Goodbye, Ghiradelli – The Night Chocolate Took Me Down
Why is it the one thing you want the most is usually the one you shouldn’t have? Maybe even can’t have? When I’m writing, I’m dealing with the relationship between the guy and the girl and all the reasons it could never work — wrong guy, wrong family, wrong time, wrong history . . . the list continues until the transformation and the epiphany when wrong turns right and the couple becomes perfect for one another. AKA a happy ending.
Except in real life when wrong really is wrong. I’m not talking about a relationship here, well not a human relationship anyway. What I’m writing about today is my love affair with chocolate and the tragic ending that still haunts me.
I love reading about other authors and their little idiosyncrasies. It creates a connection, makes them more human, and when I’m reading their work, I think about these odd tidbits. So, here’s my confession. I love chocolate — dark chocolate especially. Let’s talk chocolate flourless cake drizzled with raspberry sauce, (you can even skip the sauce and go for the extra chocolate), Caribou dark chocolate graham crackers, (you can eat 2 for under 300 calories), Chocolate Lava cake, (need I say more?), and my very own delicious obsession— Ghirardelli Triple Chocolate Brownies. There is no such thing as eating a piece of anything chocolate, at least not for me. I start out with a nice size and then begin the fine art of shaving slices, bit by bit, or picking out chunks of chocolate chips until to my surprise and shock, I’ve eaten another whole piece. I know I shouldn’t. Calories and sugar rush aside, I get migraines and this is a major trigger. Does it, or should I say, did it stop me? Not any more than the woman drawn to Mr. Worse-than-Wrong.
But, fate intervened and put an end to my errant ways. The date? November 16, 2010. The time? Approximately 8:00 p.m. The players? Me and a box of Duncan Hines Triple Chocolate Decadent Cake mix made in a Bundt pan. For ease of reference, I’ll call it The Chocolate Bundt. It took me down quick, fast, and in a blurred hurry because all of the other migraine triggers were in place; too little sleep, stressful day, barometric pressure changes and over-tiredness. The icing on this migraine was 1/3 of The Chocolate Bundt. I lost three days to a killer migraine that I do not care to dwell on other than to say, it made me quit chocolate, cold turkey and that was before my neurologist suggested permanently removing it from my list of major food groups. I composed the following letter as a final farewell to my beloved Ghirardelli, who while not the culprit, remains my greatest temptation, even after all these months.
Goodbye Ghirardelli. You were my darkest temptation and I will never forget you, but I can’t see you again, not even from a distance. If you ever cared about me, do not seek me out or attempt to persuade me with one more taste. You are too tempting and I fear I will be unable to resist you. Oh, how I wish we’d had a proper goodbye, but how could we when I never thought there would be a goodbye?
I wish that fateful day eight months ago had come at your hands and not The Chocolate Bundt. How sad the last time I would taste chocolate would be from a decidedly inferior Bundt which lacked the rich decadence of your Triple Chocolate Brownie. Is that why I didn’t stop at one piece? Didn’t stop until I’d eaten 1/3 of the cake? Not all at once, of course. Let’s make this clear; you know my tricks.
Christmas presented a challenge but I was still shell-shocked and stayed away from the dessert table. By Valentine’s Day, I could walk by the bags of specialty dark chocolate pretzels without salivating. At Easter, I dumped Reese’s peanut butter eggs, Ferrero Rocher and Cadbury eggs into the grocery cart without looking back. But then one day I went to Costco and there you were, Ghirardelli, all 7.5 lbs of you staring back at me. Triple Chocolate and all. Did you really have to pimp yourself out like that? Could you not have come in a smaller size, maybe not a three pack? And why weren’t you more expensive so maybe others like me would think twice before tossing you in the cart? And why, oh why, did you have to taste so good?
I’ll never forget you but I still can’t forget the migraine that put me on the bathroom floor, cheek pressed to the cold tile. Let’s face it; the end was only a matter of time. Why do you think I asked my husband to hide you when he was at work? The more I tasted you, the more I wanted. We were doomed from the first bite. I doubt there will ever be another sweet like you, but sugar cookies, while rather ordinary, are dependable and there’s something to be said for that. You were the flash, the rush, the burst and I almost flamed out because of you. I’m wiser now. Farewell, Ghirardelli. I will remember you always.
Okay, so the next time you hear my name or read something about me, maybe even when you read one of my books, have a piece of chocolate. And enjoy!