Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The Chocolate Box Map

Remember when you bit into a piece of chocolate to see what kind it was? If it was something disgusting like orange nouget or strawberry taffy with a peanut center, you put it back in the box and chose a new one.

Not anymore. Now, the box lid has a map that shows where each chocolate is located. It's like a toxic waste map. Warning: stear clear of the northeast corner of the box, which contains a maple nut cream disaster.

I wonder why they don't simply stop making chocolates such as "Vermont nut" and "molasses chew." Instead, they could fill the box with everybody's favorite: caramel. Then you wouldn't need the diagram.

Maybe it's because somebody out there loves molasses chew.

Love...what a funny word. It can describe how we feel about chocolate or people.

Johnny brought home a heart-shaped book he made. The cover said, "Things I Love." Inside, he wrote, "I love my family." "I love my pets." And, finally, "I love to eat macaroni."

I wonder if that list was written in any kind of order.

Love means little and big things.

It is written on conversation hearts like this: "Luv u."

And it's written on the hearts of couples who have been married 50 years.

Recently, my grandparents told me stories about their early days of marriage. As their family grew, they moved from little house to little house. At one point, the landlords evicted my grandma and her two babies during a snowstorm. A year was up on their lease and they wanted a deposit from new renters. Though this was during a housing shorage, my grandparents found a new place the same day.

Love can make big problems small.

I talked to a man who helps refugees here in Kansas City. He said that if the newcomers came as a family, they usually climbed from poverty to the middle class by the second generation. They pooled their money and shared their hardships and somehow came out ahead.

Love multiplies your blessings and divides your problems.

I remember learning in school that love doesn't make people happy or whole. But then how do you explain why some people die of broken hearts?

This even happened to a duck I knew. She lived up the street, along with a dog. Though natural enemies, the family pets became best friends. The dog had a mean streak prior to the duck moving in. She'd hunt just for the kill. But the duck gave the dog a purpose. I'd see her running along the fence, guarding the yard. Once, she saved the duck from the talons of a hawk.

But the dog grew old. She could no longer run. So the duck would lay down beside her. Then one day, the dog died. Just a few days later, the duck died, too. At first, the duck needed the dog for protection. In the end, the duck needed the dog, period. That's love.

And yet, we say we love T.V. sitcoms, love chocolate, love macaroni, love shrimp cocktail. Wait a second, I really do love shrimp cocktail...Anyway.

I think we say this because these little things make us happy, just like love makes us happy.

Well, most people. Not Richie, though. He thinks love means being chased and kissed by girls. This happens to him surprisingly often...at block parties, chess club, even in our front yard.

The experience has made him jaded at the ripe old age of four.

On the morning of Valentine's Day, he remarked, "I don't like love."

He didn't, that is, until he sampled one of my Valentine's Day chocolates.

He took one out of the box Justin gave me and bit into it.

Then he pointed at the center. "

What is this?" he asked.

Referring to the map on the box, I said, "Orange Cream."

I waited for him to spit the chocolate out, but instead he stared at the remaining half for a while.

"Do you like it?" I asked.

"I love it," he said.

This in spite of its orange center: Now that's love.

2 Comments:

Anonymous pat said...

cute blog! Good job Justin going for the top drawer candy with the map inside!!

8:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bridge,
This is "This I believe" material. I love you all!!!! I actually love Vermont Cream and Maple cream candy...my favorites!!!
erin

8:13 AM  

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