Foul Creature

It is Lent. While I am aware that we are not supposed to ‘wear our sorrows on our heads’, and announce what we are giving up for lent, allow me to break with tradition to tell you about a foul creature who wandered into my life on this beautiful sunny California Sunday.

On Ash Wednesday, I chose to give up my daily ration of sweets and limit myself to eating sweets once a week. Now, anyone who knows me understands that I don’t just have a sweet tooth, no no no… I have sweet teeth, all 32 of them. So, as you can imagine, limiting myself to once weekly sweets has been a challenge that has tested my Catholic upbringing to its limits. To call this sweets Semi-fast (SSF) an uphill battle does not even begin to describe the magnitude of my love of all things sweet and the intense cravings that assailed me on the first week of my SSF. By the time my first weekly ration of sweets day (Sunday) arrived, I was ready for my sweets. I went and purchased what looked like a very tasty French-named pastry. That pastry should be renamed disappointment (pronounced Dees-aah-poh-eent-moh in an ode to its French roots).

Fast forward a few weeks later, and my husband and I decided to join some friends at the local Sunday Farmers’ market. We took our son with us and being the social boy he is, he quickly found other babies with whom to commiserate over the lack of muddy puddles to play in.

I told my friend that this was my sweets day, and she pointed out that a new crepe stand had been added to the usual fruit and pastries stands, and we decided to try it out. I ordered a banana-nutella crepe, which was divine gooey goodness. I am new to the world of Nutella, and I am still very much in the oh-my-goodness-where-have-you-been-all-my-life stage with this sugary goodness. So, as you can imagine, I was thrilled to have come across Nutella in a crepe for the second time in as many months.

Once my crepe was ready, I artfully arranged it on my plate, took a few bites and savored the warm banana-chocolate taste. I was so engrossed in singing praises of my crepe, and talking to my friend that I did not notice that a coup was underway. You see, while I was extolling the virtues of the right mix of Nutella and banana served at the right temperature, a foul creature was finalizing its plans to invade my beloved crepe. And so it was with profound shock and horror that I noticed the foul creature, newly landed on my crepe, its long legs sticking out of the melted Nutella.

In that moment, a few thoughts crossed my mind. Well, technically germs are in a state of shock, and Nutella is quite thick, so the germs can’t travel to the other side of the crepe, right? Wrong. The foul creature, having read my mind, stretched its long spindly limbs in a gravity defying motion and walked across my crepe! Any efforts to curtail the foul creature’s movement were immediately thwarted by the creature’s other limbs. In that moment, I had a reality check. My crepe was a lost cause. And there in lay a life lesson. Sometimes, life hands you lemons you can make into lemonade. But sometimes, life just sticks a foul creature in your Nutella banana crepe, and there ain’t nothin’ you can do about it. I tossed the entire crepe, foul creature included, into the trash can. May that foul creature rest in Nutella banana bliss.