I found myself in the city on Friday for a night of food and the theatre—dinner at Five Napkin Burger and then Avenue Q at 8pm. As I was walking from Penn up to Michael’s office on 39th and 8th, I passed by a unique individual. He was a man, middle-aged, who was obviously on his way back from the Hershey’s Times Square Store, since he was carrying a yellow M&Ms gift bag, ostensibly filled with chocolately goodness. He was also sporting a gray sweatshirt…with all of the M&M characters on it. Something about this guy immediately made me feel sad. Did he really get so excited about the newly-purchased sweatshirt that he put it on over the collared shirt he was already wearing? It reminded me of going shoe shopping with my mom as a child and wearing my brand new Buster Browns home straight from the store, along with a handy dandy balloon tied to my wrist. But this guy was not six years old, and it wasn’t a sweet new pair of shoes. It was a sweatshirt with M&Ms on it.
Maybe I didn’t have to feel bad for him. Maybe he had splattered ketchup or steak sauce on his shirt when he was having lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe, and just wanted to cover it up. Maybe he was cold. Maybe his wife bought it for him and guilted him into wearing it the minute they left the store. Maybe he just really loves M&Ms, and who am I to judge?
I can rarely go to the city without finding at least one person to feel sorry for. Last time, it was the homeless person who was using an orange traffic cone as a prosthetic leg. This time, it was the Candy Man. I wonder who will be next.