Tantalus

12.4.17

Last night I was driving home from my bedside duties at the hospital. (Mom’s gall bladder will be popped out like Lego at 3-ish today, theoretically.) I was thinking about the previous night’s MacWallow, when I was too tired and too hungry to make a better decision than a Big Mac AND a quarter-pounder. Yes – both.

I decided to go to Subway. Still fast food, but I could make a few marginally better choices. Whole-wheat bread. Oil and vinegar instead of mayo. Ham and provolone, lettuce and lots of black olives.

I walked past the chips and the soda. I made my better-than-bad choices. When I got to the cash register, the sweet little girl said “Would you like a complimentary cookie?”

It was clear they were about to close, and their cookies were going to have to be thrown out.

“Oh, COME on!” I thought. It was almost 9PM, I was exhausted and starving, and a darling little high schooler was innocently offering me fast-burning carbs at a time when I was fighting the sugar craze tooth and nail.

And shit – they had the white chocolate chip cookies just sitting there, looking all fresh and tender and a little undercooked – perfect, in other words.

“I’d like the white chocolate chip, please,” I said weakly.

“Do you mind if I give them all to you?”

She was stacking up six or seven cookies, preparatory to bagging them in the little paper sleeve.

‘“No!” I shrieked as if I’d been pinched. “LOOK at me!” I grabbed a fistful of the ampleness of me just where hip becomes ass. “I’ve been trying so hard!”

She looked so startled, this adorable creature who had been trying to do something nice for a late-night customer. “Two,” I said with resignation. “Just give me two. And thank you – that’s very kind of you.”

She didn’t look very appeased by my lame thanks…

My friend Fern warned me about this slippery slope (the “caring for an aging parent instead of yourself” slope) – I just didn’t realize pretty little imps were going to leap out at me from ambush to increase the demon temptation!

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