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Being Thankful for Chocolate Is A Blessing

The other day I’m sitting in the vet’s office waiting for Luci to get her vaccines, and I start to feel antsy and bored. A talking parrot imitates the meows of a sick cat, and I’m about to lose my mind. Even Luci paces the room like a prisoner in a jail cell.

It’s times like this when I’m desperate to pass the time in a productive way. The only thing I can think of is to clean out my messy purse. It makes me feel like I’ve really accomplished something every time I throw away chewing gum wrappers, crossed-out shopping lists, a broken toothpick, and whatever else I find crumbled in the bottom of my handbag. The other day I actually salvaged a Chuck E. Cheese’s token, which is odd because I haven’t been to that place since 1999.

On this particular afternoon, however, I discover gold—or the next best thing—chocolate buried underneath my car keys and coupons. I hurriedly dig out a single piece of Dove milk chocolate, and as I pop the sweet and creamy morsel in my mouth all my problems suddenly melt away. Sure I feel a little guilty as I hand Luci a stale milk bone, but I deserve a treat, too.

Surprisingly, my “mmmm” turns into a “hmmmm” when I notice a message inside the red foil wrapper: It reads, “The wind tells a story. Listen.”

When our appointment is finally over, my poodle and I walk to the car, and those words stick with me. I try to block out Luci barking at the other dogs in the parking lot and pay closer attention to the sounds of nature. Finally, a gust of wind blows my way, or maybe it’s exhaust fumes from a dump truck spewing tar next to me, and my ears perk up. I hear something tell me to drive to the nearest Walgreens and buy a bag of Dove Promises mini chocolates, which is a brand known to have messages inside each wrapper. I notice all the flavors: milk chocolate, dark chocolate, peanut butter, chocolate almond, chocolate bananas foster, chocolate caramel, dark chocolate tiramisu, and even a special Susan G. Komen pack that gives hopeful messages to breast cancer survivors, such as: “Early detection saves lives” and “Do a little something special for yourself everyday,” and “Always remember you are beautiful.”

I can’t decide so I buy a bag of each and a bottle of Pepto-Bismol. I justify my binge as research. I already feel my blood sugar rising.

I waste no time unfolding each candy, and I’m tickled by sayings like “It’s definitely a bubble-bath day” and “Sometimes a smile can mean more than a dozen roses,” and “Chocolate is my only vice,” which I save inside my wallet. Even though I’m no longer hungry, I crave more words of wisdom, such as “If at first you don’t succeed then skydiving isn’t for you,” and “Keep your friends close and your chocolate closer.”

Now I feel sick, but I’m addicted to the pep talk, not to mention the intoxicating pure cocoa butter. It goes on, “Believe in your dreams,” and “Be the first to hit the dance floor,” and “Call your mom,” and “Carve out a little moment for yourself.”

It turns out that I can visit the Dove chocolate website www.mydovecholate.com and submit my own messages of inspiration, romance, life, friendship, hope, whatever. Here’s a perfect opportunity to spread the love in a way only Jewish people can. Although I didn’t come up with these sayings, some of my favorites are:

“Where there’s smoke, there may be salmon.”
“No meal is complete without leftovers.”
“One mitzvah can change the world; two will just make you tired.”
“Anything worth saying is worth repeating a thousand times.”
“Never take a front row seat at a Bris.”
“Next year in Jerusalem. The year after that, how about a nice cruise?”
“Never leave a restaurant empty handed.”
“Spring ahead, fall back, winter in Florida.”
“Without Jewish mothers, who would need therapy?”
“If you have to ask the price, you can’t afford it. But if you can afford it, make sure to tell everybody what you paid.”
“Don’t give up. Moses was once a basket case.”
“What part of ‘Thou shalt not’ don’t you understand?”

Finally, happy Thanksgiving to all! Remember to save room for chocolate.

“Mishegas of Motherhood” is the creation of Ellie S. Grossman, a St. Louis freelance writer and stay-at-home-mom who never stays home. Visit her website at www.mishegasofmotherhood.com.