I can’t believe the neighbors called the cops on me. The officer said there had been some complaints about a woman at my address stealing candy from the Trick-or-Treaters in my neighborhood. I wasn’t stealing! Being a concerned neighbor, I merely offered to check their goodies for any candy which might be adulterated with drugs or dangerous objects. Gee, try to be a good neighbor and look what it gets you.
The officer said it was reported that I only taste-tested the chocolate bars and peanut butter cups. It is just a coincidence that those are my favorites.
He and my neighbors should be more sympathetic. Halloween is the beginning of the most difficult season for dieters with a sweet tooth. After Halloween is over, all the unsold candy is half-off. I never could resist a good sale, unless it was on kale or low- fat cottage cheese.
Halloween is closely followed by Thanksgiving, which is an excuse to give thanks and stuff yourself with pumpkin pie and candied yams.
But the real temptation is the Christmas season. Throughout December, on every desk or tabletop is a plate of fudge or a tin of cookies. Before the candy canes have even digested, we will be celebrating New Year’s Eve. Ahh, bring on the Margaritas and canapes. Or the beer and chips, depending on your lifestyle.
Once the holiday parties begin, you might as well let the seams out of your clothes before the seat of your pants bursts as you reach across the buffet table for that last piece of unclaimed peanut brittle.
I am determined not to let that happen this year, so I drew up a grocery list of healthy, low calorie foods and headed to the store.
I felt down-right self-righteous as I hit the salad bar first. We all know it’s a feast of low-calorie nutrition.
I carefully placed a large leaf of iceberg lettuce in the container and topped it with a generous spoonful of dressing and lots of croutons, cheese, and bacon bits. Snapping on the lid, I grabbed a handful of grapes and dipped them into a tub of cream cheese-and-marshmallow dip I had thrown into my cart.
On my way down the bread aisle, I absentmindedly helped myself to a handful of free samples of powdered sugar donut holes presented by a cheerful representative. After all, I wouldn’t want to hurt her feelings. Anyway, she was wearing a white lab coat, so she must be a professional nutritionist.
At the cookie aisle, I carefully chose a fat-free brand. I opened the package and ate half of them while I was shopping. They’re fat-free, so they must be ok, right?
I followed the aroma of sizzling Italian sausage and found another woman passing out samples, skewered on decorative toothpicks. She had mild, medium, and spicy, so I tried all three, just to see which was best.
Hey! Do I smell pizza? Sure enough, there was another cheerful, lab-coated expert, handing out free samples. Just a taste couldn’t hurt.
I ambled over to the deli, where, feeling sanctimonious, I selected baked turkey breast. While I waited for the clerk to weigh it out, I nibbled chunks of greasy salami from a sample tray on the counter.
Humming to myself, I went through the check-out line and headed for the exit. Outside the door, I bought a candy bar the size of a gold brick from a kid trying to raise money for his school. Such a cute kid, and it’s for a good cause. I ate it in the car on the way home, just to eliminate the temptation. There was a dollar coupon on the back of the label for a cheeseburger from McDonalds. It would be a shame to waste it, so I went through the drive-through on the way home.
“No special sauce, please,” I smugly told the girl at the window. “I’m dieting.”
Back at home, I had to let my belt out a notch in order to bend over and get the groceries out of the trunk. It seemed I had somehow gained weight since I left the house.
I must have a sluggish metabolism. That’s what I told my doctor when my husband and I had appointments for our annual physicals. I had gained a few pounds, but she said, “I would rather see you maintain your current weight of (XYZ), than gain any more. Only she did not say XYZ; she said the actual number, right out loud in front of my husband.
“I can’t believe you just did that,” I said. “I have kept my weight a secret from everyone, including him, for 30 years, and you just blurted it out in front of him. Even my mother doesn’t know how much I weigh.”
“Have her call me,” the doctor joked, “and I’ll tell her.”
“Ha ha. Very funny. Why don’t you step out into the waiting room and tell all your patients how much I weigh, as well as that I have intestinal polyps, chronic halitosis, and a tendency toward constipation? Blabbermouth!”
“Gee, I’m really sorry,” she said. “Is there anything I can do to make it up to you?”
I offered her two choices, either of which might result in a substantial lowering of that XYZ number: the removal of one of my kidneys for transplant (it probably weighs a pound or two) or the inducement of a coma from which I would awaken after the holidays were over.
All of a sudden the blabbermouth is worried about ethics. All I am worried about is that the grocery store might be out of chocolate bars and peanut butter cups.