Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Chocolate Delinquency

Few things have made me feel young in my first year after college. Paying monthly bills, student loans, rent, etc. was an immediate launch into adulthood, and I forget that I'm mistaken for a college student at times. I purchased a new computer recently, and had to say goodbye to the background of strawberries and chocolate that had served as my computer wallpaper for 4 years. Dessert transforms my attitude into that of a little kid, and last week I indulged in two events with vast amounts of chocolate.

The first was a benefit for CHIP (Children's Health Involving Parents), and a $25 ticket bought several local wine samples and various chocolate treats. While the wine vendors gave out little sips of a few of their products, the chocolate was unlimited. It was also beautifully presented in the Main Street Train Station, which was renovated within the past few years. There were several chocolate fountains (white, milk and dark) and two peanut butter fountains, which I had never seen but was thrilled to try. Dried fruit, fresh strawberries, pirouline cookies and other items accompanied the fountains; many other chocolates covered the tables. One of the best pieces I tried was a Guinness chocolate, which was dark and creamy and rich.

It was the kind of heavenly scene that is almost too good to be true. Sure enough, towards the end of the evening, my companions and I (along with two other 'young adults' we were talking to) were yelled at by one of the women standing near us. One of the organizers was speaking to the room about the event, and we hadn't even realized what was going on because so many other people were making noise. We were far from the loudest in the room, yet the woman decided to scold us because we were the unquestionably the youngest attendees.

Two days later I went to the University of Richmond School of Continuing Studies' Chocolate Festival. It differed from CHIP's Chocoholic in that the $10 ticket allowed you to take one item from fourteen stands. A few of the same stores that had their products at the train station were giving out samples at the Chocolate Fest. There were two fountains, and the vendor who had provided Guinness chocolates at the CHIP event also had chocolate made with
cabernet and martini mix. For the Love of Chocolate, a little store located a mere block from my apartment, also participated in the festival. They let us have one of everything they'd brought, and my friend and I filled our complimentary Chinese takeout boxes with different samples.

While I was walking around at the CHIP benefit and the University of Richmond festival, I noticed that very few people were unhappy (aside from the cranky woman at the Chocoholic event). There are studies that show that chocolate can elevate one's mood, and being in its presence is enough to feel just a little bit better. I don't see anything wrong with being happier, or feeling younger, and I don't think others should either.

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