My love affair with chocolate began with the Queen Anne cherries that graced every major event in my mom’s life. We would always manage to pilfer a few and steal away into another room with our bounty. That sweet cherry goodness surrounded by sweet syrupy goodness and encased in milky sweet goodness was just plain sweet goodness all the way through.
It continued through grammar school with the exception of Twix. I departed from that particular inception upon throwing one up the morning of my sixth grade picnic and finding out from my position in front of the porcelain god that at that picnic Charlie kissed Marybeth. I liked Charlie. I blamed the Twix.
After a tragic six month run at McDonalds, I began the job that would seal the deal forevermore. Chocolate was king. I started working at Fannie May. Two days my mother has cried, that are clear in my mind, are the day I got hired and my last day wearing that lovely red smock. That glorious job got me through high school, college, and into my first few years teaching.
To this day I can tell the contents of a chocolate by its color and identifiable squiggles, lines, and markings. I know how stale caramels sound when that winning shot actually hits the welcoming bell that greets customers as they swing the door open. I can tell you how many inches a marshmallow puff will expand when microwaved. (The record stood at 3 by the way) I can tell you that the havoc and frenzy around cream eggs at Easter was warranted. I can retell stories of women who bought pounds of chocolate covered toffee every week to nibble off the chocolate and give the toffee to an undoubtedly robust dog at home. I can describe at great lengths how the texture of a trinidad adds to its deliciousness. I even find myself automatically correcting people when they say “turtles” instead of “pixies.” I can tell you so many things about that red and white striped awninged building.
It’s where I created relationships. With chocolate of course. But it’s also where I went to sigh and wax poetic to the other reds that were my colleagues, about something that was even sweeter than chocolate: a boy who was my friend but who I wanted to be so much more. Maybe I sealed the deal with all that chocolate in my corner because it’s even where I said yes to starting a new life. A life that he knew needs to include chocolate. 🙂
The moment I realized why on EARTH he was coming out of the backroom of the store as I as arriving for work.
December 2002- a sweet lifetime ago