Layers of life.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

In the Name of Chocolate

In thinking of a name for my blog, I thought, What identifies me? What about me makes me, me? What is something I love passionately, besides my husband and my children, and isn’t breaking any laws? Chocolate.

My husband says I’m addicted to chocolate. I think of it more as something I need to eat every day, and it helps me be happy. Like medication, you say? Hmmm, so if we put those two things together, could you say I’m addicted to my medication? Ha! Of course not.

Hold on, let me just eat a piece of chocolate real quick.

OK, better. Now, what was I saying? Oh yeah! Chocolate addiction? Absurd! Did you know that the average American eats 20 lbs of chocolate every year? And that without the Spanish exploration of the New World, chocolate would not be a world-wide phenomenon today? (How do I turn on the Food Network channel at just the time Marc Summers is talking about how chocolate is made? And the History Channel just when “The History of Chocolate” is being aired? I call it, “Divine Providence.” Or maybe it is the devil trying to fuel my "addiction.")

Back to the chocolate addiction. 20 lbs of chocolate a year? Try a month, baby. That’s right. And none of this Hershey’s junk, either. My preference is Ghirardelli. I buy a 24 oz. gold bag from Wal-Mart for $10, and a 28 oz. purple bag for $15 (this bag is sometimes on sale for $12—watch for it.) And it takes me about a month to go through that, with my children and my husband taking their bit as well.

I don’t try to hide my chocolate. Everyone in my family knows where I put it. It’s useless with this many people in our little house to try to hide it. Besides, I have nothing to hide—it’s not like it’s an addiction or anything…

Actually, when I was first married I did hide my chocolate. That’s what my mom always did, so I did it. But then Joe would find it and tease me about hiding chocolate from him. I think he was a little offended and thought I was selfish—like I didn’t want to share my chocolate with him! I DID want to share my chocolate with him—every favorite chocolate piece, every flavor; I wanted to eat it together and talk about it and share one of my favorite things in the world with him!

I thus began leaving the chocolate out in the open, and whaddya think happened? He ate it ALL! Gone! I had maybe two bites. You see, he didn’t understand the concept that chocolate connoseurs like myself do: Chocolate is not to be eaten to be eaten; chocolate is eaten to be tasted and enjoyed.

I then bought my chocolate secretly and hid it so well he never found it. The problem was, I never found it, either. Until weeks or sometimes months went by. I hid it too well!

So I figured, “out of sight, out of mind” would have to work for poor my poor husband. I had to teach him; to restrain him; to guide him. I was a chocolate whisperer of sorts. It was up to me to help my husband understand how precious and important chocolate was!

And it has worked. I put my chocolate in my bedroom cupboard, up high so little non-understanding fingers can’t reach it, but right there in front so everyone can see it when I open my cupboard to put on my watch or earrings.

The children can’t have any unless I’m eating some and they ask politely. The hubby occasionally consumes some when I’m not around, but it’s usually when I am eating some as well—he has really improved! There is no limit to the amount I can eat in a day, but I try to keep it under four squares. I do limit my children generally to one a day (if we don’t put limits on our children, no one will. More on that to come in another posting…) And of course I don’t limit my husband—I never have. What do you think I am, a NAZI wife? Just a little nudge here, and a gentle shove there. Chocolate whisperer That’s all.

The children also know my chocolate is special. It’s not something we just eat to eat. It’s a “treat.” Is there any other way to eat chocolate, other than considering it a “treat?” That’s the magical thing about it—it’s so good and rich, you can’t possibly eat it ALL the time. When you’ve accomplished something and feel you deserve a reward, what better reward than to eat chocolate? Maybe you’re tired and need a little pick-me-up? Chocolate. And when you’re feeling down, chocolate will ALWAYS make you feel happy.

So, yes—“chocolate” had to be in the title of my personal essay & poetry blog. My family and close friends all know I passionately love chocolate. And what could be better than chocolate? Layers of chocolate.