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Candy OCD: One Gummy, Two Gummy, Red Gummy, Blue Gummy

Categories: Candy,Gummi/Gummy Candy

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Gummy Bears

Recently I called my husband at work and asked him the usual, “So, whatcha’ doing?” To which he replied, “Sorting gummy bears, actually.” Hmmm. On the one hand, not exactly being a productive employee. On the other, it was clear he had caught my candy-sorting disease! (CSD for short.) I’ve “suffered” from CSD for as long as I can remember. As long as the candy in question is small, has more than two colors, and is “sortable” by some means, it’s fair game. Skittles, M&Ms, gummi bears…you name it, I’ll sort it.

Pouring out the bag of treats, I first sort them into colour groups and then follow quite a complex eating method. Suffice it to say that it takes quite a while to get to the end of a bag! Over time I’ve met many people who have the same habit of eating candy in some sort of defined procedure.

Some are very obsessive about it while others just have small habits or rituals which they follow. My own case of CSD means that when I go to a party, the bowl of unsorted candy drives me slowly insane. I find myself literally itching to pour the bowl out and start sorting! It’s a killer for one’s social life, let me tell you.

Admittedly, as a result of this total craziness habit, I don’t really eat things “sortable” candy all that often. Frankly, other people start to look at you funny, and it takes time/space to do it in. On the plus side, the whole sorting thing can be quite relaxing. I’m willing to bet it’s cheaper than yoga or therapy!

My further research has shown that candy sorting is actually an educational tool! Microsoft education has an entire lesson plan devoted to this – and uses M&M sorting for teaching graphs and spreadsheets. Kairos Scientific uses M&M sorting to demonstrate Digital Imaging Spectroscopy, while AtoZ Teacher Stuff uses sorting candy wrappers as a way to teach the use of Venn diagrams. All of these examples just go to show that I’m not obsessive…I’m just – ahem – furthering my education.

Now is the time to come out of the CSD closet, dear Candy Addict readers! Who else is out there making little piles of candy on their kitchen tables?

M&M’s, MMs



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16 Responses to “Candy OCD: One Gummy, Two Gummy, Red Gummy, Blue Gummy”

  1. 1
    Spoodles says:

    I get those big Costco tubs of Jelly Beans. I don’t split them up (that may be a little saner). Instead, I use an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of how many beans per flavor there are. By the way, they appear to be entirely random (sometimes you get a lot of one flavor, other times a little).

    So far, the lowest in a jug–4 Cantoloupe-flavored. The highest–73 A&W root beers.

    I have more data but I’ve outed myself enough.

  2. 2
    Shopping Jen says:

    I sometimes sort my M&M’s and my Smarties. You sort by color, then you eat down the colors that have more until all the colors have the same amount. Then you eat evenly across the colors.

    I remember once a couple of decades ago I was watching the Today Show. It was Christmas, and they always did a small, on-air gift exchange among the on-air talent. Jane Pauley, a known chocoholic, was given a 5-lb. bag of M&M’s.

    In a segment a little later as they sat chatting to fill time, Jane explained how you have to sort M&M’s by color and eat them evenly. I think she may even have set up a few lines of color-sorted M&M’s on the table in front of them. OMG, I thought – it’s not just me!

  3. 3
    Beck says:

    Yep, I’m a sorter. Skittles are the worst for me. I do it the same way Shopping Jen does.

  4. 4
    laura says:

    oh my gosh, i am the ultimate jelly belly sorter. I’ve been doing it since i was in elementary school, at first recording data in a notebook,but yes, i too eventually graduated to using Excel. i still have lists of the number of each kind i had, even for flavors that have now been discontinued!

  5. 5
    Brian says:

    DANG! Excel spreadsheet!?!? My wife does the sorting too… she actually throws out any odd ones so that she has an even amount of everything. CRAZY! (but I still love her)

    Brian (Candy Addict owner)

  6. 6
    Robert B. says:

    “Hi, my name is Robert… and I am a sorter too.” I started sorting when I discovered that I didn’t have one of each flavor left at the end of my Gummy Bears bag. Since this time, I always take out (and put to the side) at LEAST one of each flavor (sometimes two or three) to save for last.

    Sometimes I do this to mix different flavors (kind of like what people do with Jelly Bellies).

    I mostly do it so I can end on a Good Note. You know, end with a good flavor.

  7. 7
    Dan Neitzel says:

    wow we now have a little support group going here. Well first my friend we go and buy a bag of reeses pieces and she has to sort out the colors and make sure we each get the same amount of each color. for me i do this with skittles and then i eat them from my least favorite flavor (orange) to my most favorite flavor (strawberry).

  8. 8
    MichelleG says:

    Wow – Excel spread sheets! That is some serious candy sorting going on among our Candy Addict readers. I’m totally floored by people having “data” which they can consult. You guys definetly have me beat on this one!

    MichelleG (Off to go buy some M&Ms now!!)

  9. 9
    oakling says:

    oic, the anti-spam words are candy! my first one was “awesome,” which threw me off. So anyway. It IS ocd; I used to do the same thing with my halloween candy and I have plenty of perfectionist, detail-obsessed, picture-straightening, candy-sorting, control-freak
    OCD issues. Fortunately a few years in 12-step programs has relieved me of many of my control issues, so now I just sort the halloween candy once to see what I got instead of for hours like I did when I was a kid!

  10. 10
    tara says:

    … i sort. and i eat the extras in order til they are all paired, and then i start eating them in pairs but such that no two are alike so that i get all sorts of lovely mixed flavors. i am not as ocd as an excel spreadsheet… yet.

    wine gums are the problem for me because i really like the black/purple ones but there are never a lot and i hate when i get mostly yellow….

    i should be working. but now i’m thinking about wine gums.

  11. 11
    Al N says:

    So what’s so strange about sorting candy. I’ve sorted M&Ms for over 40 years. However, eating them based on numerological criteria just doesn’t make sense. I eat sorted M&Ms one color at a time and one M&M at a time. For obvious reasons, the brown ones get eaten first; they are made of the worst chocolate; low grade stuff. After that the order is yellow, orange, and green. These are made of chocolate blends with increasing amounts of better tasting chocolate. Most people can’t tell the difference in these color categories, so just take my word for it. Then comes blue. I really like the color blue, but when they added the blue ones, they tried but didn’t quite outdo the red. The best tasting reds of course are savored till last and eaten as slow as possible. Now doesn’t that make more sense?

  12. 12
    HeatherK says:

    I sort all small candies…m&m’s are the most time consuming though. I’ve done it ever since I was little I would put them in different bowls so they wouldn’t touch each other once they were out of the package.. I don’t go THAT far now but I think I will ALWAYS sort them before I eat them

  13. 13
    RandyforCandy says:

    I a also a sorter i sort them the same way shopping jen does, but then once im down to 1 of each flavor/color i eat them from least favorite to favorite. there for i am a candy adict and a sorter… :)

  14. 14
    Chris says:

    MichelleG linked to this post and I totally had to chime in with a “me, too.” I thought I was the only one who saved one of each for last, to “end on a good note.” LOL That is SO me!

  15. 15
    grecia says:

    ii lo0ve gummy bears

  16. 16
    Cassidy W says:

    I Sort M&M’s, Skittles, & Smarties… I Eat Those The Most.
    I Put Them In Groups By Color First. Then I Line Them Up By The Color Wheel. You Know, Lighter To Darker. Then I Eat Them In That Order, Left To Right. My Mother Does It To. I Sometimes Think I’m OCD Because My Closet Is Sorted By Type (Sewater, Jacket, Nice Shirt, Regular Shirt) Sleeve Length (Tank Tops, Really Short Sleeves, Regular Sleeves, Three Quarter, & Then Long. Then I Put Them By Length Of The Acutal Shirt. If Possible I Then Sort By Color. I ALso Sort Medicine Cabinets, And Pantries. Canned Foods & Such.

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