Childhood Summer Fun: Tea Party With Hostess Cupcakes

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A free package of cupcakes! That sounded great to me.

When I was 4 years old, my mother and I took daily walks to the grocery store in the summer. The icebox didn’t keep meat very well, so this was a usual occurrence. One day the clerk showed us some new cupcakes with a cream filling and asked, “Wouldn’t you and your little girl like to try these new cupcakes that are just out on the market? They are made by the Hostess Company and cost a nickel for a package of two. In fact, you can have a free package, so you will know how good they taste.”

A free package of Hostess cupcakes! That sounded great to me. As I thought about it, I surmised that those chocolate cupcakes would taste much better than my mud pies, and a plan began to form in my mind. Why can’t I just walk to the store each day and get a free package for my playhouse in back of the garage, I wondered. What a great idea!

This went on for a few days. Mom thought I was playing in back of the garage while I sneaked down the alley and walked to the grocery store. I picked up a package of the Hostess cupcakes and put them on the counter for the clerk to see, still thinking they were free. Later, I enjoyed them when I had a tea party with my dolls. “They sure do taste better than mud pies!” I told myself proudly, mentally patting myself on the back for being so clever.

One day, however, when Mom and I went to the store, the clerk said to my mother, “Your little girl is sure charging a lot of Hostess cupcakes!” I was shocked as this knowledge was revealed.

“You mean they aren’t free!” I exclaimed.

My mom just looked at me and smiled. When we got home, I hid in the closet. I was completely mortified. I didn’t mean to have done wrong, and I felt bad. My mother finally called me out and explained things to me.

It was back to making mud pies for me!

Hutchinson, Kansas

Read more reader-submitted summer memories in Memories of Summer Fun.