It’s the plight of all children of parents to constantly draw mental lines between which (good and bad) habits, (logical or baseless) prejudices and (charming or irritating) affectations you will and won’t adopt from the people who gave you life.
It’s a plight not because it’s a strenuous thought exercise, but because it’s one we all fail.
You still fall asleep on the third viewing of The Beguiled with your head back and mouth open, ready to catch flies that may or may not swarm from the muggy Virginia scene playing out on the laptop straight into your 62-degree, dry AF bedroom. You find yourself yelling unbecoming obscenities and fully, irrevocably resigned to an “L” when your football team is down by three-points at the end of…the first quarter.
The holidays, however, can be a welcome opportunity to be reminded of how you’ve successfully distanced yourself from inheriting a few choice behaviors and managed to create The Adult Life You Always Imagined.
Chocolate is no longer a benign treat. It’s a proxy for global economics, shifting consumer preferences and transatlantic tension.
On an individual level, chocolate can reveal a lot about a person.
The person who “doesn’t really like sweets” is clearly someone who doesn’t really know how to accept love into their lives. The person who likes dessert, just not those of the chocolate variety, are probably painfully dull and/or compulsive liars.
People that like or, if it’s even possible, prefer white chocolate are as F. Scott Fitzgerald might say, beautiful little fools. People that turn their Roman noses up in disgust at the thought of a true blue Hershey’s milk chocolate bar are definitely Communists, steel-hearted and undeserving of your attention.
I’m not a betting woman, but I’d lay a few bones on the probability that, by this point in October, you’ve probably:
- Shelled out at least $4 for a hot, caffeinated, pumpkin spice-laced beverage
- Kicked yourself for falling victim, yet again, to lazy marketing and spending $4 for a hot, caffeinated beverage that tastes nothing like pumpkin and everything like a stomach ache in a cup
- Gone into the office kitchen only to been greeted by a plate of homemade, chestnut-hued crumbly good
- Scoured your local grocer for the first sign of 28 oz cans of pumpkin puree
- Nodded in solemn, guilty agreement with John Oliver’s pumpkin slam
Let’s stray from the marketers’ cliche. Let’s not give in to the peer and pelvic pressure of whipped cream on top of frothed milk on top of liquid cloves.
Let’s not get stressed out after scouring no fewer than 4 department stores, 3 department store outlets and at least 5 websites for just the right mid-length down coat that doesn’t make your 5’2″ frame resemble an (albeit chicer) oompa loompa.
Pumpkin will be gone in a few months, when the world starts shoving marshmallow birds and “creme”-filled eggs down our proverbial throats. Chocolate will always be there.
Maybe it hasn’t been made abundantly clear yet, so I’ll put it out there once more: I thoroughly enjoy Jillian Michaels. If it wasn’t for her free On-Demand boot camps that I discovered in high school, all those Brie slices and Gruyere wedges and Caprese sandwiches would’ve more than caught up with me by now.
The thing about Jill’s workouts is that she spends the first 20 minutes barking about wanting to bounce a quarter off your soon-to-be iron ass, and the last 5 cooing monologues about transformation and assuring you that after one more quad stretch, you’re “free to go and have a wonderful day.” It’s an accurate representation of the emotional pendulum most females swing between on an hourly basis (e.g., I feel free and careless because it’s Friday night after a hellish week, but wait, Boyfriend, you brought home unripe avocados and now I can’t make guacamole, my world is OVER.)
Anyways, one of my favorite JM cool-down speeches (the only one I don’t mind when I’m panting like a Bullmastiff and covered in rug burn from doing crunches on the carpet and not on a $30 yoga mat) is all about “showing up.”