, a nice enough girl but not my ‘best’ friend, (I’d been separated from her for talking too much!)

Caroline’s mother had given her a tin to keep in her desk and each Friday evening this tin would be taken home to be replenished  by Caroline and her dad with sweets from the local newsagent ready for the next school week.

The tin wasn’t particularly pretty. Looking back it could have been a tea caddy, or maybe a container for fudge or just an empty Christmas present recycled for this brilliant new use.

But each day, as the bell rang for morning break, I watched in awe as Caroline would tip the contents out on her desk and choose painstakingly from the sugar lollipop, the flying saucers, the white chocolate mouse or the refreshers. Which would it be today? I was like one of Pavlova’s dogs sitting next to her watching and pretending to choose my own, wishing I too had a sweetie tin.

Chosen the day’s treat, the tin would be refilled and placed in her desk ready for tomorrow’s choice and we would all file down to the playground. Me sweetless and burning inside wanting with all my heart a sweet tin.

I thought Caroline was so lucky and her mother evidently loved her so much more than mine loved me. I wanted that attention, I wanted the sweets. I wanted my dad to take me to the local newsagent and let me choose my sweets for the week.

Caroline wasn’t one of the ‘it’ girls. She wasn’t particularly pretty, she was as bright as any other in the class but didn’t really have anything special going for her…only the sweet tin and I didn’t have one.

I knew I would never have a tin like Caroline’s. My mother was very anti sweets (too much sugar is bad for you, you’ll ruin your lunch, you’ll get fat, you’ll get bad skin) and she would also come out relentlessly with ‘I haven’t got the money to waste on sweets’ All this since dad had left home a year earlier.

So who’s to blame? Dad for leaving us in a confectionary free household with no money? ‘Ask your father for tuck money!’

Or Mum for not having the time to dig further to see what the underlying real issue was?

Life lesson no. 1 – You can’t have everything in life. And there will always be someone with something you haven’t got but want.

photo – swirling thoughts flickr

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