Brown on a couple who could only talk to each other using M&Ms.
"2 Days Left."
No, this hasn't turned into some sleazy pickup column in which the writer tries to hit on random readers.
Those are simply three of the personalized M&Ms used by Ryan Donlon and Jennifer Farina of Philadelphia used to talk to each other during the recently concluded MY Treasured Moments Challenge. After taking a vow of silence in June, the Pennsylvania couple was given $1,000 for each day Ryan and Jennifer could communicate using only MY M&M's candies.
Probably a bag or two of "Love You" M&M's later, how much did the couple earn? Donlon and Farina were handed an oversized check for $31,000 -- the maximum offered -- during a "Breaking of Vow of Silence Ceremony" staged July 26 at Franklin Square in downtown Philadelphia.
When it comes to keeping quiet, except for what you can say with candy, this is one strong relationship.
Of course, what guy wouldn't have loved to be in this silent situation?
During a ball game on TV, he'd get both a silent sweetie and a snack.
Been Here Before
Of course, we've already talked in a column about the benefits and the difficulties of living out life by talking in brief inscriptions on M&M's.
It would take at least four M&M's just to say "You left the toilet seat up again."
But the couple seemed to have weathered the period well.
"Without further ado, I think it's time to break that vow of silence," said a representative of M&M's. "Ryan, Jennifer, go ahead."
With smiles, and giggles, a smooch or two, and a few minor words of greeting, the couple renewed a conversation that had lapsed for a month into simple sugary words and phrases.
"Hey, how've ya been?" said Ryan.
"Pretty good," answered Jennifer.
The words were simple and to the point. The rest of us, who might have added such small talk as "me, too," or "that's good, that's good," and "Whatcha been up to?" could take a lesson.
"You guys are great sports, staying silent for 31 days, You guys look great, you're healthy and happy. So . . . 'Cheers!'"
Raising champagne glasses, the three of them then toasted the couple's renewed ability to speak. Video on the M&M's company's Web site shows a cake, shaped like five M&M candies, being wheeled out in front of the couple. Each large circular section of the cake was decorated with words.
"Some of the popular sayings that the two of you used," explained the M&M spokesman.
The couple laughed in recognition.
"Someone did a really good job on that cake," Ryan said, with evidence of his expertise at being a man being put on display with the comment.
Compliment a cake. Maybe they'll bake you another one. Obviously, it was instinct. They don't teach you that in M&M communication school.
Shortly after embracing and kissing hello, Ryan stepped back and looked deep into the eyes of his significant other.
"Have you seen my brown shoes?"
"Your brown shoes?"
"Yeah, I don¹t know where they are."
Apparently, they just don't make M&M's for every occasion.
Reach Repository Living Section Editor Gary Brown at (330) 580-8303 or firstname.lastname@example.org.