Monday, February 28th 2011
Wrong Time, Wrong Place, Wrong Cacao Percentage

Or, alternately titled, “Fondues and Fondon’ts”

After Caden-7yr’s last basketball game of the season, Mike and I went our separate ways. He went home with the boys and  I went to the grocery store. When I got there, a radio station van was parked outside blasting music and inviting people to come to the store. It looked crowded. I put it in reverse and went to a similar store in the middle of town. No radio station van sat outside. I thought this store looked less crowded, less hectic, fewer promotional thingies. Better.

But I walked in, and it was  Wedding Weekend. This is when the grocery store advertises they can do Everything For A Wedding and Reception, from flowers to food to cake to who knows what else. Really cheesy music played.  To my right, where the grocery carts usually are,  stood a fake bride and groom. By fake, I mean, real people, but like fifteen year old real people. People not old enough to marry, but old enough to pretend to be a bride and groom because no Real Grownups wanted this gig. The fake groom had fake, glued-on  facial hair. It was a sad sight.

I thought of Michele, and kept my face neutral. (I know that only makes sense to Michele. It’s ok. But it’s what I thought, and did, and why, and I thought Michele might be interested in knowing her effectiveness.) Michele, this took effort. But I did it anyway, for YOU, girl.

Even though I was probably at the wrong grocery store, again, I stayed and endured the music and shopped. I was almost finished. I had a few more aisles to go. And the strangest thing happened. I smelled chocolate and it thoroughly disoriented me. I wasn’t near the chocolate aisles, so it didn’t make sense. It was chocolate-y… so it was a pleasant smell… but i was also aware that this was not a high quality chocolate. Not even close.  Busy self-congratulating for this astute observation, I turned and kept walking slowly, wondering where it was coming from and looking behind me… while walking forward… and then I found it.

Oh, yeah, I found it.

Specifically, my right boob found it. At the end of an aisle, on a tall table, sat a chocolate fountain.

The whole stupid, ugly chocolate fountain thingy moved just slightly as I walked into it, but didn’t fall. And thank you, sweet Jesus, for THAT blessing. There were people around, but not standing around dipping food (or anything else) in the chocolate flow.

Is that what people do? Do people have weddings and put these things out and then people, like, communally dip food items? In the name of holy matrimony, is that what is happening out there?  Because I don’t go to many weddings, and that was my first (and hopefully, only) run-in with a chocolate fountain, and I find it completely overrated and confusing. Not that you’re supposed to smoosh your chest into it, I know that much, but still. I don’t get it. If you do, please explain. Are they for dipping, or just for looks? Because this one wasn’t pretty. Honestly, it looked like poo.

So I made some sort of gasp-y sound, realized it wasn’t going to fall, and no one was so close that I needed to have a conversation about this lovely little incident and so OFF. I. GO. I had one conspicuous, glistening brown spot slightly larger than a tennis ball, and lots of other small, splashy spots that were hardly noticeable.

I was halfway down the next aisle, telling myself that it would be really silly to be thoroughly embarrassed over this, because what? Kels, you’ve been clumsy your whole life and this is nothin’ new! And also? Remember? What do we always say, babe? No one is ever looking at you, so don’t worry. Everyone is caught up in THEM, not YOU, and that’s always how it is. This was the self-talk. Good, right? Way positive on the self-talk! No self-condemnation. All was sunny and sweet.

However.

There is a Key Exception to the “no one is noticing you, get over yourself rule,” and this Key Exception takes immediate effect when you encase your right breast in poor quality chocolate in the middle of a crowded grocery store on a Saturday afternoon.

And THEN?

THEN, people are not caught up in themselves at all – they are caught up in YOU. And specifically, body parts that are normally not worth a second glance, suddenly are.

fyi, y’all. That’s the exception. And now we know.

You’re welcome.

People stared. There were double-takes. I FELT them. A woman in a faded denim shirt looked at my face, then my still-wet, milk chocolate-y spot, then at my face, and had an expression on her face that reminded me immediately of my cousin. It’s exactly the questioning look my cousin would have given me.

“Um… it’s chocolate.”

Y’all. That is inadequate. If you’re going to offer an explanation to a stranger next to the peanut butter selection, THAT is not enough. I get that now.

“Yes….” she said.

“There’s a chocolate fountain on the next aisle. Watch out. It kinda,  um, sneaks up on you.”  And without further eye contact, I wiggled out of my black, fleecy hoodie and wadded it into a ball. Which I should have done immediately, except I’m always freezing cold in grocery stores and I was not yet aware of the Exception to the Rule, and it just hadn’t occurred to me yet to take the thing off. I was busy being all positive.

I came home and threw the black, fleecy hoodie into the washing machine. I must have had a weird look on my face, because Mike asked me what was wrong. He did not seem at all surprised or interested by my answer. Which is fine; he was probably being polite. I went outside to get groceries and when I came back, he said he’d been really clumsy and dropped and broken two different items I’d just gotten at the store. (Not like him.) “What? I just told you I got too friendly with a large chocolate fountain, and you’re the clumsy one? Okay, cool.”

But we can do without barbeque sauce and the pimentos I mighta thrown into the chicken spaghetti. There was no way I was going back to that store. Not on Wedding Weekend. There will be no double dipping for me.

I’m sooo done.

~hm

6 Comments on “Wrong Time, Wrong Place, Wrong Cacao Percentage”

1
LaLa
February 28th, 2011
1:48 pm

I don’t get the chocolate fountain concept. I love chocolate devotedly. I love most things (not your chest, or mine for that matter) dipped in chocolate, specifically pretzels and oreos and almonds and ice cream cones and the occasional strawberry. I do not think chocolate fountains are an aesthetically positive way to present chocolate in all its deliciousness.

I do rather wonder, however, if walking into the fountain a little more forcefully might have made for a more interesting experience and story, and one that would require more cleanup, but less explanation? Just a thought. Perhaps tuck that away in your ‘potential narratives’ file…

2
Kelsey
February 28th, 2011
6:21 pm

LaLa,

it never would have occurred to me to run into it MORE forcefully. bonus points for creativity, babe.

3
Michele
February 28th, 2011
8:23 pm

LOL! That’s just so hilarious. I always watched disastrous things like you experience, only on television and assumed the writers were just super creative and things like that never actually happened to anyone in real life!!! Maybe that’s the key. Suppose God has given you this clumsiness as a sort of super-power so that you can write really amazing and hilarious stories that other people would never think of. I assume hypersensitivity is my super power then. If someone’s face makes a twitch of an expression, I get it full on. And then I’m paranoid the rest of the day. Not worth much unless I were to go into a profession like those people on Lie To Me.

Disaster plan for the next time Kelsey collides with a fondue fountain:
1. Quickly dip your finger into the chocolate, turn the blob into a heart and finish spelling out the word “CHOCOLATE” around it. That way it’s self explanatory.
(If the fountain is cheese…You could go for “I [heart] cheese”.)
2. If that fails, grab a large item–baby diapers, roll of paper towels, bag of dog food–and hold it to your chest.
3. If plans 1 and 2 fail, go ahead and use the ‘dirty look’ on anyone who’s rude enough to hassle you.
Michele recently posted..Run! Run! As Fast as You Can!

4
Angie
March 1st, 2011
1:01 am

You are hilarious!! I love to read your blog, it makes me smile every time. I am not overly clumsy but suffer from “whatever it is you can’t find wll inevitably be right in front of your face and make you feel really stupid in front of large groups of people” kinda girl. For instance; I was at a big BBQ last summer, and sat down with my plate of food, and could not for the life of me find my fork ANYWHERE! I was positive I had taken one, but it was missing. I was then asked if I was looking for the fork IN MY HAND!! Yep, in my hand the whole embarrassing time. Awesome. Of course the loud laughter from all those at my table drew the notice of everyone else and the story was then shared throughout the BBQ. Apparently it may be genetic as my 3 yrs old, not a week after the BBQ , did the exact same thing with her fork at lunch time. It makes a Mama proud.

5
Kelsey
March 1st, 2011
2:49 pm

Michele,
thank you for the thoughtful disaster plan!! awesome.

it’s a ministry of my very presence to make other women feel graceful and coordinated!

Angie,

It was in your hand…?! Oh, cute. i think it would be lovely to have dinner with you and your 3 yr old! i’ll spill everything, but will gladly hand out extra forks. : )

6
Jan
March 2nd, 2011
7:41 pm

My 14 yr old granddaughter asked for a chocolate fountain for Christmas. don’t ask me why. all she said was, ” It would be soooo cool!”
Jan recently posted..Sew Whats New

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