When You Don't Have a Stop Button


It is Friday night and the accumulation of a week's worth of stress is starting to feel heavy. The stop-and-go traffic, your boss' last minute request, the note from your son's teacher, and a nasty exchange between your mother. Finally you have a moment to yourself, and you sure could use some relief.


A bowl of ice cream sounds good. There is a $10 jar of Belgian chocolate hot fudge in the fridge. The good stuff you splurged on last week at the store. You know where the pint of sea salt caramel Talenti is stashed. Same place you left it a few days ago. In the back of the freezer door under the bag of peas. Where your husband wouldn't find it.


The question is no longer if you should have it, it is how you can get to it fast enough. It is urgent, and nothing will stand in the way between you and that first bite.


30 seconds later the microwave beeps and you spoon the dark molten sauce like lava over the mound of cold ice cream. The scoops soften under the warmth of the chocolate blanket and begin to melt. This is how you like it. You don't waste time carrying your bowl to the table, you simply stand at the counter and dip in your spoon. Heaven.


One bite follows another quickly as your mind still processes the drama of the day. Before you know it, all that's left is a milky liquid coating the sides of the bowl, and you eagerly scrape that up, too. Restlessness is still there, so now you need more. Something else. A couple of cookies from the pantry, a few chocolate-covered almonds, a stray half of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Pretty soon you are doing the familiar dance of scouring the kitchen for everything and anything you can put in your mouth.