Self Servicing

Cherry liqueur chocolates. Whole cherries soaked in liqueur and covered in fine chocolate.

If you are the patient type, you can place one on your tongue and let the solid shell melt in the heat of your mouth until the cherry is revealed. There’s just enough of a tang from the small amount of liquid inside to sharpen your taste buds which have been lulled into a false sense of complacency by the smooth sweetness of the chocolate.

Or if you’re the less patient type, you can just bite right into them so that your taste buds are overwhelmed by the combination of sweet and sharp in a single mouthful.

Sadly, despite the wishful thinking on the various forums you frequent, the cherries will not count towards your five a day, no matter how many you consume. Even more sadly, the liqueur will not be enough to get you drunk.

Pound for pound, or kilos for litres these days, you’d be better off just buying a bottle of wine and be done with it. But a box of cherry liqueur chocolates in the single woman’s basket looks like a treat, something that every woman needs once a month, or more often as circumstances dictate. Whereas a bottle of wine, well, that’s just for sad single women. If you finish off a box of chocolates in one sitting, you clearly had a bad day, a cheat day, and while people may tut disapprovingly at the number of calories you’ve guzzled, you’ll know that most of them will have had similar experiences, with biscuits or chocolates or even the full block of cheese that was just sitting there asking to be eaten. (No, the cranberries in the Wensleydale don’t count either)

But a single woman who polishes off a bottle of wine in one sitting? Well clearly, she must have a drinking problem and people will tut judgmentally, safe and secure in the knowledge that they would surely never sink so low.

So, you put the chocolates in the basket, hiding them from yourself beneath the bread and milk and the meals for one, the basic staples that nobody can criticize, and you head for the self-service tills so that you don’t have to see the imagined pity of the cashier at the contents of the stereotypical single woman’s basket.

You forget that even though the amount of alcohol is minimal, it’s still enough to require authorisation and you force a smile as the assistant, who doesn’t look old enough to buy the chocolates herself, explains to you in all seriousness that these should not be shared with children as there is alcohol in them.

You manage to refrain from going ‘duh’, and instead just fake a joke saying not to worry, there’s no children around to get anywhere near them.

As you walk away with the bag of groceries, the words ‘no children around’ reverberate in your head, and for an instant you wish you’d bought the wine instead.

Author Bio: Kendra Jackson lives in Ireland. By day she crunches numbers for a living. By night she expresses her pent up creativity by crunching words instead. After many years writing fanfiction, she is now trying her hand at original works. She has previously been published in SoorPlooms ‘Short and sweet’ anthology and has work due for publication in Pure Slush and Bubblelitmag. Find her on Twitter at @ceindreadh.

Photo by Merve Aydın on Unsplash.

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