September 9, 2012


While I'm workin' the espadrilles and throwin' down what are sure to look like some heavy duty gang signs, one thing's for sure: no matter how many ways I tie my scarf, I'll never be European. This fact evidenced by the purchase and consumption of one single chocolate bar.

After nearly three weeks of hospital food, I broke down yesterday and high tailed it to the supermercado nearest the hospital under the guise of post c-section rehabilitation. What I was really doing though was hunting for deodorant and chocolate, two such things one cannot live without postpartum. Ten minutes and two euros later I had my fix, one of those really big chocolate bars, not at all like the American jumbo sized candy bar but more like the 'could be a tennis racket' size.

I will admit to being more Snickers than I am Nestle or Hershey but being that there are no Snickers, Whatchamacallits or even Milky Ways on this side of the Atlantic, the Nestle brick would have to suffice. It all started with my roommate, a Euro-waif, who not even a week after giving birth is back to wearing her size zero jeans. I'm not kidding. Size ZERO. Anyway, there she was her scarf draped casually over one shoulder and her chocolate bar resting in her lap, the tin foil folded neatly back like you would a fine linen bed sheet. Carefully, and what appeared to be in slow motion, she snapped off two little pieces along the perforated line in the chocolate bar. Until this moment of watching her fingers break those chocolate pieces away from the mother-load, I had naively assumed that executives in the chocolate industry had designed those perforations specifically to aid in my consumption. They were, in my small world, tracks for my teeth to rest in, leverage for the task at hand. Any notion of opening a chocolate bar but not eating it whole was unfathomable, dare I say sacrilege. Yet there she was, in her chic Euro scarf and size zeros wrapping the remaining 34 million squares back up for Armageddon. That's just about when I decided that a year's worth of Spanish living owed me the same luxury and so I set off for the supermercado.

As fast as my swollen little ankles could carry me, I waddled on down the road, entered the store and made a beeline for the novelties aisle. I'll admit, the deodorant I threw in the basket was just a decoy, and a pretty lame one at that. The cashier, fully capable of calling my bluff, thankfully did not. I'd convinced myself that I too can enjoy chocolate in moderation, one, maybe two squares at a time thus making it last until well into the following week. You know where this is going, don't you. [sigh]

So what happened once back 'home' at the hospital? Yeah, you know what the fuck happened. I snap off my two pieces, wrap the remaining bar neatly back up and put it to bed in the mini fridge for safe keeping. Fingers trembling ever so slightly in anticipation of what's to come, I sit down and pop the first perfect little chunk into my mouth. Heaven. The second piece chases the first, a sweet fountain of milk chocolate all the way down the back of my throat, almost pornographic. This, the European Way, should satisfy me but of course it doesn't. Instead it's like teasing a lion with a chicken wing from KFC. Not ten minutes later and I'm up for another two pieces, wrap it back up, mentally chastise myself for the indulgence and put it back in the mini fridge. Ten more minutes go by, same thing. Two more squares gone. The fourth trip I just say fuck it and eat the whole damned thing.

Sadly, the punishment for my crime is not the absence of the Nestle bar but rather the roommate's Cadbury sitting untouched since the day before between the strawberry and vanilla yogurts on the top shelf of the fridge, his wrapper snug as he hisses disapproval in his haughty French accent because European disapproval always comes with a French accent, “Go on now, Fat American. No more chocolate for you!”

Yes, moderation it appears is proof positive that I'll never be European.

No matter how many different ways I tie my scarf.


  1. The UK has enough Snickers, Mars Bars, Milk Ways, etc. to sink a small island. And it's on 'this' side of the Atlantic too.

  2. I'm on my way! I just can't afford the Ferrer Rochers - takes me twenty euros to get my fix.

  3. I loved this. And you made me raid Addie's Halloween candy, thank you very much! xoxo