It's no big secret that I am a candy lover.
(Something I'm trying to conquer btw)
I enjoy a wide variety of sweets, but chocolate has been a favorite indulgence my entire life. Nothing ground breaking there of course, who doesn't love chocolate?
Umm, my daughter Courtney for one. But, I digress.
A few weeks ago we received the latest Costco Coupon book in the mail. It didn't have a coupon for the 8-pack-of-300-count-box-of-Kleenex I was hoping for (hopefully next time) but it did have another one of my favorite and most highly valued coupons I've come to expect every third time or so.
2.50 off a bag of M&Ms limit 2
Ahh yes. Nothing like saving five bucks on approximately 120 ounces of sweet, crunchy, candy coated, chocolate heaven.
I got one bag of peanut and one of plain.
I tend to favor peanut slightly more, I have to admit, but sometimes the simplicity of a handful of plain M&Ms can fulfill that craving for chocolate like nothing else on Earth.
Okay, 10:26 that evening.
Two, as yet unopened, nicely discounted, jumbo sized, bags of M&Ms sitting there on my dresser.
Were they calling my name?
Of course they were. And the fact that I was headed in to my bathroom to brush my teeth before hitting the sheets did not escape my mind. I decided that a small handful of Peanut M&Ms before I brushed my teeth wouldn't really hurt anything.
I opened the big, yellow, bag. I took probably 7 umm, fine, 12 of those tasty little morsels.
Chew, chew. . chew. . . . chew?
What the . . . . . .
Something was not right with those Peanut M&Ms.
They were chewy. They were soggy. They were not the same chocolaty treat that I have been enjoying for most of my 53 years.
It was like someone had bag-jacked my newly acquired, jumbo bag of Peanut M&Ms and filled it with, what I can only guess. . . . generic, candy coated chocolate pieces, must taste like.
(I have always wondered about those strange imitators. Who on earth would buy fake M&Ms???????)
I went back to the bag and took out a few more. This time I dug to the bottom. (As if that would make any difference.) Yuck, yuck and
Going against every natural instinct I've ever had, I threw that handful of those (so called) Peanut M&Ms AWAY.
Needless to say, sleep did NOT come easy that night. I couldn't stop thinking about what on earth had happened to M&Ms. Why would they change a formula that was perfect. Was the M&M/Mars company so hurt by the current economy that they had come up with a new recipe for M&Ms that saved money.
This isn't as ridiculous as it may sound.
I KNOW that the cream inside Oreos has been changed. The truly subversive thing is that it seems every other bag of Oreos I buy, the creamy white filling tastes pretty much like it always has. But then I will buy a bag and there is a definite difference in taste and texture.
I also know that my once loved JUJYFRUITS changed their formula several months ago. I can't describe the difference other than they now taste watery. Needless to say I've kicked my Jujyfruits habit.
Okay, back to my M&Ms problem.
Like I say, I did not sleep well that night. This is slightly embarrassing to admit to but hey, this is for posterity after all. I think I must have spent close to two hours coming up with a contingency plan. I was going to go to Walmart, Fred Meyer, Target and maybe even Walgreens and buy up as many bags of M&Ms as I could.
I figured that most stores had not yet been infiltrated by these new inedible M&Ms. I was going to secure for myself at least a year's supply of the old ones. I was even deliberating over the best methods to make them last. At one point I was almost ready to get up out of bed and draw up an M&Ms consumption chart.
I realized that I would most likely be called upon at some point to share.
I decided it would only be with immediate family. (Yes, of course that included my grandchildren. What kind of a monster do you think I am.)
I don't really remember when or how I fell asleep. But I know that my last conscious thought was that I would call the 800 number on the bag as soon as I woke up.
And I did.
As I sat there wading through all of the different options, (You know, that sweet computer voice that tries so hard to not let you talk to a REAL person) I reminded myself to stay calm. Funny how you can manage calm and rational much easier in the light of day than at 11:45 at night.
I actually got through to someone pretty quickly. A pleasant young woman named Angie. I was a little flustered at first. I realized that I should have planned my strategy before I got to a real person.
What to do? What to do?
Do I start out by demanding answers? Do I ask why on earth the M&M Mars Company has messed with perfection. Or do I take the sympathy, sob story route. Hmm.
I settled for middle ground.
I simply told Angie that I had been to Costco the night before and had bought 2 bags of M&Ms. I described their taste and texture. And then I ended with a short, heartfelt plea, to change the formula back to how it was.
I was asked if I had the bag close by.
I was asked to give her all of the pertinent numbers on said bag.
A few moments of silence followed.
Oh Please, Oh Please, Oh Please!
Angie got back to me a few minutes later. With some interesting news, AND some really good news. She gave me the interesting news first. Apparently, the bag of Peanut M&Ms I had in my possession should never have been sent out.
They had only been manufactured the week before. They needed time to ripen. Yes you heard me right. THEY WERE NOT RIPE!
She promised me that the recipe for M&Ms had not been changed. There is however a ripening process that takes a couple of months before they are shipped out to stores all over America to be enjoyed by people like me. She told me the best thing to do with my, way too fresh, jumbo sized bags of M&Ms would be to put them somewhere preferrably cool and dark and let them sit for about 6 to 8 weeks.
Now for the really good news. She told me that she would be sending me several coupons to make it up to me for having been unfortunate enough to have gotten my hands on a couple of bags of unripe M&Ms. The coupons came less than a week later. There were two 5 dollar ones, good for any M&M/Mars products and then two 1 dollar ones.
WOW! Twelve dollars in coupons! Was it wrong of me to feel like I had just hit the M&Ms JACKPOT? I decided. . . .
I had bought them from Costco in good faith. I had spent a sleepless night. Damn right I should get some kind of compensation.
So that's my story.
I hope that you will remember this if you ever end up with your own unripe bag of M&Ms. As for me, I am almost finished with my last big bag that I got with one of those 5 dollar coupons.
The (sweet) End