It Ain’t Sex, But it Gets Me Through the Day

I wouldn’t say I “love” chocolate, but I definitely “like like” it. It’s an affair that started early in my childhood as a fat boy and continues to this day. In many ways, it has been a longer commitment than my marriage. I can’t remember where I was or what I was doing the first time I had chocolate but if I had to guess I was at my Irish grandmothers apartment and she shoved it in my face to stop me from crying. It’s a technique I have used on myself many times since.

Mary El once said when she was a kid, “I love bacon’s salty little face,” which her family reminds her about frequently. To ease her embarrassment, let me add here that I love chocolate’s creamy little face as well. It just makes life a little nicer. The seas a little calmer. The depression a little…less gloomy.

You can break it down and explain that the reason chocolate works so well as an antidepressant is that is contains caffeine and sugar that stimulate you into feeling better. Or maybe it encourages those pleasure centers in the brain to create some kind of chemical happiness, like sex does. Personally I don’t care. If it’s a brain trick, then call me deceived and hand over the candy bar. And I’ll chase it with a cup of coffee, light and sweet. It ain’t sex, but it’ll get me through the day.

If all this sounds a lot like crack addiction, well…yeah, pretty much. If I don’t get my chocolate I am one cranky, jonesing, strung-out junkie. I will knife someone. I will degrade myself for a fix. If I had hair it would be unkempt. I get black circles under my eyes and I have offered to sell my children (actually I’ve done that without chocolate being involved, so I guess it doesn’t count). I’ll hang around in dark parking lots, looking for shady characters offering a Chunky, or a Snickers, or Hershey’s Symphony. When I say I’m looking for Mister Goodbar, I’m talking literally.

Halloween is a particular favorite of mine because I have two children who are still on the free candy gravy train. If I could get away with it I would take them out at 5pm, bring them home to change costumes and take them out again at 7. Anything to pimp one more Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup out of them. And I do believe there is a special place in heaven for those who hand out full-sized candy bars. I also think there’s a ring in hell for those who still give pennies and an apple. No one’s collected for UNICEF since the late seventies and everyone knows apples have razors in them, dammit, so spend a buck and pony up the good stuff! And no bubble gum, please, they have spider eggs in them. CHOC-O-LATE! CHOC-O-LATE! Don’t make me toilet paper your trees!

Sorry about that, I was having a flashback. Not that I ever papered anything worse than my bedroom wall when I was a kid. If someone gave me pennies, I probably would have just said “thank you” a bit less earnestly. Schmucky fat kid.

People have tried to define my addiction by calling me a “chocoholic”, which I guess would make my condition “chocoholism”. A twelve-step program seems necessary. I am powerless against chocolate. It owns me. I believe there is a higher power and its name is Nestle. I made a moral inventory and counted two t-shirts, several pair of underwear, and four pairs of socks covering my secret chocolate stash. It is useless to inventory the chocolate since it will not be there past tomorrow. I began to make a list of all the people I harmed due to my chocolate addiction, but halfway through I got hungry for a sweet. I made amends to Mary Ellen for forcing her into an untenable position by saying both, “don’t buy this crap anymore, all I do is stuff my face with it and feel bad afterward”, and, soon after, “do we have anything sweet in the house?” The emotional roller-coaster she’s had to endure on a daily basis due to my weakness is more than she should have to bear. I bought her a bag of Lindt’s truffles to make it up to her and ate half of them on the way home.

Oh, I give up. Anyone got a Cadbury Fruit ‘n Nut bar?

    • Kae
    • April 10th, 2011

    I love Lindt’s Truffles! Robert and I love chocolate, too. Chocolate + coffee = heaven.

  1. If I don’t have one or both every day, I feel like it was a missed opportuniy.

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