The experts say that chocolate is good for you – in moderation. I suppose anything is good for you in moderation except maybe hemlock. (Google Socrates). They say the darker the chocolate, the better. Imagine strawberries dipped in dark chocolate. That would have to be the perfect health food.
My wife will tell you. She’s been using chocolate as a health food for as long as I’ve known her. Although, she has a problem with what the experts consider moderation. Those experts will tell you 3.5 ounces a day are enough to give you the benefits of chocolate. But Elaine says 3.5 ounces four to twelve times a day, depending on how your day is going, would be more like it.
Some of those benefits everyone is so excited about come from antioxidants – chemicals that fight free radicals. Sounds like the sixties, doesn’t it? Free radicals are actually substances that can cause heart disease; they’re not anti-establishment hippies. By the way, Elaine has no heart disease.
Chocolate also lowers blood pressure and bad cholesterol. It contains serotonin which helps with depression and stimulates endorphins, those little pleasure-giving chemicals everyone adores. Elaine also has low blood pressure; she’s rarely depressed and when she eats chocolate, she smiles and says, “Yummy.” The experts, for once are right.
But what those experts don’t tell you about is chocolate’s addicting qualities. Chocolate is the most craved food in the U.S. The typical person consumes about 12 pounds of it a year. Elaine can do that in a week. Chocolate also stimulates the same pleasure areas of the brain that sex does. And most women prefer chocolate to sex. Unfortunately, Elaine is one of them.
Once, I brought chocolate into the bedroom. I figured its aroma would have an aphrodisiac affect. So, I rubbed a Hershey bar behind my ears and across my bellybutton. Then, wearing nothing but a smirk, I slithered into bed with my newfound seductive powers.
Instantly, she got a whiff of my amorous aroma, slammed her book shut and looked at me with lust in her eyes the likes of which I had never before seen.
“Well, my love, how about…” I started saying, confident in my ploy. But before I could finish my salacious suggestion, she bolted out of bed and down the stairs. A few minutes later she was back with a bowl of chocolate chunk low fat frozen yogurt lovingly cradled in her hands. There, she sat right next to me moaning with pleasure over that bowl instead of me. It was clear that I lost my wife to the demon chocolate.
Although there is much debate over whether chocolate actually is addicting, I know from living with Elaine it most certainly is. The mere mention of chocolate brings tiny beads of perspiration to her upper lip and causes her hands to tremble with anticipation. When dining out, she’ll forgo appetizers and often the entrée just to sink her teeth into some sort of chocolate dessert decadence. “I don’t want to fill up on all that,” she’ll say waving her hand dismissively as I dig into a plate of zuppa de pesce. “All those wasted calories…” Whenever I object to her eating habits, she’ll reply, “It’s all a matter of calorie choice. You choose yours, I’ll choose mine.” Then, she’ll make sure I see her sharpening the chef’s knife with an evil glint in her eye.
Last summer, after we had finished working in the yard, I noticed the fragrance of chocolate as she walked by me on her way to shower. “Wait,” I said. “I smell chocolate on you.”
“I’ve eaten nothing, Bob.”
I pulled her close to me and smelled her breath. Nothing. But there was still that chocolaty aroma. I slid my finger over her perspiring arm and brought it to my nose. “Oh, my God! You’re sweating chocolate. I told you you had a problem. You need professional help and I’m going to see that you get some.”
And I meant every word, too, until the next day when I caught her with a truffle melting in her mouth, Googling Socrates with an evil glint in her eye.