By: Shannon Ralph
Yesterday was my family’s annual all-day Christmas candy-making extravaganza. We had a smaller group this year. Less alcohol, which meant less horribly painful Christmas carol karaoke. It did not, however, mean less candy. We managed, yet again, to create an ungodly number of sugary confections. By the time bedtime rolled around last night, I had a nice little champagne headache going, every pore of my body was oozing peanut butter, and my children were bouncing around in a sugar-induced mania like crack addicts on a three-day bender. At that point, I came to a conclusion. The candy had to go.
I boxed up a huge amount of the candy in a pretty purple Christmas box, lovingly covering it with parchment paper and making it look utterly divine. My intention was to pawn it off on my unsuspecting coworkers. I did not need to eat it. Ruanita did not need to eat it. My dog, who managed to sneak more than her fair share yesterday to the complete outrage of my sisters, did not need to eat it. And my rollicking children certainly did not need to eat it. It was going to work with me. Out of my house. Out of my mind. From across the office, the candy would be incapable of singing to me in that sweet, buttery voice that flows from my fridge at home. Or so I thought.
Apparently, I was not the only one who had baked this weekend. When I arrived at work, smugly prepared to pawn my sweet wares off on my coworkers, I stepped into my cube to find a festive plastic goodie bag filled with candy sitting on my desk. It included a cute little tag that said, “To: Shannon, From: Melissa.” And it was cracker candy. That delicious chocolate toffee treat made with saltine crackers. The one candy I can’t simply walk away from. The one candy that no one at my house made this year. The one candy I had been craving, but managed to avoid up to that point. Damn.
I quickly stuck the cracker candy in a drawer —thanking Melissa for her thoughtfulness, of course— and composed an email to my entire team letting them know that I had brought in exorbitant amounts of Christmas candy to share with them. Candy of every ilk, flavor, and variety. I hit “send” and smiled quietly to myself. I did it. With the exception of one bag of cracker candy safely hidden from my view, I could resist. I could place the candy in an empty cube two rows over. I could not hear its velvety songs. I could not smell its peanut buttery richness. I could not ever hear my coworkers ooh and aah over it. I was a success. I felt strangely powerful.
Then it happened. The emails began. “Oh my God, this cornflake candy is so good.” “Oh my goodness, this peanut butter fudge is the best I’ve ever had.” Then the instant messages. “Shannon, you are evil!” “Shannon, I want your recipes.” My plan to drop the candy and avoid its temptations was failing miserably.
Then came the final blow. An email from a coworker stating the following: “I did some entertaining this weekend and people brought lots of treats to our house as hostess gifts – way more treats than we can or should eat. So I brought in to share with all of you – cookies from Wuollet Bakery and peanut brittle! Enjoy!”
Enjoy? Enjoy?? Did she not realize that peanut brittle is my ultimate weakness? It is the one candy no one at my house ever makes. The one candy that I have not had a single bite of all season. I could ignore my own candy. But peanut brittle?! I possess no defenses against peanut brittle! I indulged. Then I indulged some more. Then…what the hell…might as well have a cookie, right? Anything from Wuollet Bakery is nothing short of a spiritual experience. So I ate a cookie. Or two. Maybe three….they were small.
I was completely and utterly defenseless. A pitiful brittle-gobbling glutton, ensuring yet again that my fat ass will remain safely attached to my backside for the remainder of the holiday season. And, yet again, I will ring in the New Year by skulking guiltily in the back row at a Weight Watchers meeting.
How could such a sublime evil plan go so horribly wrong?