It sits staring down at me from the top of the refrigerator, smug in its power, attractive in its red and black, Scottish plaid container:
The most enormous tin of Walker’s “Premium Short Bread Collection,” pure butter cookies you’ve ever seen.
One hundred calories per cookie. With enough butter that one should keep a defibrillator handy after partaking of two, or 12, with one’s afternoon tea.
Oh, why do they do it? Well-meaning friends or, in this case, Paul, gifting me with the very things I try to avoid! It’s understandable: My birthday was around the corner, and on a shopping trip to Costco, he couldn’t resist picking up this trunk of evil goodness, as he knows they’re my favorite, but I have absolutely zero willpower, which is why we don’t keep sweets in the house.
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I constantly hear, in reference to my lanky frame, “Oh, you’re so skinny, you can eat anything!” Well, that’s not completely true. Yes, for most of my life, I’ve had the metabolism of a cheetah on meth, and I work with horses outside every day, so my fitness level is pretty good, however, just because you can eat sugary stuff doesn’t mean you should — having inherited weak and brittle English teeth, I already have a mouthful of crowns, and if I routinely gave into my sweet tooth, believe me, I’d end up with a smile that would look rather like Indian corn.
I have tried to hide this caloric nightmare in the pantry so that I can’t see it, but it’s too large. Neither will it fit beneath the bed. Giving up, I’ve put it on top of the fridge, pushing it far to the back, but like Walter White, in “Breaking Bad,” I know it’s up there, and it knows its up there, and I can feel the eyes of that giant cookie tin following me whenever I cross the room.
Yet I can’t let it go! Last Sunday was my turn to host the coffee hour at church, which obliges one to buy cookies or fruit or cake to set out for our fellow Episcopal parishioners, evidently famished from hearing a 15-minute sermon, and I had initially thought, “This is a perfect way to get rid of this tin. I’ll just take it and plunk it right down in the middle of the table and let ’em have at it.”
But I’m afraid at the last moment, the dark side wheedled its way through, and in a very unChristian decision, I refused to give them up (besides, those people go nuts over Dollar Store gingersnaps, anyway).
So there they sit, mocking me, knowing I won’t give them to the dogs, as I’m too strict about their health, and the horses don’t like them. I shall have to eat them, one by one by one by two by four by seven, and if you want me, I’ll be heading off to a meeting.