While standing in the grocery line the other day, I overheard a child behind me ask his mother for a chocolate candy bar. “No, honey,” she replied, “we don’t like chocolate, remember?” And then she listed multiple reasons why.
It’s troubling enough that someone doesn’t like chocolate but downright terrifying that she has a list of reasons. I’ve never understood why anyone wouldn’t like Mother Nature’s perfect antioxidant.
Sure, taste buds are as diverse as the world’s population, but chocolate is one of those universal flavors that has no haters—or so I thought.
When I turned six years old, I had a birthday party and my mother let me choose the type of cake to serve.
I knew exactly what I wanted: an angel food cake with mounds and mounds of whipped chocolate frosting. It would be tall, fluffy and scrumptious and I couldn’t wait to share it with my small band of first-grade buddies.
As my birthday marvel was sliced up and passed around the table, my best friend, Donna, pushed aside her portion and politely asked for vanilla ice cream instead. Which of course lead Kathy to do the same. And then Monica.
My dream cake, rejected by half of my guests. It hurt my feelings. I may have cried.
Time moves on. I’ve tried not to let my chocolate bias get in the way of relationships. After all, it’s just dessert we’re talking about, not politics. But I do remain guarded.
My older sister, for example, doesn’t like chocolate. When we were kids, she loved Bit O’ Honey bars. They were impossible to bite, difficult to chew and could potentially remove the fillings from teeth. I would only eat them in cases of extreme hunger.
Or my nephews, who prefer cookies or doughnuts or other sugary concoctions. What’s wrong with these people?
Nope, for me, it has to be some form of chocolate. I’m not talking fancy. It doesn’t have to be Lindt or Godiva or made by a local chocolatier to satisfy. A good, old-fashioned chocolate bar, like Hershey’s or Snickers brings me total bliss. Peanut M&M’s? Kit Kat bars? They make me weak in the knees.
My children share my love of chocolate. When they were little and we traveled, we would take such pleasure in finding that one candy store in town that featured a variety of dark or milk chocolate morsels, chocolate pretzels, truffles and more. I’d let them each choose a few different types to indulge right there or to save for later.
They learned quickly that Santa preferred chocolate mints, not cookies, as his late-night treat. That their Halloween candy might go “missing” at times. And if there was a box of chocolate in the fridge, it was an anniversary or birthday or a “just because” gift from dad to mom.
It seems that history does truly repeat itself. On my son’s eighth birthday, I baked a chocolate cake with chocolate icing in the shape of an “H,” for his first name, Hamilton. As I brought the chocolate concoction to the table, my son’s expression was pure joy. Nothing was wrong in our world.
Until one little boy at the party, Michael, piped up that he doesn’t like chocolate. Nor it appeared, did Jordan.
Out came the vanilla ice cream.
Thankfully, now that I’m older, instead of getting upset about these things, I know it simply means more chocolate for me.