“Stupid, stupid, stupid.”
That’s what I muttered to myself as I reached into the basket of guilt-inducing Halloween candy for the fourth time today. Last weekend while I was buying groceries, I grabbed several bags of Halloween candy because it was on sale and I wanted to save money as well as another trip to the store.
But when I got home, I remembered exactly why I should never buy Halloween candy a second earlier than October 30th. The longer it’s in the house, the more of it I’ll eat. Why? Because it’s there and because my jaws aren’t wired shut. Even as I type these words, my desk is littered with fun-size wrappers, hard evidence of my pre-Halloween mistake.
Why in the world would I be stupid enough to invite the sugary beast into my home this many days before Halloween? It’s a rookie mistake – a hard lesson I should have learned 10 years and 10 pounds ago.
Sale or no sale, smart people don’t bring fun-size chocolate bars into the house and then rely on their crumbling willpower to avoid the chocolatey fun. Would Superman keep a bag full of kryptonite in the pantry just because some neighborhood kids dressed as ninjas are going to come knocking on the door two weeks from now? No! Of course not. Superman would never do that because he knows how unforgiving his bodysuit and tights can be. And how is he supposed to leap tall buildings in a single bound if he’s got a bloated gut full of miniature Twix bars?
But no, I had to save a buck or two. And now I have a bad feeling this “sale” is going to end up costing me. After I eat one or two or 20 of these little Reese’s peanut butter cups, I’ll have to buy expensive organic kale in an attempt to counteract the calories. (And I’m pretty sure the only thing that can get the bitter taste of kale out of your mouth is a Reese’s peanut butter cup. See the vicious cycle?)
If I’d been thinking clearly, I would have only bought Halloween candy I don’t eat, like those weird globs of peanut butter molasses taffies wrapped up in orange wax paper. But I didn’t want to be that neighbor who gives the trick-or-treaters those awful, tasteless treats that nobody wants. I wanted to be the cool neighbor who hands out the good stuff on Halloween. I chose my reputation over my waistline.
What I need now are solutions. I could put the candy away so that it’s “out of sight and out of mind.” But who are we kidding? Good chocolate is never truly “out of mind.” And the chocolate-loving devil on my shoulder would convince me to retrieve it from the closet and “only eat one.” Right. That plan never goes sideways.
Or I could ask Tom to hide the candy from me, but he, too, has been known to hit the candy basket pretty hard so that wouldn’t work either. If I asked the kids to hide it, they’d take great joy in stashing it at the bottom of their stomachs. Then I’d still have to buy more candy the day before Halloween.
Maybe I’ll take the candy to my neighbor’s house and ask her to keep it in her garage until Halloween. We’ve been friends for two decades so she’d understand. And surely my pride wouldn’t let me wander over to her house late at night in my bathrobe and ask for a hit from my stash of chocolate.
Or would it?
Gwen Rockwood is a mom to three great kids, wife to one cool guy, a newspaper columnist and co-owner of nwaMotherlode.com. To read previously published installments of The Rockwood Files, click here. To check out Gwen’s book, “Reporting Live from the Laundry Pile: The Rockwood Files Collection,” click HERE.