Editor’s Note: This is the second in my two-part series examining the thrill of my decadent descent.
So where were we? Oh, yes, Dessert Time was almost upon me. The last of the evening dishes had been washed, the kitchen cleaned to my mother’s highest satisfaction. That’s when I’d hear that sound – the crumpling of wrappers or the faint scooping (yes, my ears were that attuned to the sweet world around me) of ice cream. By the time we had Frasier all queued up and our heavenly dessert sat in front of us, I’d have half of said dessert eaten by the time the opening jingle had ended.
“Wow,” I’d sigh practically every night as some of the frosting from our treats stuck to my hands or a river of ice cream rolled down my chin. I knew it had been an exceptional night when the two events occurred simultaneously.
What can I say? I’m a girl who likes her sweets. I thought my mother was one of us too. After all, she was the one who brought this addiction into our house in the first place. I was once the sort of girl who could easily get by on one small piece of candy as an after-lunch refreshment. I’d even reached the point where I no longer craved dessert after dinner.
“I could never give up dessert at night,” my mother always used to say.
And she was right. Well, that is, until she wasn’t. The woman who used to be my sweet-tooth in crime had somehow gone to the dark side; and I’m not just merely referring to preferring dark chocolate over milk chocolate. I’m talking about the dark side.
It was a few days after my birthday, and I had just finished an Oreo Blizzard from Dairy Queen (one of my favorite haunts of late).
“Hmm,” I mused. “This one seems smaller than the one I had on my birthday.”
“It is,” my mother said, matter-of-factly. “You had a medium on your birthday. That one is a small.
She then launched into some convoluted explanation about having a coupon for a medium and blah, blah, blah. I didn’t hear what else she said. I wasn’t listening.
If that wasn’t enough, the straw that broke this camel’s back (Ooooh, camel. That’s just one letter away from carmel – that scrumptious gooey goodness) came a few nights later, in the form of, get this, half a donut.
“Where’s the other half of this donut?” I demanded as if I were a CIA operative interrogating a suspect.
“It’s in the fridge for tomorrow,” the suspect (read: my mother) replied, barely glancing up from her newspaper and her half of a donut. “No one needs to eat a whole donut.
And that, my friends, is the exact moment the bitterness of the end of summer set in. My mother, the one person who once enjoyed living the sweet life, had forsaken me and everything this summer stood for, though ironically, by now, standing had become rather difficult.
Things swiftly went downhill from there: pieces of coffee cake the size of a Saltine cracker.
One spoonful of ice cream. Half a donut (who eats half a donut??).
So I put my foot down.
“I’m 28,” I proclaimed one evening as I sat in front of my half of a donut. “And gosh darn it, if I want to eat a whole donut, by golly, I’m going to eat a whole donut.”
My mother sat there speechless; she’s not used to me talking to her that way.
“OK,” was all she said to my Declaration of Independence.
The next night, I ate a whole donut. And smiled, frosting on my face and all.