Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Bittersweet

Lent.

The word used to connote many an image of lost, barely beloved items that I had actually "lent" to people. Where are my earrings that went with that outfit? Oh, I lent it to someone. Where is my Veronica Mars dvd collection? Oh, I lent that to someone, too (ahem, Monica).

But since being married? Lent is a religious event. And we take it seriously around these parts. Well, I try to. You see, I vaguely remember attempting to give up things for Lent in my youth. The funny thing is, once I got married my husband had to remind me how long Lent actually lasts. My version of Lent usually wrapped up within a week. Did you guys know it actually last 40 days? 40 looooong days....

So last year I gave up Diet Coke. It wasn't easy, and my caffeine headache lasted almost as long as the entire event. Joe gave up booze. No easy feat for Mr. Thursday Night Scotch Man (like clockwork, I tell you). He called me from a friends' bachelor party sounding like someone had pooped on his parade. He was being bullied. The peer pressure was too much. And I, like the Devil on his shoulder, supported his decision to succumb to that pressure saying with a shrug, "Hey, you made it almost the whole way. Good job. Enjoy your night."

And he did. So much so, in fact, that he crawled in from his trip at 10:00 the next morning looking like roadkill and slept it off until 4:00 pm.

Let's just say we both learned from his mistake last year. We decided this year to give up chocolate. My feeling on this one was that it wouldn't hurt my weight loss efforts to cut chocolate out entirely for a while, and that if I get desperate there are many options out there for my sweet tooth without dipping into the chocolatey ones. I almost immediately started looking for loop holes in the plan.

What about tootsie rolls? Are they considered chocolate? I love those little midges. Joe said they were indeed chocolate. What about white chocolate? Joe raised an eyebrow at me. Okay, it's chocolate. What about...? My head began to hang lower and lower as Joe became more and more amused.

Perhaps it's in my nature to try to wiggle around the rules. All I know is that I've been fantasizing about pulling my car through the drive thru for a Frosty almost every day on the way home from work since this all began. We've exhausted our non-chocolatey Girl Scout cookies, and I'm beginning to have withdrawals. Yesterday, I went to a meeting after school, saw that there were cookies, and focused so hard on not eating the chocolate chip ones that I actually grabbed two macadamia nut cookies and wolfed them down before I even realized that white chocolate was the heavenly thing I was tasting.

"I sinned. God help me, I sinned!" (Name that play.)

So I cheated at Lent. And it was bittersweet, because let's face it. If I had purposefully cheated, I would have had a real chocolate chip cookie. Or a Frosty. Or some Dove Promises.

Not that I've been thinking about it much at all. Really.