Friday, April 10, 2009

How to Keep White Chocolate Special

Take a ride in the time machine with me:

Do you remember when the only time you ever saw white chocolate was in this shape?

Remember when white chocolate (which isn’t really chocolate, but let's not split hairs) tasted better...because you knew you could only have it at Easter? Not for your birthday. Not for Christmas. Easter only, in a shape of a bunny. White chocolate was a seasonal thing.

Today, white chocolate is available 24/7/365. You can pick it up in bar form in the candy aisle, buy white chocolate chips for your cookies, and see Lindt white chocolate truffles staring up at you while you pay for your books at Borders. White chocolate still tastes the same as it did as an Easter bunny. But it no longer tastes special.

What else is no longer special today?

The movie The Wizard of Oz -- once aired once and only once a year on one of the networks, now you can watch it every day on DVD.

Movies in general – how can something that you can do in your living room be called an “event”?

Going out to eat – some of us think we can’t cook and therefore stop and pick up fast food or do takeout every day. (I see an inverse relationship between the quantity of the restaurants and the specialness of the food – a dinner at Pina’s Bistro in Tustin, of which there is only one, is far better for the soul than a dinner at, say, McDonald’s.)

How can we make these things special again?

It would be impractical, not to mention annoying, to return specialness to these things by means of law. Imagine a law which forbade the sale of white chocolate except in the month before Easter.

What we can do to return specialness is
a.) not overconsuming, and
b.) remembering to be grateful.

The last time I saw The Wizard of Oz was in a real theater – the Bay Theater in Seal Beach, some years ago. (If you're in the area, go to the Bay. Please go. Classic single-screen theaters need all the support they can get!) I eat any sort of chocolate in small doses, no more than about an inch square at a time. Two Dogs and I enjoy every moment when we get the chance to eat out, and we pick our restaurants with care. Quality of food, not mere convenience, earns our respect and business.

Come to think of it, life itself is pretty darn special anyways, isn't it?

1 comment:

  1. Great post, Jennie, I think about this often. Your thoughts brought to mind this anecdote from my own life: Back in the mid-80s, we got our first VCR and rented our first movie (it was "American Gigolo"). As the opening credits played, I sat on the couch and along with the wonderment, felt a little pang of regret. I said to myself, "Well, watching movies will never be special again, will they?" I also remembered rushing home to see my favorite show as a kid. While it would be nice never to miss a show again, I would also never again experience that excitement of arriving with a minute to spare and flipping on "Star Trek" and heaving a sigh of relief.