All I really need is love, but a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt! ~Charles Schulz
When a friend recently told me she didn’t care for chocolate, I didn’t know how to react.
“I thought the world was full of chocoholics,” I said, “with me at the top of the list. I can’t get enough of it, especially the dark stuff.”
“What do you like in place of chocolate?” I asked her (as if anything could replace chocolate)! "Peppermint? Butterscotch? Lemon?"
She explained that she prefers salty snacks – especially popcorn – to sweet ones. Always has.
I guess when something seems like the norm to us, it’s hard to accept that others may be different. We once took our grandson to an ice cream store that had 36 different flavors. When he ordered vanilla, without even considering any of the others, I laughed at him, and then promptly ordered chocolate for myself.
I was born loving chocolate! Once, when I was very young, my mother baked a beautiful cake for a church dinner. She placed it on the kitchen table and went to get ready for the event. I kept eyeing that cake, with at least half-inch thick chocolate frosting swirling all over it, until I couldn’t resist the temptation any longer.
She’d never know if I just scraped a tiny bite off with my finger and tasted it, I thought. Ummmm! It was every bit as good as it looked. Maybe just one more tiny taste. So my little index finger helped itself to one more bite... and another, and another until the poor cake was almost devoid of frosting.
When my mother walked into the kitchen and saw what I’d done, she almost fainted! Shrinking from her angry glare, I said meekly, “I just wanted to taste it.”
As I’ve said before, my mother was very strict. It was her belief that no teaching is effective except as it springs out of experience. So I had to learn a lesson from experience that day. Again.
She said, “Okay. You tasted it. Did you like it?” I nodded.
“That’s good, because now you can eat the whole cake – every bite of it – all by yourself!”
That wasn’t good news for me because, although I loved icing, I didn’t care much for cake – especially cake without icing!
Didn’t matter. For the next several days, every time I wanted a cookie or a piece of candy, Mother would hand me a piece of cake. At first, it wasn’t so bad, but after about three days, that cake was beginning to dry out and I was having a hard time getting it down.
When my parents enjoyed after-dinner dessert, I was given a piece of dry cake! I finally began to pick at it, sulking, until my mother would tell me to go to my room. I was beginning to think I’d never finish that cake, but, when there was about a third of it left, I got up one morning and it was gone. I looked all around the kitchen~ even in the refrigerator, but it wasn’t there!
Sheepishly, I asked, “Where’s the cake?”
“Funny thing,” Mother said, “When I got up this morning, the cake was gone; there were only a few crumbs left on the plate. Maybe your daddy took it to work in his lunch box.” Even at that young age, I recognized pretense when I heard it. And followed suit...
“Or maybe a big rat came in and ate it during the night,” I said gleefully.
“Maybe,” she agreed, with a big smile.
Needless to say, I learned my lesson. The hard way. But, looking back, it wasn’t so bad!
It was, after all, a chocolate cake!