Friday, January 13, 2012

Chocolate promises can only bring trouble

I am an avid buyer of off-season candy, citing discounted prices as why the chocolate just "tastes better." I mean, what really changes the day after Christmas or Valentine's day that makes the chocolate 50% off except the fact that it is now in seasonally inappropriate packaging.

Let me tell you, having worked in a grocery store for almost five years, I know that there is always a new holiday around the corner that needs the seasonal display space. And so everything else gets clearanced and tossed into a cart or too, or maybe hastily arranged onto a folding table. But this story is not about grocery stores and their holiday policies, although they did play a small part in it. I was able to pick up two little holiday themed boxes of Dove Promises for only five dollars. That's when the trouble began.

For anyone who is unfamiliar with these chocolates, they are the ones that have a little inspirational message inside the wrapper, so that you can enjoy both the chocolate and a shot of mental well being at the same time! Genius.

I am a firm believer that it is never too early to start eating chocolate (I mean, it's chocolate eating time somewhere, right?) and so I woke up the next morning and opened the box, grabbing a piece of milk chocolate candy and carefully unwrapping it, as to preserve the words of wisdom contained within.

"Make every day a holiday."

I looked at the short message printed on the wrapper of my chocolate and thought about it as I ate the small candy in three measured, well-enjoyed bites.

Then I called in to work, to let them know I wouldn't be there on account of the holiday.

"What holiday?" my manager asked. "You mean you want to use your personal holiday?"

"Every day is a holiday," I repeated, "Or at least, I'm going to make it a holiday. I'm pretty sure that Congress will put it on the calender too."

"Well, I'm going to put you down on your personal holiday," my manager said over the phone. "Enjoy your weekend."

"Thanks, you too. Happy as of yet unnamed holiday!"

I hung up the phone and started pondering how best to follow the edict proclaimed by the chocolate wrapper. While pondering, I decided that I probably do my best pondering while I'm eating chocolate, so I carefully and painstakingly opened another chocolate piece. I tore a corner of the wrapper and panicked for a moment until I saw that the words of wisdom remained intact.

"Make time for yourself!" the wrapper practically shouted.

Oh, well, that wasn't too hard. I mean, I didn't have to go to work now, so I already had all the time I needed. Ok chocolate, I thought, I agree. I'll make time for myself.

I sat at my computer for some time, searching the internet for advice on how to make time for myself. I had thought it would be so easy, but as I read webpage after webpage, I started to feel a little overwhelmed. I had never realized how hard it is to make time for yourself. Every time I typed a new search term into my browser, or read another page, I was actually giving up time for myself! This wasn't productive at all. I decided to go back to my previous holiday dilemma.

Vaguely, I remembered back to one of my classes, many moons ago, to a conversation I think I had with a classmate. Or I overhead it. Or I imagined it, conveniently. In any case, I recall hearing something along the lines of, "Did you know that there is actually a holiday every day of the year? It's crazy. I try to celebrate each one in some little way each day."

Gosh, I wish I could remember who said that or if I'm crazy.

In any case, it is true. You can look on the internet if you think I'm crazy. Or even if you don't. For example, today is Blame Someone Else Day. (Also it is Friday the 13th. WoooOOOooo). I was pretty intrigued.

This website had me set. I was ready to print it out to give to my manager as a reason why I needed holiday pay every day. But then I noticed they appeared to have a section about creating your own holidays. I felt it was a sign. After all, my chocolate said to make each day a holiday, not to celebrate holidays that others have already thought off.

But then I read it and found that, in actuality, making a holiday that will be nationally recognized and therefore give me a better chance of not going to work is a lot of hard work. Apparently a "company who wanted to create a national day and had the resources to do it" decided it was "too much work" themselves. And if they were a company! With resources! Then what could I possibly expect for myself?

I sat there for a long minute, dejected, staring at my computer screen. I got up and played with my puppies for a bit and noticed just how much time there was in a day when I didn't go to work. It seemed like too much time. There was time to make for myself and maybe for ten other myselves. It felt overwhelming. I decided the best course of action was to have another chocolate piece. A third wrapper was carefully opened up.

"What if the season to be jolly lasted all year?"

Oh, so now you're posing contemplative questions to me, chocolate? Seriously, I don't need that right now. I don't know what would happen if the season to be jolly lasted all year. Shoot. I guess people would be jolly forever, now wouldn't they? Or they would grow resentful of constantly being in a season of jolliness and therefore revoke ever feeling jolly again and then the word "jolly" would become a shunned, dirty work and then the jolly rancher company would go out of business.

So, no, chocolate, I don't think the season to be jolly should last all year. I think you sound like a Miss America contestant, spouting off nonsense that sounds pretty right until you take two seconds to think about it. I mean, I thought about all of that in one second. Imagine what another second could have lead too.

Or don't.

Shaking my head, I opened a fourth Dove promise. I still had a bite of chocolate left from the third, but I wasn't really on speaking terms with that one. Which meant opening my mouth to eat it was a no-no.

"No one really likes you."

I stared at the wrapper. Turned it over, and looked again. Those odd, hateful words stared back at me. I almost felt a chill run down my spine. Really, chocolate? Way to be overly judgmental. I guess one of the wrappers here is having a bad day. But I wasn't about to let that wrapper bring me down. It was a holiday! I crumpled the offending wrapper and chucked it in the trash. Then I swore vengeance on the wrapper's family. Its brothers, its sisters. Cousins. Whatever. I ate all the chocolate and didn't even bother to look at any more of the wrappers. Between making every day a holiday and finding time for myself at the same time, I felt that my days were straight up booked.

In the end, I got a bit of a stomachache from only eating chocolate all day. But it turned out to be a good thing, because I finally found time for myself as I sat in bed, slightly nauseous and somewhat bored, browsing TV and reading Dilbert comics.

(The preceding story may be embellished).

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