Temptation Station

Yesterday, when I went back for my second office cup of coffee in the morning , I saw that a large ziplock bag of Easter candy had appeared by the brewing machine. It had been left there by someone who wanted to spread a little chocolate cheer, or by someone who couldn’t resist the bag’s contents and just had to get the temptation out of the house and onto more neutral ground — or perhaps both.

The bag appeared to have an impressive amount of high-quality Easter goodies, like those coated malted milk eggs, foil-wrapped chocolate eggs, peanut butter-filled eggs, small chocolate bunnies, and chocolate bars — but no Peeps. Sherlock Holmes would presumably conclude that, with such an array of Easter candy, the absence of a traditional Easter basket element like Peeps meant either that the Candy Leaver hated Peeps, and didn’t include them in their Easter candy purchases in the first place, or gobbled down every last Peep in a mad frenzy, perhaps during their drive into work that morning, before the bag appeared at the coffee station on our floor.

The big drawback of being a coffee drinker at our office is the fact that the coffee machine is the goodie deposit area. Occasionally cookies or leftover birthday cake will appear unexpectedly, but the days after Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and Easter, when everyone seems to just want to get leftover candy out of the house, are the worst from a temptation standpoint. Yesterday I resisted, and saw the contents of the bag steadily decline until it had been thoroughly pawed over and only a few orphan pieces remained. Once more, the helpful and ever-hungry workers on the fifth floor had done their duty and helped a colleague through a time of crisis.

Advertisements

Swearing Off Sara Lee

Recently Kish and I stopped at a Bob Evans for a cup of coffee.  As we waited at the to-go counter, we stood by the glass display case that offered all kinds of tantalizing coffee cakes, crumb cakes, and gigantic cookies.  It was a classic example of conscious retail design to encourage impulse buying:  as long as you’re here, picking up your order, why not go for one of these delectable items, too?

The coffee cakes looked awfully good, but we resisted the temptation and stuck with our lone cup of coffee.

sweetbreakfast-pecancoffeecakeIt reminded me of a kind of rite of passage during my early teenage years.  Mom used to buy Sara Lee pecan coffee cake that I found irresistible.  It was dense and moist and sweet and cinnamony, with swirls of icing and crunchy pecans.  Although it was sold in kind of aluminum dish so it could be heated and served hot, I always took my Sara Lee coffee cake cold, with a tall glass of cold milk as accompaniment.  And on some days, I’d have a second piece, too.  And maybe a third.

But after a while I realized that I wasn’t exactly maintaining fighting trim, and if I wanted to actually get a date with a girl I needed to do something about it.  It wasn’t just the Sara Lee, of course, there was the lure of Frosted Flakes, and Coke and all kinds of snack foods, and a lifestyle that involved too much TV watching and not enough exercising.  And, at bottom, the inability to enjoy things like that Sara Lee pecan coffee cake in moderation, rather than in gluttonous excess.  But I swore off the Sara Lee, and I don’t think I’ve had any since.

Could I enjoy a sliver of Sara Lee and a glass of milk, without promptly ravishing the entire cake?  I’d like to think so, but I’m not going to test that hypothesis.  Sometimes it’s more prudent to just avoid temptation altogether.