Chickadee used the Vulcan mind meld this morning to discover that I’d been angsting about her brother. She then exacted her revenge by rotating her head a full 360 degrees several times before she even made it down to breakfast. It really helped me to put things in perspective. (And by “put things in perspective,” I mean “made me want a stiff drink.”)
Nevertheless, I didn’t lock her in the attic or even threaten to cancel her birthday party. I got the kids off to school and turned my attention back to The Birthday That Never Ends (wasn’t her birthday WEEKS ago??) and final party preparations.
(Actually, first I did some work, and then went out for a “quick” 6-mile walk, wherein I burnt my shoulders into crispy cinders because I forgot that it’s sort of almost summer. Details.)
So here’s the thing about a martial arts party for a group of girls: The thematic stuff is HARD. There’s just not a lot that lends itself to the theme easily. And because Tae Kwon Do is a Korean discipline, I thought it would be nice to bring in a Korean element.
Sing it with me!
It’s fun to be a mom WIIIIITH O C D!
It’s fun to be a mom WIIIIITH O C D!
You make everything go together just right.
Otherwise you freak out all night!
So, after a lot of thought, and research, and basically just running out of time, I decided that if I could find an Asian grocery store, I could probably buy some Korean candy. Or some other kind of Asian candy. Which would sort of be a tie-in, or at the very least, a novelty.
I have never felt quite so white and ethnocentric as I suddenly did when I made this decision. Oh, hey–Korean, Asian, WHATEVER! Those candies all look the same! Yeesh. I have no excuse. I suck.
So I let my fingers do the walking and I found a local Asian grocer. I headed on over and wandered around for a bit before asking for help.
Me: Hi, um, can you help me?
Grandmotherly Japanese Clerk: Yes, sure. I help you.
Me: Great! I’m looking for Korean candy. Do you have any?
GJC: Korean candy?
Me: For, um, goody bags. For a party. For kids.
GJC: Not Korean. Japanese, Chinese. No Korean.
Me: Okay, that’ll work. Could you help me pick a few things?
GJC: Yes, sure. You try sample! This very good!
*I try a candy she hands me from a dish on the counter. It’s lemon flavored and yummy.*
Me: Mmmm that’s good, where are those?
GJC: Those are… hmmm… I don’t know! Not over here? I think we out of those.
Me: Heh. Okay, that’s fine, what else do you have?
GJC: Oh, kids love these! Rice crackers! You buy these!
Me: Okay. What about this? Is this candy?
GJC: That not candy. Sour. Kids not like, probably.
Me: Alright. What about… this?
GJC: That… I don’t know.
Me: One of the ingredients is “haw.” Is that English? I don’t know what haw is.
GJC: I… not sure.
Me: Okay, let’s skip that one! What about the bag over there?
GJC: Yes! Candy! Has… how you say… fruit flavors!
And so the discussion went. I spent about twenty minutes making my selections, guided by my new friend. She was kind enough not to laugh her ass off at my obvious cluelessness. And I don’t think she sold me anything containing pickled octopus brains or anything like that. I hope.
Tonight I made little treat bags from the goodies I’d bought, to throw in with the party favor bags. I also tried each of the items I’d bought, so I’d know what I was giving out.
The Flower’s Kiss hard candy from Japan comes in pretty little wrappings (with flowers, natch) and tastes like your basic hard candy. Other than the fact that it lists red cabbage as a colorant, I’d not know it from every other American hard candy I’ve ever had.
It might be a bit difficult to read the writing on the package, but this is “Passion Chewy” from Taiwan. (After rigorous market research it was determined that the original name, “Barf Fruit,” just didn’t bear out in terms of consumer appeal.) Despite the dubious name and disturbing illustration, this candy is sort of like a stale Starburst in an unexpected flavor.
I bought this one purely because I found that the cheerful creatures on the packaging induced a state of euphoria if you looked at them long enough. These are Pineapple Flavored Puffed Rice Rolls, and while I couldn’t taste any narcotics in them, maybe it was covered up by the pineapple flavor. I’m sure they’re in there, though, because I assume those happy cartoons are supposed to be pineapples and I am here to tell you that THEY ARE FAT EARS OF CORN. And they don’t even KNOW. Or CARE. Because of the drugs. It’s certainly not the rice rolls making them that happy, because they taste like pineapple-tinted packing peanuts. Still, I felt happier, and I plan to sleep with the wrapper under my pillow from now on.
Last–but certainly not least–we have the Thai rice crackers that my friend the clerk insisted I must buy because “everyone eats them.” I suspect that everyone eats them because the shape resembles that of Nutter Butters. Sadly, these are not Nutter Butters. These are Nutter Butter-shaped slabs of crunchy air. According to the package, these particular rice crackers are coconut flavored. I couldn’t taste it. Or anything else. Let’s hope all the kids are so excited by the novelty factor that they don’t notice.
But you know, they’re 8. They’re probably going to open the goody bags and figure the “weird” candy is something I got at Big Lots because I was too cheap to buy Snickers and Twizzlers.
On the other hand, the only English on the packaging is on the outer bag. Everything the kids are receiving is covered with characters. Soooo… maybe we just tell them it’s all Korean candy. Shhhhh, do not tell.