I was in Norwich today.  My daughter set off about the same time to meet a friend in Hyde Park.  I sent her a text from the train. It said:

Have fun sweetheart. Don't take any candy from strangers. See you later. xxxx Mum

I’m not a particularly protective mother. And weirdly (for a Jew) I’m not a worrier either. But she was off her usual turf, and I added the candy warning just to remind her to keep her wits about her.

About three hours later, I got a call in Norwich.

“Mum! Guess what????  The most incredible thing happened!!! I got a job!!! In a sweet shop!”

I put down my copy of the Guardian, where I’d been reading about the horrible fate of women trafficked for sex.  “You what?

“I got a job in a sweet shop!!!!! Isn’t it the most amazing thing ever?????”

Yes.  Amazing. Apparently she and her friend had shown such expertise on the subject while frequenting the Serpentine Sweets van, that the proprietor (a woman — “she’s old mum, like YOUR age”) offered them both a job.

(Something about this reminds me of the time I was walking the dogs and my big one, who lives for food, returned from a small forage in the bushes with an entire steak and kidney pie in his mouth. He looked so happy, I couldn’t bear to take it off him. I am cruel, obviously, being the mother of a teenager. But even I have limits.)

My daughter continued. “And we get as much as we like to eat too!!!!!”

Oh joy and rapture.

So.

A.  Why do parents even bother giving advice?

B.  Don’t panic.  I’m keeping a close eye on this.

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9 thoughts on “Don’t take candy from strangers. No really. I mean it. Hello?

  1. Ray Hewitt 5 years ago

    I gave some Iraqi kids army boiled sweets once … am fairly sure in hindsight that violated the Geneva Convention on many levels – I hope they recovered

    1. Meg 5 years ago

      Surely it’s the thought that counts?

  2. Sharon Creech 5 years ago

    Will you do a book of these posts? Really. I mean it. Really.

    1. Meg 5 years ago

      I think you and my mother would be the only buyers. And also let’s not forget that the pictures are very important — and used entirely illegally and without permission. Oops.

  3. Marilyn Brocklehurst 5 years ago

    I’d buy it too. Definitely. And sell it too. You were in Norwich and so close to us in the seventeen miles away sense of the word. Aw.

  4. Bazza 5 years ago

    These days telling a teenager not to take sweets from strangers would probably be seen as a challenge to defy the advice!
    Are you eating matzohs this week? I am. Got no choice!
    Bazza’s Blog ‘To Discover Ice’

  5. Kirsten Baron 5 years ago

    re Sampling the Merchandise: of course it would be better if she’d got a job in a greengrocers. It’s rather unlikely that she’d gorge on broccoli, but one can always hope. Still, there are more labour-intensive perks than sweets: my daughters both work in a greyhound kennel. And yes, they bring home all the dogs they can carry. Currently there are four, plus our little old three-legged lurcher. It’s getting difficult to find a space on the sofa.

    1. Meg 5 years ago

      Ah, you made me laugh, Kirsten. We already have two lurchers so another three or four would probably drive me to drink. Candy it is, then…..

  6. Kirsten Baron 5 years ago

    P.S. I agree with the previous posters about the publishability of your bloggings. You could always hire an illustrator/graphic designer to recreate the stolen pictures in a non-copyright infringing manner. Someone like ME (nudge/wink).

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