Valentine’s Day is around the corner and my wife and I were slogging through our local grocery and rounded the corner into one of those seasonal aisles that are constantly changing.
Suddenly, surrounded by pink and red heart shaped cards, balloons and boxed Valentine’s Day chocolate, my wife noticed the golden yellow packaging of a Whitman’s Sampler with its stylized green script supporting a bouquet of colorful flowers. We both experienced a feeling of comfort just looking at the box. Next thing I know we’re swapping stories of our grandfathers joyfully passing out the Whitman’s at Valentines, never forgetting tiny little sampler boxes for us kids.
Suddenly my wife says, “That’s what I want for Valentine’s Day”. Absolutely I say, filing this most unusual request into my reptilian brain. I recognize the request as a nostalgic moment; a past remembrance of a time when life had grandparents and the image of post WWII life in America was all Leave it to Beaver.
Now, my wife has never asked me for candy, ever, and we’ve been married a number of years. And while I’m taking this seriously, I’m not entirely sure how I’m going to pull this off without her knowledge.
I tell myself I’ll figure it out, “Honey, going to wash the car.” That’ll work, after all, Valentine’s Day is still a few days away and being a poor tap dancer, I’m forced to actually get it together from time to time and this is one of those times.
Now, I’m thinking boxed candy, earrings, a romantic card with spiffy prose. How’s this…
Roses are Red
My Money is Green
The Price of this Card
Is Truly Obscene
Then it hits me, this is about the chocolate. That’s when I decide to buy it all, all of it. Well, maybe not “all” all of it, but a lot, so much it’s funny. We’ll be eating chocolate for months.
Normally I don’t take stands on things like chocolate. As a kid growing up in Texas, the “sweets” I embraced were summer watermelons and fall pears. One grandmother made a lemon pound cake, the other a chocolate coke cake, both were outstanding and given a choice between the two, I could not choose.
My wife on the other hand, a true chocoholic, and survivor of death by chocolate on more than one occasion, took it upon herself, all by herself, to introduce me to the world of chocolate. Forget the fact I was happy knowing nothing about chocolate.
Before this so called chocolate education, my favorite chocolate was York Peppermint Patties.
Now a whole world of chocolate has opened up to me – Chocolove’s Toffee and Almond Milk Chocolate bar,
Tony’s Chocolonely milk chocolate with caramel and sea salt
and even the $1 milk chocolate hazelnut bars from IKEA are now among my favorites. Oh yes and chocolate covered almonds, chocolate covered toffee. Damn, I’m a chocoholic!
My wife’s tastes run deeper and far more exotic than mine. She savors Taza Mexican Style Stone Ground Chocolate with Cinnamon, every Alter Eco Truffle ever made and their dark chocolate bar with coconut and toffee, Tony’s Chocolonely dark chocolate with almonds and Chocolove’s Salted Carmel in Dark Chocolate.
Bottom line, enjoy what melts your sugar and fail not to remember your sweetie this Valentine’s Day. Try to find the ironies in recent reports that climate change will have destroyed the tropical region of the Americas where cocoa trees grow ensuring chocolate’s extinction by 2050. Thank you climate deniers. Tell yourself it’s probably a Russia hoax, a choco-bot, running rampant on social media to drive sales ever higher.
Either way, enjoy it while you are able.