“Mae, I ate 3 rolls with butter at lunch. I was good, I didn’t eat any sugar.”
“Vita, you were supposed to give up sugar and not add anything else!”
I was in Pilates yesterday when my work-out partner Susanna and I decided to give up sugar. Cortnie, my Pilates trainer, loved the idea. We agreed not to eat anything with sugar cane or any artificial sweetener for one week. It’s an unofficial diet of sorts and I invited Vita to be in on it via the phone. She was all excited but as it turns out the tiny bit of sugar she eats if absent does all sorts of damage. After the conversation above, I told her it would be OK if she didn’t join me on this challenge.
Every winter I always go off the diet bandwagon. It begins in February and by April I’m consuming healthy portions of forbidden treats. It always starts with dark chocolate squares – the lure of healthy anti oxidants and then my consumption blossoms into an uncontrollable desire for a lot of chocolate. I’m the one buying those big Lindt bars you see in the grocery store. By the time that moment arrives, my jeans are telling me it’s time to give it all up.
Years ago I used to visit my grandmother at lunch. It was a long time ago, ahem, it’s been about 20 years. My sales territory included her neighborhood and I would call her up from a pay phone – cell phones weren’t a part of my life yet – “Grandma, would you like to have lunch?” I screamed these words into the phone partly because of the traffic on the road and mostly because she was nearly deaf. Once the message got through she’d say, “Ja, Ja. Ve can have pizza!” My grandmother was a tiny woman who emigrated from Switzerland in the 1920’s. She never mastered the English language and had a very thick German accent. She is the first person I knew who always had a healthy diet with special teas flown in from the Swiss Alps. Pizza was her idea of a treat. I’d always buy 3 slices and we’d share the third between us.
Somewhere around that third slice we’d run out of conversation. That’s when she’d say,”Vat do you do fur a living?” I’d try to explain but her face would go blank as the words and my explanation were too complicated. She’d end the description by saying, “You have a good yob!” Then she’d get up and walk to her bedroom. I’d start to salivate. Besides tea, my grandmother had chocolate shipped in from Switzerland. She kept it hidden in a tin under her bed. My Aunt Lucy lived with my grandmother and had the most insatiable sweet tooth. “Lucy vould eat all of my chocolate. I have to hide it.” She’d proudly come back to the table holding a tin filled with the finest chocolate. I didn’t tell her I too wouldn’t mind eating all of it. My manners kept me from doing so. She’d cut me two tiny squares which we would eat with tea.
It was lovely. Two tiny squares of dark chocolate. It’s such a shame I just can’t stick to that amount!