Candy Jar: Running on Empty

The candy jar at work remains a mystery. It is filled up sporadically with varied options. The rhyme and reason for who fills it with what is a mystery. Mars bars? Someone loves me. Strawberry-cordial filled dark chocolates?  Who did John* screw over this time? Unfortunately, much of the time there’s nothing to wonder at; the jar sits empty, its cheery orange lid covered in a layer of dust.

On a recent day a coworker walked purposefully toward the candy jar, and stopped abruptly in front of it. He held it up to the light and shook it, as though the clear plastic sides, which showed no candy within, were playing tricks on his eyes.

“Why is there no candy?” he called out, tossing it up forlornly. It was empty because he’d eaten the last of the candy two weeks early, and no one had refilled it since.

“I have m&ms,” I called back. “Do you want some?”

“YES!” he replied, in a tone far different from his usual funereal inflection.

He took a handful, and munching happily, asked, accusatorily, “Why are you hoarding candy?”

“I don’t think it’s called hoarding when I buy candy and eat it,” I suggested.

“It is if you don’t put it in the candy jar,” was the reply.

“Ooh! Can I have some?” pipped in a third coworker, ending our standoff.

I suspect that it’s my coworker’s love of candy, rather than the unpredictable nature of the jar’s filling, that leads to it sitting empty. The candy jar, and now my candy stash as well.

*I don’t work with anyone named John. Even though the security guard told me this week that his brother’s buddy John – handsome and tall – works in the same office. I’ll take his word for it.

A Jarring Experience

She told me to twist off the top. I tried. She told me to try again. I did. I tried with a towel, without a towel, and even under water. Nothing worked. I handed the jar over to my sister and with a flick of her wrist the jar was open. “How did you do that?!” I cried. “Just turn it,” she shrugged.

At the time, I thought she was trying to make it look easy. Then, after I moved away and still couldn’t open a jar, I learned that everyone makes it look easy. I was helpless and everyone else was accomplished. Determined to overcome my natural handicap, I tried any method that came my way.

I tapped the bottom of jars. Didn’t help.

I slammed the bottom of jars. Changed nothing.

I rolled jars around. I didn’t understand how that could help; it didn’t.

I allowed jars to sit under hot running water. Burned my hands a little, but the lid stayed stuck.

Nothing worked, and I gave up. It seemed that the only way I would ever open a jar on my own would be by handing it off to someone else.

Yet that refrain of “Just turn it,” played in my head every time I came across a jar. And I would try. Then I would fail, and go in search of someone more capable. Suddenly, one day, it happened. As I was wondering who  I’d be taking the jar to this time, I turned the lid and it came off the jar. With a soft pop the lid loosened and I had done it. I stated at the lid sitting in my hand and thought, “My sister was right.”

Which leaves me wondering what else she knows.