I Got the Last One
I don’t eat a lot of sweets or junk food. Really. I try to eat healthy. I love fresh vegetables (except Brussels sprouts). I’ll generally buy hormone-free meats, and when I do check a carton of eggs before they end up in my shopping cart, I look for large (but not jumbo) Omega-3, brown eggs laid by happy chickens who reside in the same time zone.
I keep a small container of shelled walnuts in my cupboard for when I feel the urge to snack, but, I confess, sometimes I just want something – something sweet – hell something chocolate, and there’s no substitute.
The other day I was fighting such a craving.
My first strategy was to find some nuts. After getting past the child-proof clear plastic lidded container (Why does opening food packaging have to be so hard?), I nibbled some walnuts. This did not satisfy me.
Then I scoured my cupboards and storage bins for trail mix or the kind of semi-sweet biscuits I might serve with a St. Andre or triple cream cheese, but I couldn’t rustle up any type of sweet cracker either.
I thought about making toast and sampling some homemade jams a few of my friends gifted me, the creations of their passion for canning, but I didn’t even get around to plugging in the toaster. Really, I wanted chocolate. Plum ambrosia was just not going to cut it.
I was almost ready to go to the closest Starbucks for a cakey chocolate breakfast muffin when I remembered John came home from work a few days earlier with a half box of Two-Bite® brownies from Trader Joe’s. There must have been some sort of celebration where he worked and he came home with a modest care package of remnants.
Sure enough, I found the clear, half-a-hatbox sized container on the small granite-topped table near the refrigerator. There was one little brownie left along with a few brown crumbs dusting the bottom of the package. They’d been in my house a few days now. I studied the expiration date and list of ingredients on the over-sized label.
A moment of guilt passed through me as I separated the lid from the bottom of the container and tested the two-bite brownie for edibility. I squeezed it between my thumb and forefinger and still found a little springiness. Two bites later, I rinsed out the container and threw the evidence in the recycling bin.
My chocolate craving was satisfied, and I felt positively gleeful. I couldn’t believe I was so happy about eating a slightly stale thimbleful of sugar and cocoa.
Ha, I got the last one. That was it. I was so happy I almost danced around my kitchen.
In my early twenties, I remember fuming quietly to myself when my roommate or her boyfriend consumed the last beer in the fridge. I was too much of a pleaser back then to tell them that if I bought beer, I expected one to be around when I wanted it.
I never argued when I saw a promissory note from them announcing that our beer supply would be re-stocked after their next grocery trip, but I just let my disappointment fester inside.
Sometimes you just want something when you want it. Maybe you want a special kind of tool in the middle of a project or a crisp twenty when an unanticipated social plan comes together quickly.
Getting something you want when you want it is a small glimpse of heaven for me; an actual situation when you can see your needs fulfilled without having to do something first. It feels like a sign that what you want is already available.
Consuming the last of anything is special. It makes me feel chosen. Lucky. Blessed.
Taking the last bite of a two-bite brownie is no small thing.
Deborah Hawkins © reprinted with permissions