I don’t keep ice cream around.
Because ice cream is delicious and it always looks better than anything else in the kitchen when it’s time to eat something, or when it’s not time to eat anything. If I don’t have a pint of Fancypants Farms Artisanal Organic Honeycomb Cashew Creamy-Time Gelato in my house, I’m less inclined to want it. Besides, that stuff costs eleven dollars!
But the other night, feeling, as my older sister would say, “a type of way,” I went into the 7-Eleven and bought a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Salted Caramel Core ice cream.
Back home, I took off the lid to find a chilled pool of thick, slightly salty, golden-amber-colored caramel, circled by a ring of sweet cream ice cream and — because stopping there would be out of the question — chunks of blondie brownie studded throughout.
Now, butterscotch is my favorite flavor of cavity. But caramel runs a close second because caramel is the poor man’s butterscotch and I’m used to it. (I guess everyone is poor because I never find butterscotch anything except in doctor’s offices and they never have the good kind.) My point is that the ice cream I had in front of me was 90% perfect in every way.
I put some in my mouth. And I realized that being an adult is very, very hard.
No one is watching you. You’re grown. If you choose to do something that puts you or someone else in danger, e.g., aspirating ice cream, you’re not going to get a spanking (unless you want one) and you’re not going to be sent to your room. You’re not going to get fined for eating a pint of Ben & Jerrys Salted Caramel Core Ice Cream at 9 p.m., or at 9 a.m, or both. It’s totally up to you. Totally. That’s a frightening amount of freedom. Too much?
I ate half of the pint, a spoon in one hand and the pint in another, except sometimes I put the pint down so I could smack my hand on the arm of the couch, grunt with pleasure, and yell, “Good God!!” and then I was back to it. I would’ve kept going but something very, very, (very) far back in my head whispered, “You will regret this… Wait until tomorrow at noon… No, eleven o’clock…”
Don’t get me wrong: I’m not against ice cream, enjoying it, or having it frequently, as long as you’re balancing things. But I am quite sure this particular ice cream has literally been engineered to shoot straight past “delicious” into “cocaine receptor.”
That food was otherworldly in its effect on me. I can’t buy it again unless I’m sharing it. I like my heart and I like my bluejeans. Eating a pint of Salted Caramel Core ice cream on an even semi-regular basis is not good for either, and I am not woman enough to stop eating it once I’ve licked the lid of a pint of the stuff.
It’s a jungle out there, guys — and sometimes, the beasts are caramel.