16 December 2004


I have never liked chocolate.

I remember being at a birthday party when I was about four, weeping and moaning because the cake was chocolate, and I already knew that I hated hated hated chocolate. Of course, the other kids didn't take much notice, except to fight over who got to eat my piece.

I can't stand fudge of any sort, brownies are gross, chocolate ice cream, chocolate syrup, death by chocolate -- they can all go to hell. I have, on several occasions, actually ranted to the staff at restaurants about the oppressive hegemony of chocolate-based desserts on dessert menus. For crying out loud, like there is no other sort of yummy after-dinner treat? Honestly! Take a look at a dessert menu sometime! Sure, there might be a nod to the non-chocoholics among us, like a cup of watery sherbet or some tepid apple pie, but this is so clearly the post-prandial equivalent of putting a menorah next to the creche on the village green that it's more insulting than inclusive.

And although there were occasional episodes of yearning for a bag of peanut M&Ms when I was a teenager -- and I hardly think M&Ms count as chocolate, more just as junk food in a more general way -- I have remained steadfast in my dislike of the cocoa derivative.

So now it's December, I'm 33, and I'm in a bit of a funk these days. I've got the blues. Une malaise formidable. An indefinable, existential bleargh. I've done just about everything I can think of to shake this fog of yuck, including talk for an insanely long and expensive period of time with my best friend on the phone, stride out daily on brisk, invigorating walks through the woods and along the river, listen to old soul records whilst bubble-bathing in the glow of white votive candles and sandalwood incense, cook a great meal, dust and reorganize my rock collection, sleep late, wake early, get drunk, stay sober, chill, fume, seethe, and cry.

Tonight my prescription involved a modest glass of chianti, a book on the history of the English language, and Billy Holiday. At the end of the chapter on Middle English, I got up and padded over to the fridge to check on the defrosting chicken, and spied... a mini Toblerone bar that my husband pocketed at the concierge desk in Amsterdam. With a shrug, I took it back to the couch, opened my book, and swilled a little chianti and Toblerone.


I get it now.

Can I have more please?

Maybe, like, lots more?

Now would be good. For me, I mean. Would that work for you? Because now is good for me.

Thank you, and good night.

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