Thursday, August 4, 2011

Confessions of a Chocoholic.

It’s true.  I think I have a problem.
I’ve never been one to talk about any of the soul searching kind of cr*p that some folks might think is appropriate for a public forum,  but I think it’s time to fess up.
First of all, I know I’ve had some problems with addictive behaviour in the past. 
After about a month of living in Paris as a young student,  I was pretty sure I was becoming an alcoholic.  I mean,  wine was the cheapest thing going,  even cheaper that Coke,  milk,  water.
Besides,  who wants to while away the time in the evening sitting and chatting with friends over a glass of milk?   I’m not saying it won’t ever eventually come to that, (*gasp* with some chocolate chip cookies??)  but that’s certainly not going to happen when a fellow is 22. 
I mean.  C’mon.

Turns out my fears were somewhat unfounded,  since I can leave the “demon drink” alone,  sometimes for days on end.  I’m not even sure what the real signs are,  but I think it has to do with not being able to stop after just one?
Can’t say the same about cigarettes though.    It was also during my first stay in Europe that I was a smoker.  I’m not talking about smoking your run of the mill,  namby-pamby  Craven “A” with filter tips either.   I certainly would have smoked them if I could have found them,  but the only “Craven A” I could find in Paris had no filters with cork tips.  Wowsers!

I see you making a face,  and so you should.

What that meant was,  after about every third drag,  you’d have to spit out the little bits of tobacco that ended up sitting on your tongue.  Gah!
In desperation I would sometimes accept either a Gitanne or Gaulois.  And if you want to go with the expression, “That’ll put hair on your chest”?   Well,  I do have a certain amount of proof of that.   Chest,  back,  arms.   Just not so much on my head anymore. 

There was a brief moment of realisation,  a few years later, while standing on the front porch of my brother-in-law’s brand new house with a couple other fellow smokers on a bitterly cold (-15° C) eastern Ontario morning,   when I began to formulate a plan. 
It was time to quit.
Don’t get me wrong,  there were days when I really enjoyed smoking.  I’d smoke my brains out.   Other days not so much.   Most days though,  there was that annoying cough,  along with that even more annoying stink.  Everything stunk.  Many smokers don’t realise it,  or don’t want to admit it,  but they stink.

You do.

It was then along towards the end of June,  1987 that I smoked my last smoke.  The thing is though,  I’m still addicted.  Oh yes,  those little “nicotine receptors”  are just sitting there waiting for another “fix”.    Now I know that’s not the proper term,  but the actual explanation is way too complicated.

I can’t make much sense of this,  can you?

you can double click this one.



All I know is,  I can’t have just one.   Now,  how do I know this?  I mean,  without studying diagrams or medical texts,  and long before there was something called “Wikipedia”?   Well,  that’s because when I quit,  it wasn’t for the first time.  Previous to that,  after having proudly gone ‘without’ for almost a year and a half,  someone innocently offered me a smoke,  and I accepted.  


Fell for that one.  I was hooked again.  That’s why I know I can’t have just one.
I’ve often thought that if I were to ever get drafted,  and I’m way too old for that now,  I’d start smoking again!
‘Cause if bullets are going to be flying past my ears,  then dammit,  I’m gonna have a cigarette in my mouth!


So what about the chocolate?


Europe is the place to find the “really good stuff”.  If you have a bit of a problem,  you’re in the right place.  You can get a fix on most any street corner.  Most grocery stores have a full aisle of chocolate!    In a place like Bruges,  where it’s “Belgium Chocolate”  (*drool*)  the choices are mind boggling!

(I’m starting to shake ever so slightly here….)

The quality is all the same,  so it’s mostly a question of which shop to choose?  I figured out that the thing to do was to watch the kids on their way home from school (without appearing too creepy,  of course!)  and then go in whatever shop they had just come out of.  They would obviously know who had the best prices!   Heehee!  Such smart little Belgians.

See,  kids are good for something.

I’ve even gone so far as to give advise to tourists here in Wienerland looking for a fix.  There was this one particular group that had just come out of one of those Mozart Chocolate whatever places,  and were looking understandably disappointed.

Some people like their chocolate cut with Marzipan,  and the “Mozart” people use a lot of it. 

Personally,  I’m not keen. 

It’s right up there on my “hate list” with flavoured coffee.  Can’t stand it.   Just give me that pure stuff grown by Juan Valdez.


You know him, right?  He’s a busy guy.

Besides,  what’s Mozart have to do with good chocolate?

The thing is,  I do try and make sure I go all day without a fix,  and it’s only later in the evening that I might go to the “treat drawer”,  (and don’t get too high and mighty,  we all have a “treat drawer”)   and maybe have half a bar? 

Well,  sometimes the whole thing. 

Last night though,  I had a brief moment of panic,  when I opened the drawer only to see that I had no chocolate there!  What?  This can’t be.  This never happens.

It was also in that moment that I realised that I just might have a “problem”?  Ahem.

Then I remembered that,  since it had been a tad warm,  I had placed it carefully in the fridge.  (*phew*)
We do have small fridges here in Europe,  but there’s always room to keep your chocolate cool.  
Even if it means getting rid of some vegetables.

Which reminds me.   I think I had better go to the store.

You believe me when I say I’m going there to buy more vegetables,  right?



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I guess I'll just have to do without that Gucci purse.