My Lent mantra: Next year I'll do better

In this world of good intentions, I'm beginning to wonder if my latest one even counts.

I chose to give up chocolate candy during Lent, and I have no doubt I will successfully uphold that promise. The reason I'm so certain has nothing to do with my strong willpower, but rather the lack of it. I found that after depriving myself for just a few weeks of anything that resembled a chocolate bar, my body started to rebel, and the shaking suggested that I was a prime candidate for the dreaded chocolate candy withdrawal syndrome.

In order to prevent such a terrible thing from happening, I decided that it would be in my best interest to substitute other chocolate goodies for my usual intake of candy. There was no shortage of choices, and anything that started its life as a cocoa bean has become acceptable.

Today I will enjoy – no, relish – the last piece of the second Boston Cream Pie that I purchased at the grocery store. It certainly isn't the yellow cake or vanilla pudding center that gets my attention, but savoring that smooth, satin chocolate frosting is like taking a trip back in time to Hough Bakery.

My choice of beverage, which is iced tea, has been replaced by tall glasses of milk, that I amply fortify with extra squirts of chocolate syrup. The dark kind. And since a glass of milk is only as good as what accompanies it, I've reverted to a childhood habit of dunking chocolate-covered grahams or Oreo's. Only the ones that have a delectable mint filling will do.

I've indulged myself with chocolate-frosted brownies from Heinen's, Buster Bars from Dairy Queen and chocolate eclairs from Fragapane's Bakery. I could continue to describe more of the scrumptious ways that I'm taking care of myself, in order to avoid that awful withdrawal thing, but I'm aware that a major overkill of my beloved chocolate is about to come upon us.

I hope, however, that this information has explained why I am wondering if my original good intentions will still appear on my record in the Big Scheme of things. I'll do better next year, but now I'm on my way to the coffee shop and I can hardly wait to inhale a large, iced mocha. With extra chocolate, of course!

– Barbara Lahey, Bay Village

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Volume 5, Issue 6, Posted 10:56 AM, 03.19.2013