This morning I was a guest speaker for a social service organization. I’d been asked to talk about “How Not to Gain Weight” while traveling. As people arrived, one particular woman hovered around me, reminding me of a helicopter parent waiting for me to do something very bad. I decided to be proactive and asked her name and about her connection with the organization.DSC_5539

“Forgive me for watching you,” she responded, “but I want to see if you’re going to eat anything fattening.”

I allowed myself to focus intently at the sweets table by my elbow, as if it was my first glance, not letting on for a second that I was dizzy from the sugary air and blinded by the calorie-rich assortment. I looked like a goody two shoes dieter/workout person on the outside; on the inside, I wanted to pop a few cream puffs into my mouth followed by a mini-cannoli and a few Italian wedding knot cookies without messing up my lipstick. Instead I graciously leaned across the table to grab a huge platter of goodies, “Would you like a cookie?”

“No, it’s too close to the season for me to eat sweets,” she replied with a straight, serious face.

“Mating season?” I asked, missing the connection.

“Valentine’s Day. The beginning of the New Year’s Candy Season. Whoever made love synonymous with chocolate?”image1 (3)

“Hershey’s? Godiva?”

“Apparently you do not suffer like the rest of us,” she moaned. “It’s all downhill now. Valentine’s Day rolls into Easter, and Mother’s Day, not to mention Chocolate Mint Day, American Chocolate Week, Chocolate-Covered Raisin Day, and National Nutty Fudge Day along with all the others!” Her voice cracked, tears welled, “My husband will show me his love with a two-pound box of chocolates!”

“Roses have no calories,” I offered. “Tell him no chocolates, or don’t open the box, or re-gift it to someone you love or hate!”

She straightened up, having regained her strength. She looked powerful, strong and fully in control. “Why would I do that? I love chocolate.”

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