When I was around 10 or 11 (I think), I got braces like many other kids in the 1980s. For those of you born well after me, you may not have had to deal with the early iteration of braces that I had to deal with. You had access to invisible braces that probably didn’t require a night guard but instead sang you to sleep at night.
I hate you.
Braces meant difficulty eating certain foods, which, in turn, meant giving up certain foods. I had to say goodbye to my beloved Marathon bar.
The Marathon bar was chocolate-covered caramel, but not just a solid block of caramel, no siree. This looked like a chain of pretzels – an 8-inch chain to be precise. The back of the Marathon wrapper actually had ruler marks so you knew you were getting the full 8.
I loved this candy. It was advertised by Patrick Wayne (son of John). It came out in the early 1970s and was discontinued around 1982/1983.
What that means is that the candy I loved was discontinued while I was wearing braces and not allowed to eat it!!!! WTF!
I blame the disappearance of my beloved snack for a sad and lonely adolescence. The miasma of this would permeate my life more than I knew until … this past weekend.
While browsing the English-food section at Wegman’s (spotted dick, anyone?), I found the Curly Wurly bar. It said it was chocolate-covered caramel, and through the wrapper, the bar felt comfortingly familiar.
I bought two and resisted the urge to rip open one in the car. I forced myself to put the groceries away and carry on a conversation while the 11-year-old inside me was behaving like a recovering crack addict who just found a hidden stash. Soon, I could wait no more and ripped open the wrapper.
Except … the Curly Wurly isn’t quite like the Marathon I remember. It’s thinner, for one thing. So it’s not as jawbreakingly chewy as the Marathon was. A good reason existed for not eating those things when you had braces.
Don’t get me wrong; the Curly Wurly is a fine candy, and I enjoyed it. I still have the second bar I bought to enjoy later on this week.
It’s just … I miss my friend. Were slightly straighter teeth worth losing Marathon? Or would we have had a falling out before it was discontinued, agreeing to go our separate ways with fond memories of what once was?