And asking someone to name their preferred brand of chocolate when you don't have any chocolate on your person at the time is a pretty dangerous activity, along the lines of wearing a tight skirt with a split up the side to a country-western bar on a Friday night when you're not interested in dating.
And when I say that people "love" their chocolate, I am not being hyperbolic. I am carefully using the word "love" in the same way it's used in wedding vows and other sacred rituals, such as opera: We're talking about devotion, loyalty, the acknowledgment of eccentric tastes, and an overwhelming sense of connection to others in the same state of mind.
This theory was tested right in front of me at a wedding where the couple, very cutely, had arranged for two-piece boxes of Godiva wrapped with pretty white ribbons to be placed in front of every guest's setting at dinner. You should have seen the guests loot and steal these babies. It was like a bunch of 6-year-old stealth eaters had emerged from underneath sophisticated adult veneers. Women were shoving these boxes into tiny evening handbags, getting in as many as 12 at a time. Men were less concerned with the hunting-and-gathering, delayed-gratification aspect, and ate the chocolates directly by fil1ing up their cheeks like gerbils. Elderly relatives were easy targets, and their stuff was gone right away, although they did get to keep the centerpieces.
We should not stint on chocolate, especially at this crucial time when most of us are so busy cutting all those other sins from our lives. Better to abandon coveting and adultery, better to eschew deceit and greed, better to forgo false idols than live on chocolate substitutes or worse, deny ourselves any chocolate at all. Perhaps permitting ourselves, without too much argument or reluctance, to take pleasure in what is truly sweet will help us give up all those other, more bitter indulgences.
Or maybe not, but imagine what fun it could be seeing whether it will work.
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