Happy Valentines Day

by Anne Bennett on February 14, 2010

My mother, whose nickname was Minerva, loved to tell the story about when she got a box of chocolates on Valentine’s Day from my two eldest brothers, Pat and Frank. This happened in the late 1940’s when the boys, who were 14 months apart in age and a mischievous pair, were very young.

Whitman's was the nation's first boxed selection of different kinds of candy.

In 1915, Whitman’s became the nation’s first, and most popular, boxed selection of different kinds of candy.

They had walked to the five-and-dime in Chico, California, and bought her a two-layer Whitman’s Sampler. But later when she opened the box, she found two cotton handkerchiefs on the top layer where candy had been. You can probably guess what happened. Temptation struck on the way home; they dipped into the box for the proverbial “sample” and ended up eating the whole top layer, after which they had to return to the store for something to fill in the empty space.

Actually, this was not entirely a bad thing. Think of the Weight Watcher Points they saved her, not to mention the story she got to tell for the next 50 some-odd years.

So here is my wish for you on this 2017 Valentine’s Day: that you receive a beautiful, calorie-free bouquet of flowers instead of candy, but if you do get chocolate, may it resemble Minerva’s box of Whitman’s and be missing a layer.

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