With Valentine’s Day just a month away, I am bracing myself for the cherry red heart shape decorations invading the stores and the guilt-inducing TV commercials you couldn’t miss even if you wanted to. Yes, you will feel guilty if you don’t buy your significant other an expensive piece of diamond jewelry, a designer hand bag or something from the latest fashion catalog (Are you listening, dear husband of mine?) Yet it’s such a conflicting holiday. For most people, you either love it or hate it-there is no middle of the road, it seems. Me? I absolutely, 100%, without a single doubt in my mind love it and it’s not because I have someone special. Nope, none of that. In fact, I’ve loved it for most of my teen years, even during my awkward stages of braces and acne. I have loved it for most of my twenties when I was dating plenty and trying to find myself in the process. And I loved it during my thirties and up when I’ve settled into married life with a family. Why?
One simple word: chocolate!
Chocolate in heart shaped boxes, chocolate in the shape of a rose on a wired stem, chocolate held by an adorable teddy bear. I love chocolate and it loves me back (except when I get on the scale in the morning after a bender). It’s the most delicious thing I have ever tasted in my life. It melts on my tongue and excites my taste buds like nothing else ever has. It’s sooo rich and sweet! And it never lets me down. It never judges me either, even as I search for it during a late night or wee hours snack raid, bundled up in my flannel pajamas, fuzzy slippers on, trying to quietly feel myself about the kitchen without turning the lights on for fear of being caught in the act by a family member.
And February 14th is the only time of the year I can indulge in my passion for chocolate without feeling guilty! I can eat it openly and proudly without cowering under my bed blankets. I do not have to look over my shoulder as I unwrap the chocolate bar I have hidden way in the back of the pantry shelf, behind that box of mac’n cheese. I don’t have to worry about being caught red-handed, mid-bite, a mouthful of evidence … in hand. I need not try to quickly wipe my mouth and fingers clean of any incriminating chocolate markings.
So this year, I have decided to send myself a Valentine Day gift and it will be a box filled with something dark, sweet and good to eat. Can you guess what that is?