My mother always said that chocolate ice cream can solve pretty much any problem. Or, if it doesn’t solve the problem, consuming chocolate ice cream will at least make you feel better about failing. I have an abundance of ample curves in places that should be less curvy and more flat because I have spent a lifetime harkening to this advice.
My mother was not too proud to offer her children chocolate ice cream to do her bidding. In fact, I first learned the meaning of the word “bribe” in conjunction with chocolate ice cream. One day, my mother asked if she could bribe me with a fudgsicle to take out the trash. I asked her what “bribe” meant. After she explained, I told her I didn’t really want a fudgsicle, but would take the trash out anyway. I’m sure my refusal of the fudgsicle left her wondering if we did, in fact, share the same DNA or if she had just found me under a cabbage leaf. When we were sick and refusing to eat, she would coax back our appetites by pulling a half-gallon carton of chilly chocolate out of the freezer. Jimmy Buffett might have had his margaritas, but, in our house, the frozen concoction that helped us hang on was chocolate ice cream.
Calories and curves aside, it is hard to argue with her position. Chocolate ice cream is just awesome. It is creamy and sumptuous and decadent. It goes down softly and smoothly and with a sultriness that is almost tangible. I can go up and down the counter at an ice cream parlor touting thirty-one flavors of ice cream, savoring the idea of each of the flashy flavors. Inevitably, I end up ordering chocolate. I would live on chocolate ice cream if I could.
Maybe it is possible to live on chocolate ice cream. When I was a child, we always had waffles with chocolate ice cream for our birthday breakfasts. Don’t they say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day?
At any rate, my mother’s chocolate ice cream cure ran into an ironic snag at the end of her life. I guess she was testing the hypothesis that one can live on chocolate ice cream alone. During her last ten months, all she consumed was food based on chocolate ice cream. She ate virtually nothing except Wendy’s chocolate frosties and McDonald’s chocolate milkshakes. Sometimes, just to mix things up, I brought a thermal bag of ingredients and made her chocolate ice cream sodas. I pulled out a small bottle of club soda, a jigger of half-and-half, a container of chocolate ice cream, a bottle of chocolate syrup and made the ice cream soda at her bedside. I was the Benihana’s of the ice cream world. Her ice cream soda was dinner and a show.
It is hard to imagine how it is possible to survive on chocolate ice cream alone, no matter how enamored with it you are. Day after day, I helped her drink her milkshake or ice cream soda. It was really the only pleasure she could still enjoy. She continued to lose weight and to weaken. She became more confused and restless. She often punctuated short periods of wakefulness and connectedness with napping and detachment. As I watched her fading away, little by little, I realized that it was not possible for her to survive on chocolate ice cream alone.
I wonder if I will ever think of chocolate ice cream the same way again.
What is your “guilty pleasure” in food? What food would you live on if you could? Please share your perspective by leaving a comment. In the alternative, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have a sweet day!