|Marshall Astor - Food Fetishist|
It's the wife's birthday week, and food is one of her huge motivators. She loves food. She'd cut a small child if it meant getting some cheese dip to go along with her chips and salsa. She decided that she wanted to try some frozen custard. I agreed. We left.
My wife may be motivated by food, but food is my weakness. It has power over me that is embarrassing. I can't count the number of times I've thought, "I can eat all that," and then spent half the night moaning and doubled over, laying on the couch with my gut in my hands.
As we approached the order window, I saw the three different sized cups for the frozen custard. Small, medium, or large. My wife told me she was going to get a small, that it would be more than enough for her. I knew what I needed to do.
It's our first time visiting Cold Stone Creamery--well, mine. We're on a road trip to the big city to see New Moon in IMAX. My wife is pretty excited. She'd enjoyed the first one despite its flaws. I'm less excited, but happy to see her so happy.
It's in the car that my wife suggests, "Hey, you wanna stop at Cold Stone? To kill time?"
Ice cream? Sure!
We go inside, and it's like a magical dessert wonderland. The skill that the scoop jockeys demonstrate as they snatch out a pile of ice cream and plop it onto the countertop, it's practically sorcery. Then I watch them smash and mold it around like Play-Doh, mixing and smashing different things into a delicious icy concoction of sweet and glory.
Three sizes of cups: "Like it," "Love it," and "Gotta Have It."
And I realize I DO! I gotta have it. It calls out to me, a saccharine siren song so savory, to deny it would be to deny a piece of my soul.
My wife orders. I follow, lay my money on the table, and proudly proclaim, "Gotta have it!"
It's only ten minutes later that I realize the mistake I've made. I'm halfway through the deceptively small bowl, feeling my stomach gurgle and toss, shouting at me for being such a glutton.
"Oh, sweetie. I've made a terrible mistake."
My wife scrapes the bottom of her own cup, piling the remaining ice cream into one concentrated area. She hands it toward me. "I'm so full. Do you want the rest."
My stomach rolls again.
I stood at the frozen custard stand, the handsome young man behind the counter grinned at me. Teeth straight and white, like Chiclets, muscles bulged from his white polo work shirt, I wondered if he ate the stuff he shilled, or if it was just a paycheck to him.
"Are you ready?" my wife asked.
I noted the choices again. Three cup sizes: small, medium, or large.
I glanced back at the vibrant picture of the frosty treat of my heart. I turned back the Merchant of Sweet Death.
"I'll take a medium," I said. Because I'd learned since Cold Stone. But I hadn't learned enough.