vividly confronted with this fact every time my wife and I go out to a
restaurant. When it gets to dessert, my wife usually orders the most chocolate-saturated dessert possible: It’s the one called “Unstoppable Double-Fudge Chocolate Mudslide Explosion” or some such thing.
catastrophic natural disaster in your mouth.
chocolate pleasure before the eyelids clamp down in ecstasy. The hand
not holding the fork clenches into a fist and starts pounding the table. The silverware rattles. After about six minutes of this, she finally manages to swallow the bite, realign her eyes, and take the next shuttle back from whatever transcendental plane she’s been visiting. Slowly, her sphere of
consciousness expands to include me, her husband, her life-long mate, her presumed partner in all things ecstatic. “Hey, this is pretty good,” she’ll say. “You want some?" No, I don’t. I want nothing to do with an object that does to my wife in one bite what I’ve worked for an entire relationship to achieve. It
then some lame, obvious statement: “Uh…it’s brown?"
adding that chocolate is supposed to be an aphrodisiac. Uh-huh. Chocolate certainly increases desire; problem is the desire is usually for more chocolate. The best a guy can do is buy a box of chocolates and hope he’ll be considered somewhere between the cherry truffle and the strawberry nougat. Don’t get me wrong. Guys like chocolate just fine; it’s just not essential to life as we know it. Respiration is essential to life as we know it; chocolate is simply one of those nice little bonuses you get. We won’t usually pass it up if it’s offered, but I don’t know too many guys who would get substantially worked up if it were to suddenly disappear from the face of the earth (ironic in a way, as back in the days of the Aztecs, only
men were allowed to have the stuff).
enjoy it, yes. My world view doesn’t narrow to include only the plate that it’s on. Maybe we’re missing something. On the other hand, we don’t have to
pick up our silverware from the floor after we’re done with our tiramisu. Life is about trade-offs like that. All I know is that come Valentine’s Day, chocolate will be among the things I offer my wife. I can’t truly appreciate it, but I can truly appreciate what it does for
her. Which is close enough. Copyright © John Scalzi
John Scalzi is a columnist and humorist living in Virginia. For more
columns and essays, visit his website: www.scalzi.com