Recently, at a planning meeting for the Harvard Radcliffe Reunion (won't tell you which one), Marash Girl and Harvard Man were assigned the task of ordering a souvenir fit for Reunion attendees to carry home with them. In jest, Harvard Man suggested a box of Godiva Chocolates, which Marash Girl thought was a fine idea except for the fact that the box would never make it home intact, much less become a souvenir, unless the celebrants would consider an empty box a fitting memory of their college years -- now there's a thought!
Beyond that, the box, in order to be a proper souvenir, would have to be a Whitman's Sampler, for in those days, Godiva was an English lady who rode naked through the streets of Coventry on horseback and not a box of chocolates. Whitman's Sampler -- you know, the yellow box that opens on a hinge and has a plan printed inside its cover identifying the different types of candies in the box so that those among us who could read English could decide which candy we should sample.
All of the above (does the phrase remind you of a multiple choice test on a college entrance exam?) reminds me of my childhood when, wherever our family went to visit a relative in our old Chevrolet (won't tell the year), just before arriving at our destination, Marash Girl's father would pull up in front of a drug store to buy a box of -- no, not drugs -- a Whitman's Sampler to take to the home of our hosts. Almost always, it was a home where there would be a very old lady all dressed in black, a widow who had survived the Armenian genocide, an aunty who knew no English, whose eyes would light up when she saw the box of Whitman's chocolates.
Although she was baking cheoreg in the oven for us (and we could smell the wonderful sweet yeasty aroma of those Armenian sesame rolls as soon as we entered her home), our hostess upon settling us in her living room, would break open the cellophane wrapping to the box of Whitman's chocolates we had brought and offer the candies to us, her guests. The eyes of her elderly mother (or mother-in-law, as the case may have been) would light up and Aunty would ask (not knowing English and eyeing the box of chocolates), Bir yumurshak var mu? Is there a soft one? To this day, I remember that phrase, because we kids HATED soft centered chocolates and if at home, would furtively press our thumb under the chocolate to see if white gooey stuff would emerge, and when the goo appeared, we would replace the chocolate in its paper nest to hide the fact that it had been mutilated.
So how do I end this post? What do you say, Harvard Man? Do we get those Godiva Chocolates? Are we at the age yet where we'll have to ask, Bir yumurshak var mu?