We can’t always be good

I used to be a really picky eater when I was growing up.  I liked spinach (which is weird, I know, for a picky eater), mac & cheese (homemade, not a box), pork chops, and pretty much anything that had lots of sugar.  That was about it.  My tastes broadened as I grew up, but I still leaned heavily toward a fondness for cake and pie and all things chocolate, and when I was feeling especially low – banana splits.  Eventually my body reached a point of sugar overload and told me, Quit it, will you?!  I decided it was best to listen.

Another thing about me, is that in times of stress and fatigue, I feel like crying.

I’ve been really busy of late.  I’m revising a novel that has been a labor of love, but consumes a lot of my time.  I’m also co-director of an annual writers’ retreat that is coming up next week.  So, in the interest of writing efficiency and mobility, I decided to buy a laptop.  And I wanted it to have touch-screen technology.  I got online, found the perfect model and ordered it.

When the laptop arrived a few days ago, I unpacked it and went through the process of setting it up.  It was zippy and sleek and Windows 8 was actually not bad – BUT <—- (big but) – the display was NOT a touch-screen like I ordered.

Bugger, hell.

It took me two days of phone calls and waiting on hold and emailing and waiting for responses to my email, and then calling and holding again, before I finally had a prepaid UPS label to slap on that sucker and send it back.

It was the last phone call that did me in, though.  After establishing (with the third person I talked to) that it was, indeed, the wrong item, the returns rep asked me if I would consider keeping it if they gave me 5% off.  I said, “No.  It’s not what I ordered!”

And then she asked, “Would you keep it if we give you 10% off?”

I knew I was in trouble.  My eyes welled up, and my voice took on that quavery underwater tone.  “No!  I just want to return it.”  I felt like I was begging.

I finally found what I wanted locally and for $170 less, so my misery wasn’t all for naught.  But by the time I brought the right laptop home, I was feeling battered and fragile, and I needed, REALLY NEEDED to listen to my mood and tell my body to just shut up for the time being.

And my mood was saying, Give me sugar!

So I did.

bite me 2 web

Chocolate ice cream, enrobed in fudge, and wrapped in Belgian milk chocolate. Because sometimes you have to have something bad for you, so it might as well be good.

And in the wise words of Robert Frost . . . that has made all the difference.

43 thoughts on “We can’t always be good

  1. I have the same reaction to stress. Public speaking in particular. I just start crying, which makes me more embarrassed, which makes me cry more. Stress sucks. Good for you, handling it so well!


    • Oh, public speaking is really stressful. Once, in a college writing class I had to stand up and read my paper to the class. I was so nervous, half-way through my voice cracked and faltered, my eyes got teary. When I finished the entire class applauded. I felt like it had more to do with the fact that I had managed to get through the reading than about the quality of the work. Kind of like Jennifer Lawrence when she stumbled on the stairs at the Oscars and got a standing ovation. Like she said, they were standing up because they felt sorry for her that she fell and that was even more embarrassing!


      • Damn right it’s getting bigger which makes fighting back so deeply important. I envy you your comfort reward though. It’s off my menu for a long time to come, so enjoy for me also, please. And keep up,the good fight!


  2. I just read this selection from Frost, today. How cool. And as far as that phone call TO hell goes, I felt your fear and anguish. Dealing with a friendly sounding voice on the other end of the line who wants to break your spirit and shatter your belief in humanity is one of the scariest realities of our tech age.
    And I love that picture, with the Altoids tin in the background looking on, as if to say “Go ahead mama, you deserve to get your chocolatey justice after what you’ve been through….”


    • I love Robert Frost! I know that some people find him to be pessimistic and somewhat depressed, but I love his language and imagery. Imagine what he’d write about if he were alive in this maddening world now?! As for the Altoids – I have those tins stashed everywhere. For when I need a little extra oomph.


  3. Oh Mary, I am so glad your computer woes are done. What a hassle–certainly sufficient to inspire tears of frustration. But once again, your persistence has seen you through. I should think you deserve a chocolate treat!


  4. Been there, done that, bought the T-shirt.
    Nothing like pure, unadulterated comfort foods in our time of stress and when we are feeling quite defeated and overwhelmed.
    My choice is generally a handful of Guittard Dark Chocolate chips… Followed by the same.
    Hugs and chocolate wishes to you!


  5. I hear you! Ben and Jerry’s ‘Chubby Hubby’ is my drug of choice. I have been using a laptop for over a decade and am on my 4th… yikes it is a great tool, and they get cheaper and more efficient and with Wi-Fi I can be online anywhere… now I am thinking iPad? I got one for my wife for Christmas 2011 and she loves it. Take care and enjoy your new laptop and the writer’s conference!


    • Oh, Clay – my hubby loves Chubby Hubby, too. We have a hard time finding around here, though. I have an iPad. It’s the first one, so it doesn’t have a camera. I have loved it because of it’s versatility and it’s size. It’s the reason I was so adamant about wanting my laptop to have a touch-screen. That technology is so much easier to use. For extensive writing, though, the iPad doesn’t really cut it.


  6. I’m so glad you battled through and got the computer you wanted. May it serve you long and well! I’d say you earned your treat. And I strongly believe that when you indulge you should do it up right! No low fat, artificially sweetened, “chocolatey” junk for me. It’s got to be the real deal. 🙂


    • Well, this particular ice cream treat was definitely NOT low fat or artifically sweetened. Also, I am glad I didn’t cave, because I was right about the kind of laptop I wanted, and I am loving it. Score on all counts!


  7. How’s the novel revision going? The world of the nebulous! The retreat looks gorgeous and I would love to be there in front of that fire. I hope you get to enjoy the weekend ad-midst the work. Forget chocolate – take marshmallows!


    • Novel revision is the most frustrating, painful, and exhilarating experience. I revise on one page, which leads me to something else – another thought or idea. The retreat IS gorgeous. The place is nestled amid pine trees and on the edge of a blissful lake. Funny you should mention marshmallows – this year, we’re having a bonfire one evening and we’re making s’mores. The best of both chocolate and marshmallow. I will think of you then!


  8. Darn right girl! You deserved it after all that. I’m proud of you for not losing your temper like I might have. It can be so frustrating dealing with customer service. When I first got my nook, I had to call customer service a lot and it was pure hell, I tell you! ;). I’m so glad you got the right laptop at last!


  9. I can with certainty say I would have reacted exactly the same as you! Sounds like a nightmare, but it ended with chocolate so that’s okay. 😛 my next blog post will touch on some similar points… But my current belief is that we shouldn’t allow decisions regarding food make us think of ourselves as being “good” or “bad.” I like that you acknowledged it might be bad for your body, but good for your current mood. I can get behind that. 🙂


  10. Egads, just reading this made me want to bust out the Ben and Jerry’s!

    Obviously, I used to turn to alcohol when the stress hit me, but now my go-to’s are running and peanut butter cups (not necessarily in that order).

    Really love your writing! I’ll be poking around, getting lost in your words if you will, for the next few days I’m sure!


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