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Life With A Chocoholic
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Life With A Chocoholic
"...there on her hands and knees in the middle of the floor was the chocoholic gobbling the tasty treats like a head of cattle grazing in the pasture. One fist was thrust into the box. The other was used to..."
[1,492 words]
Ben Overby
[April 2002]
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Life With A Chocoholic
Ben Overby

Life With a Chocoholic

Valentine’s Day is a time for sharing gifts of love such as a romantic card, flowers, a quiet dinner for two, or a box of chocolates. Most women can handle the cards, flowers, and dinner but some cannot control themselves when holding a box of rich chocolate in their dainty hands. Some women, maybe more than will ever admit it, are by definition chocoholics.

Chocoholic is really a word. Look it up in a current dictionary if you don’t believe me. The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition, 2000, notes that a chocoholic is a person who craves chocolate. The dictionary also adds the obvious etymology--choc(olate) + (alc)oholic.

Forrest Gump espoused his philosophy of life, noting, “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you are going to get.” It’s a good thing Forrest was explaining this to a gentle old lady. If he had blurted that tripe in the presence of my wife she would have likely gnawed the box right out of his hands leaving him with only a couple of nubs with which to operate his shrimping vessel.

My extraordinarily beautiful wife is–I’m sad to report–a chocoholic. I’ve sensed this for years but now I’m absolutely convinced...and so is she. So, unlike most other husbands, I’m not allowed to give her the gift of chocolate anymore. After reflection I can see how I contributed to her unbridled cravings.

A few weeks ago I rented a movie about a woman who opened a chocolate store in a small French town. I thought the movie was lame. Watching it, I quickly became bored. However, my wife couldn’t take her eyes off the screen. I must admit that I found myself desiring (not craving) a piece of chocolate midway through the movie. But my wife was getting this strange look in her eye. She gazed wide-eyed while various customers were portrayed as coming into the shop slowly sinking their teeth into a slab of chocolate. My wife was looking at the TV like a hungry lion stares down a sick antelope.

Uninterested in the movie, my mind began to wander. I had an idea. I excused myself by announcing, “Dear, I knew I was going to rent this movie, and realizing how much you like chocolate, I bought you a little surprise.” I went to the kitchen, returning with my hands behind my back. My lovely wife was sitting up attentively on the edge of the couch smiling and licking her chops while scenes of chocolate bliss flashed across the TV screen. “I hope you enjoy these,” I said while bringing my hands forward--empty.

I thought the joke was hilarious, instantly bursting into robust laughter. I was laughing alone.

“Why did you do that?” she screeched, looking longingly at my hands and then over my shoulder in hopes that I did actually have the chocolate surprise.

Immediately I knew I had goofed. “I’ll go to the store and buy you some chocolate. Would you like that?” I whimpered.

“No,” she retorted enthusiastically.

I slumped into my chair wishing that I was one of those guys who actually thinks ahead. There’s a huge difference between a dumb jerk and a romantic gentleman who goes to the trouble of renting a movie, creating the chocolate mood, and then actually delivers the goods. My wife offered several descriptive adjectives to express her feelings toward me, dumb jerk being the most amiable term included in the verbal barrage.

Fast forward a couple of weeks. I was in Cookeville, Tennessee, on business. I remembered that Cookeville is home to a large chocolate factory. “Hmmm. Here’s an opportunity,” I thought to myself. I filled a bag full of various chocolates, including two very large boxes of Whitman’s finest.

Later that evening I presented the package to my spouse. Needless to say she was delighted. I watched her pluck through the brown garden of sweet sensations. I was satisfied that my efforts would erase the memory of the trauma I had caused earlier. Watching her devour the scrumptious snacks aroused my sweet tooth. I ate only a couple of the nutty chunks, which she considers the “bottom of the barrel.” Everything was fine except for the fact that we both like coconut-filled chocolate. Taking the high road, not wanting to botch this contented moment, I made no effort to snatch the coconut pieces.

After a while I was asked to hide the chocolates. I had been through this routine on numerous occasions. It’s something of a cat and mouse game that my wife invented. She’s the cat; the poor chocolate’s the mouse. She eats until she’s sick, insists that the mouse be put away, and then after some time the craving returns sending her on a voracious search. And, in our house the cat always gets her mouse. It’s as if she has a sixth sense when searching for chocolate. No matter where it’s hidden she always sniffs it out and the routine begins anew.

After the first box was depleted, I was commanded to really hide the next box. The cat was stuffed and feeling woozy. I felt sorry for her and determined that I would hide it in a place that she would never think to look. Besides that, I wanted the coconut pieces from the next box. I climbed up on a chair, stretched up on my tippy toes, placing the box inside a hanging light fixture in our kitchen. Like a dog burying a bone, I was determined to come back later for the coconuts.

Time passed and the cat needed another fix. I noticed that she was beginning to prowl through cabinets and was climbing onto the counter tops to search the high out of reach spots. The candy was evading her and she was growing increasingly anxious.

“Where is it?” she quizzed.

“Uh, correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t you ask me to hide it?” I asked sarcastically.

“Just tell me where it is!” she roared.

“Testy, testy.” I held my ground.

A little while later I heard laughter in the kitchen. The cat had somehow grabbed her mouse. But she showed great restraint, indicating that she would devour her catch later. In the mean time, she toyed with the box, rolling it around in her paws, eyeing it lustfully.

Not long after that we were upstairs and the subject of the coconut chocolate came up. “When you open the next box, I want the coconuts, OK?” I begged.

“Sure,” she said smirkingly. “They’re down in the kitchen. Help yourself,” she said too effortlessly. The cat had a plan, I just didn’t know it yet.

I started down the rear stairway which empties into a room next to the kitchen. While walking downward I heard thunderous romping down the front stair case accompanied with frenzied laughter.

“The coconuts!” I knew in an instant that she was after them and had steered me in the wrong direction. I tromped down the last few steps and quickly raced through the house. I heard the downstairs bathroom door slam. Rushing to the door I heard the noise of rustling thin plastic which provided evidence that she was clawing into the box.

“I want those coconuts,” I bellowed. The only response I heard was laughter muffled by a mouth crammed full of chocolate. At that moment I realized how she must have felt the night of the infamous chocolateless joke.

I jiggled the door knob. “C’mon, you had all the others,” I reasoned. Seemingly endless moments passed before the door was unlocked.

I pushed the door inward and there on her hands and knees in the middle of the floor was the chocoholic gobbling the tasty treats like a head of cattle grazing in the pasture. One fist was thrust into the box. The other was used to wipe away the brown ooze that was being squeezed from both corners of the cat’s pie hole. All the coconut pieces had been disposed of quickly. She looked up laughing madly, eyes bulging, with cheeks filled like those of a squirrel preparing for a long cold winter. Later, like a pitiful hungry buzzard, I was left to pick through the remains. Finally, the last box was consumed.

The cat now demands that I don’t even bother to bring the mouse into the house. And, I won’t. I decree that there shall be no more chocolate movies, no more boxes of yummy, dark, rich chocolate in our house, and that I shall never again be forced to beg for the best pieces while standing on the wrong side of a locked door.

Men, be careful this Valentine’s Day. If you’re going to bring chocolate into the house, be sure to count the cost. Think about your wife’s weaknesses an ask yourself, Can she handle it?



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© 2002 Ben Overby
April 2002

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