Thursday, September 1, 2011

Closing Up Shop

After almost 5 years of making chocolate, I ended my reign as the sovereign chocolate queen (given that I was the only chocolatier in town, I guess that by necessity I also reigned as the chocolate court jester).  I was ready.  I had visions of a handing over the scepter ceremony, complete with pomp, circumstance, confetti streamers, paparazzi and a pony.  No reason for the pony.  I figured since I was dreaming, I might as well dream big.  In that case, maybe I should have amended the dream and added  Ewan McGregor as well.  Not only did I not get pomp & circumstance, I didn't even get the mariachi band the new owners had promised me.  For all intents and purposes, it was just another day.  Bummer.

By owning this shop, I have discovered that I am not a people person.  The stupid questions.  The indecision and gut wrenching agony of choosing a $1.99 scoop of ice cream.  The being held hostage by the elderly gentleman discussing his sciatic problem.  UGH!!  Waiting on that counter made me want to chain myself to the sofa at home, with enough length of chain to make my way to the freezer for Ben & Jerry's, but not enough to ever let me out of my front door ever again.  Ever.  Not even for the combo of Johnny Depp AND Ewan McGregor, holding Starbucks and blasting Peter Gabriel out of an 80's style boom box, a la John Cusak.  I guess I must be a great actress, as I convinced some of them that I actually was nice. Customers showed up in droves to wish me well. I found that people wanted me to be sad,;that they were disappointed to learn I was actually happy.  I felt like I should go cut up an onion so I could have some tears in my eyes. Or at the very least, ruminate upon the cold hard reality that the only manner in which Johnny & Ewan would ever come to my house is via Netflix.  It's probably a good thing I'll never meet either of them, because doofus Burdie would just show up and I'd go into basic survival, brain shut down mode, as already witnessed this year with Marcos Baghdatis.

My mom and grandmother (the daughter of the real Mama Laura) happened to be in town for haircuts (the only trait I share with my mother--the willingness to drive hours for a really good hairstylist).  When Mama comes to visit every six weeks, she picks up the Sound & Fury from school, bows down in traditional grandmotherly fashion and takes them to McDonald's.  At first I told my mom to just take them back to the house and let them irritate her, on a blood sugar high from all the McD's junk food. Then I remembered that today would be the last day they could get all the ice cream they could stomach for free, so I asked her to bring them by.

For 4 years my kids have been the antithesis of the proverbial kid in the candy shop.  For fear of them ingesting  profits, I put the smack down early on and limited their chocolate intake to factory seconds and limited their ice cream intake to one small scoop a day.  They were always forced to look with their eyes and not their stomachs.  Today, all bets were off.  I gave them free reign to choose whatever they wanted.  As many scoops as they wanted.  In any cone they wanted.  Lulu even dipped her own,  They both opted for 2 mega scoops in a waffle cone.  That was fine with me.  I wasn't paying and I wouldn't have to burn the fingerprints off my phalanges trying to replenish the waffle cone stock.  Have at it!  I had been stocking up on my winter fat storage by cramming pounds of peanut brittle in all week, so shouldn't my kiddos have the same chance?

My mom and grandmother left with the gruesome twosome.  The shop was quiet, other than the sound of music from the dance studio next door.  I walked out with no fanfare.  No ceremony.  No tickertape.  And most importantly, no tears.

"Mild mannered chocolatier by day.  Crime fighter by night."  As if my Clark Kent glasses could ever fool someone into thinking I was mild mannered.

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