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Thursday, 16 December 2010

Stolen treasure, or The Sin of Gluttony

There is a Family Story about Little June and Cookies
One Saturday morning I woke up earlier than everyone else in the house. I had been thinking, all night long, about the package of fudge-striped cookies that Mom and Dad had bought during the Friday night shopping excursion. I wanted to engulf those cookies. I wanted to binge on those cookies.
I stole downstairs, retrieved the unopened package from the breadbox and carefully, carefully opened the brittle and crackly wrapping at the end. I slid the plastic tray out of the clear plastic. 
I pulled out one cookie and took a bite. It was good. 

I heard my sister's feet hit the floor upstairs. 
I looked around, frantic to find a hiding place. The best I could do was behind-the-big-red-chair in the livingroom, and I tiptoed there rapidly . . . my sister was coming down the stairs at a good pace . . . and folded myself up into the smallest object I could be, the entire package of cookies clutched to my chest. I believe I started on a second cookie. I knew she would hear me . . . I tried to be still but couldn't, so I tried to take small inaudible bites. 
The cookies were rather crunchy, though.

I saw her feet at the livingroom door, her bony intrusive ankles bare below the hem of her nightgown. She stood still. I could tell she was scenting the air, trying to locate me. I peeked up from below the ridge of my brow and saw her scanning the room.
I shouldn't have looked; somehow my gaze attracted her attention and she zeroed in on me. She saw me there, with MY cookies, and laughed. I had to get up and pretend that I hadn't planned to eat the whole package. I put them back in the breadbox. I had only had, maybe, three. Hardly the satisfying glut I had hoped for. 
My sister told that story every blasted time she got the chance, and I never got over the feelings of 
(a) disappointment that I had been deprived of my secret pleasure and
(b) embarrassment at my compulsion-to-engulf and my failure to find a better hiding place!

Afternoon boss is on vacation, and he crept in last night while no one was there and left a ziploc bag of homemade Italian anise cookies on my desk.
Most of my coworkers all work in different offices on a different floor. One same-office coworker was there for a brief time and he took the bag upstairs to one of the offices and shared with the woman there. And then he brought the bag back, where they belonged . . . to me!
I snacked on those cookies all afternoon, all the time thinking I should take them upstairs to pass around, knowing that the people to whom I would offer them would decline: They are all self-disciplined, and thin.
Four o'clock arrived and the cookies had all . . . gone away.
The woman who'd had one, tattletale! . . . and a woman who would have declined came to say goodbye for the day.
The decliner said, "What's this about cookies?" (I truly think her question was preceded by "Fee, fie, fo, fum!" but perhaps not.)
I looked at her miserably. Caught again. 
"Where are they?" she asked.
I looked down at my midsection and ran my palms over its soft little bulge.
"I can't be left alone with these things!" I keened.

I'd like to say that next time I'll hurry to offer them around before I feel that creeping sense of ownership.

Next time . . . next time . . .
I'll hide them before anybody sees the things.