Now 25 days into my promise to ban all sweets through (the week before) Lent, I am pleased to report that, for the first Lenten Season in my life, I am still 100% dessert-free. However, I feel I should point out that the sacrifice has taken its toll, as I am now but a brittle, broken shell of my former self, and besides all that, I’m quite grumpy.
You think I’m melodramatic, but consider the lengths I’ve gone to just to keep my behavior in check. In the last (nearly) four weeks, I’ve eaten mass quantities of some very strange things just to distract myself from any and all dessert-ish deliciousness:
- Tic Tacs (orange-flavored)
- Mentholated cough drops (cherry-flavored)
- Fistful after fistful of Life cereal (cinnamon-flavored)
- Salad and salad and salad (balsamic-vinaigrette flavored)
- Wheat crackers…so many wheat crackers (salt- and bread-flavored)
Please note that I’ve only resorted to these desperate measures in times of extreme stress. Otherwise, mostly I’m fine. Mostly, I’m doin’ ok, even as the freezer remains fully loaded with ice cream, and GB tells long and lovely tales of the Girl Scout Cookies he’s keeping at work, and the boys eat chocolate pudding after the dinners they barely touch, and I fall to pieces in the pantry.
Here’s the thing, though, about not cracking under pressure: I can’t explain this—maybe you can—but I’ve found a sick, sordid and darkly satisfying new past time: placing myself in the enemy’s way.
Here’s what I mean:
- Day 3: I made batch after batch of iced sugar cookies for the boys’ in-class birthday parties. I creamed the dairy-free butter and sugar. I whipped tall peaks of French vanilla frosting. I spread soft, rippled waves of said icing across the tops of said freshly baked cookies. And when I was finished, I dropped icing-coated whisks untouched into a full sink of water.
- Day 8: I handed 36 dairy/egg-free cupcakes to a room full of already over-sugared little boys who sang “Happy Birthday” to my fellows as they blew out the candles at their out-of-school birthday party. We had relatives at home, so of course there were bowls full of plain and peanut M&Ms that lingered for days…because I was not eating them.
- Day 16: I walked into a candy shop with this in the window:
Inside there were trays and trays of truffles and caramel clusters and chocolate-dipped pretzels and the like. I’m not sure how long I stared at the peanut butter fudge in the display case, but let’s just say it was a long, long time.
- Day 20: I handed a sample of chocolate caramel cake to O just to watch how much he enjoyed eating it. And he did enjoy it. A lot. I wish I’d thought to take a photo, because that sort of happiness needs to be captured and shared.
- Day 24: I began to daydream about the enormous Graeter’s ice cream cake (it’s ice cream! It’s cake!) I’m going to request the day I turn 37—just 27 days from today—and this whole dessert-free nightmare is finally over.
There’s only one way I can think of to end this update: Twenty-four days in, I also rediscovered Kettle Corn.
I finally know how I’m going to make it through the rest of the season.
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