I am having an affair. We meet, my lover and I, every morning for coffee. We sneak in a second clandestine meeting sometime during the afternoon...near the toaster oven, and one last embrace occurs right before I go to bed.
I am not the only woman seeking out this lover, this comfort. We girlfriends are many. We whisper his name. We giggle and squeal with glee as we find out we have the same addiction, the same crush. We know it is bad for us. His name is Mr. Nutella.
His smooth cocoa goodness is too good, too tantalizing. Resistance never wins. I tell myself to hold off, to savor and balance. I examine my growing love-handles, but I throw all caution to the wind and spread his hazelnut protein on to my lightly toasted potato bread. At first I was happy with one piece of toast for breakfast. Now I need a stronger fix and insist on two with my morning coffee.
I keep telling myself I’ll cut back, that this will be the last of it. But he and I both know I’m lying. He knows I’m weak and he plays upon this. He convinces me that he is a legitimate source of nutrition. He encourages me by claiming he’s very “European”...a staple at the British breakfast table. I’ve always been a girl swayed by art and style, and so I indulge. I tell myself I’m being Parisian. I am a skinny, French woman who can pull off a scarf and look fashionable---something out of a 1940’s romance flick.
I no longer keep it from my husband. I announce, “I need a fix!” He knows where I’m off to. The kids are in bed, quick, a spot of tea and a bit of toast and Nutella. My jitters subside, and I can relax, rest, and soon fall asleep. The chocolate kisses me good night, and I sleep like a babe.
Summer is coming and so there is tension. I want to look good. I don’t want to be a stay-at-home mom who slowly expands as I climb toward 40. I want to be fit. I want my thighs to love me back. But I also want instant gratification. And so instead of buying the small jar, I reach for the 20 oz. tub off of Winco’s top shelf.
Nutella makes it onto my monthly grocery list. It is now as common as rice, toilet paper, ground beef, and bananas. It has moved from treat to necessity. It controls me, not I it. And somehow I feel no guilt, shame, or desire to free myself from its addictive powers. Instead I dream of one day saving up my proofs of purchase and owning a tacky t-shirt with the letters N-U-T-E-L-L-A. This I will wear with pride, blazing across my chest.