The Cool Kids

Friday, January 10, 2014

Secret Subject Swap: January '14

 Happy New Year, friends. I hope yours is already off to a great start. Like everyone in the U.S., we are dealing with the snow, smog and the cold.  Ugh. I hope you are doing all you can to stay warm and cozy. Why not sit down with something hot and take a glance at this month's SSS. ?

If you're a regular reader, you know that the Secret Subject Swap is a collaboration between various bloggers. We receive secret topics from a blogger in a secret e-mail and put our own spin on the subjects. The 11 blogs participating this time are listed at the end of this post. Go have a look and leave a comment. It will make my our day! :)

My “Secret Subject” is:
The best and worst gifts you ever received.
It was submitted by: Stacy@Stacy Sews and Schools     

I've decided to tell you a story that took place when I was seven. What started out as a wonderful gift, turned into (by my own doing) a gift I'd like to forget.

One Easter, (1977, I believe) my grandmother bought each grandchild a GINORMOUS, solid chocolate rabbit. I remember this not only because it was SOLID CHOCOLATE, but because, well…I've got nothing. I guess that was it. Did I mention it was Ginormous?

That chocolate rabbit, i.e. hug-from-heaven-wrapped-in-cellophane, sat on my grandmother's buffet, taunting me during Easter dinner. That was the deal. Eat the food, get the rabbit. In my head, the chocolate was going to taste better with every nibble of corn and mashed potatoes.

One might think that I'd finish that Easter dinner and be too full to even touch that rabbit. One would be so wrong. Even at the ripe old age of seven, I knew the glory of sweet cocoa. This wasn't my first rodeo. I shrugged off any doubt and bit somewhere into the top of the brown, animated rodent. Cue angels singing and white fog. I think that rabbit came alive for a tenth of a second. We may have danced on clouds together, I can't recall.

I didn't completely finish him. (That day). Back at home, I set the remainder of my Easter gift on top of the refrigerator. Every time I walked into the kitchen I'd sneak a bite. I walked in to the kitchen A LOT. Bit by bit, I nipped gnawed away until the rabbit was an unrecognizable chunk of chocolate. Still though, it WAS chocolate. The bites would melt in my mouth. I'd swirl the mixture so every single taste bud would savor the glory, then I'd slowly swallow it, licking my lips to make sure nothing went to waste.

Me, tasting the chocolate rabbit

 When I finished the last of it (RIP, beautiful bunny,) I shook the crumbs at the bottom of the bag into my mouth. Yes, I realize that might be a bit much, but it's not like I licked the inside of the bag or anything. (That came a year or two later.)

I thought that was the last of my Easter treat extravaganza, but it wasn't. By force of habit, I traveled to the kitchen, reached for the top of the fridge and what do you know? There was a crinkle of plastic. Was it an old loaf of bread? Was it a package of Pork Rinds? I grabbed the item and stared at it. What the What? It was another my chocolate rabbit!!

Smelling the familiar heavenly scent should have ended there.  Let's not be unreasonable here. I was seven. And it was ME!  I took the tiniest bite possible while trying to keep the rabbit intact. It tasted just like I remembered. I quickly wrapped that bad boy back up and put him atop our golden appliance.

It may have been by habit, but every now and then (every five minutes), I'd find myself back at that familiar place, unwrapping the crinkly plastic and biting down on the dwindling treat.

One day (how did I not see this coming?) My mom gave my baby sister her chocolate rabbit. Reaching the top of the fridge, mom reminded my sister that she had to make the treat last and that….Oh no. I felt both bunnies fall to the pit of my stomach.
"WHO ATE THIS CHOCOLATE RABBIT??" screamed my mom, as if the neighbor down the street would know the answer.
Then my dad walked in. He slowly took the rabbit from my mom, viewing it from all sides. Wow. Was it really THAT small? Someone else HAD to help munch that thing down.  With all the genius of a little girl I said, "Are you sure YOU didn't eat it, Mom?"
"No! I'm on a diet! Besides, my rabbit is right here!" she answered. She reached in a cabinet and pulled down a solid bunny of her own. It wasn't as big as mine was, but in was whole. Wrapped up with its original ribbon. Shoot. Why didn't my mom put my sister's rabbit up there too? I was about to be busted. So busted.

Dad, who had lately taken over as the family's own CSI, pulled out a flipping magnifying glass. Where did that come from? What was this going to prove? He asked both my little sister and me to take a bite of the chocolate bunny. DUN DA DUN DUN.

The three year old took a full bite that still amounted to that of a china doll. Small, petite and adorable. I might as well have screamed out my guilt right then. It's time to admit to my readers that as a child I had the biggest, buckiest teeth NOT belonging to a rabbit. Not only that, but I had a crooked canine tooth that came in behind the others. We called it my tooth in the second row. I took the chocolate (Which would probably be the last time I'd ever eat again) and bit softly into the bunny. Dad took the chunk back and put the magnifying glass down. He didn't need it. Anyone could see the glistening scratches down the front. My teeth marks looked like a ski run. Ever so often you could also see where that crooked tooth got in the way.

close up of a not-so-innocent girl

All eyes were on me. I was humiliated. My dad yelled for a minute. My mom gave her own chocolate rabbit to my sobbing little sister. I just stood there like the food-stealing criminal I was. My dad then took me to the front porch. I was confused. Beatings don't happen on the front porch. Even in the seventies, for fear that your neighbor's mom would join in too.

We sat down on the front steps. I looked around. Were the Hershey police coming? Would the Easter bunny literally hop by my house skipping only me from now on? More nervous than ever, my dad handed to me the last of the crime's evidence. The last chocolate chunk . 

"You stole this chocolate. You didn't ask, you just took it for yourself" he said.
I hung my head in shame. Was he going to make me hold it until it melted? Was I going to have to recreate a new rabbit out of it?

"I want you to put that chunk in your mouth. You stole it. You wanted it. Now eat it. Eat the whole thing, now. No talking. No whining. Think about what you have done". he said

Now, if you were a kid like me, you've been spanked with a hand. Or a switch. Perhaps a fly swatter or a wooden spoon. Maybe you've been yelled at until you wanted to break your own ears off. That was not happening this day.

My father watched me stuff a huge chunk of chocolate into my mouth. I'm not sure if I was suppose to gag for effect; I'm not sure if I was to look like I was pondering what I did wrong. He just looked at me for a few seconds and returned to the house.

It was at the moment I heard the screen door shut behind me that I finally exhaled. (Through my nose, of course). I moved the by-now malleable piece of chocolate in my mouth to each side of my cheeks so I could periodically swallow. I'd lean back and let the liquid slide and find its way down my throat. I did that until it was gone.

Best. Punishment. Ever.

Lesson learned:

I apologized to my sister fully knowing that she could care less; she was too busy playing with her dolls.

I apologized to my parents who probably imagined that I made myself sick mixing shame with melted chocolate.

I would TRY not to steal sweets again.

Since my mom was on a diet, surely she wasn't going to finish that whole chocolate rabbit.

Thanks for the topic, Stacy!

If you are interested in joining us for the next Subject Swap, you can visit its creator, the wonderful Karen @ Baking in a Tornado. She is an amazing woman. You can also read all about the swaps by clicking on the SSS icon on the side of my blog.

Don't forget to check out this month's talented participants!

Baking in a Tornado                         
Follow Me Home                   
The Momisodes                                       
Confessions of a Part Time Working Mom                          
A Working Mom's "Whoas"                           
Evil Joy Speaks                   
Go Momma!                                 
Juicebox Confession                             
Stacey Sews and Schools                 
Searching for Sanity                       
Spatulas on Parade                       
Small Talk Mama                                 

Cheers to the chocolate lovers every where.. You know who you are.
Happy Weekend, friends


  1. This is one of my favorite posts you have written….I was smiling the whole way until I got to the poignant end. Wow. I'll confess---I was a chocolate bunny stealer too…. but I never got caught. Maybe I should have…. Great post, Michele. Love you bunches and bunches, my friend, and I am SO GLAD to see you back at blogging! XO

    1. Thank you, Marcia. I appreciate your words. Sadly, that wasn't the end of my chocolate-theivery, but I'll have to plead the 5th on that :) Love you too, lady. I'm glad to be back.

  2. This was SO MUCH BETTER than I ever imagined that topic could become!! WOW!!! AWESOME!!!!
    I laughed and laughed. But then I felt the guilt, too.... Another chocolate thief here. ;)

    1. THank you for the fun topic, Stacy. When writing about chocolate, the words just seem to flow out! Hahaha. I'm happy to meet another chocolate-thief :)

  3. I love that your career as a chocolate thief started at a young age. And that you didn't let punishment deter you on your path. You are the master!

    1. You know, it's hard to let go of those early errs. I guess it's a lifetime of crime to admit to. Hello. My name is Michele. I'm a chocoholic.

  4. You have no idea how many times I have told this story, it seems to come up every Easter, along with the year I chocked on an egg...regardless I have had to tell this story to roommates and my husband. The reason why? They would aimlessly come a cross my hidden chocolate and candy, they would wonder why I would go to get lengths to hide my sweets as if they were treasured gold or jewels. To this very day, I have chocolate hidden under my bed, in my closet and in that one cupboard, way up high that no one seems to bother with. Who knew

    1. Haha, I just told a friend how easily this story comes. It's probably because we've relived it so many times, Along wight he choking on an Easter Egg, our lives really could write a book. Keep hiding that chocolate, I'm only nine states away :)

  5. Such a small thing could be so traumatic. Lol I love you still.

    1. I really am sorry for stealing your Easter gift. Don't the 20 years of chocolate covered cherries count for something?? <3

  6. Great story. I could actually hear the sound of your feet making their way into the kitchen over and over again.
    Looks like your sister learned her lesson as well and hides her sweets up to this day ;-)

    Cheers from Switzerland, the land of chocolate rabbits!

    PS: Hershey Police? Really?

    1. Many lessons were learned that day, Tamara! Switzerland? Oh, I can taste the real chocolate now… Definitely the Hershey Police. I was a seven-year old thief. That makes a little one paranoid :)

  7. Your punishment was a lot better than mine when I stole lollies from my brother. I ended up having to write lines. 200 of them. And no I wasn't living in the Victorian era at the time, this was in the nineties.

    1. I've written many a line in my life. This story was only one of a million punishments. It's probably because this was such a different punishment, that I remember the whole debacle clearly.

  8. haha yeah making a 7 year old eat chocolate is NOT punishment. Funny that he thought it was, guess it was to shame you. I would have wolfed it down and gotten a spanking.

    1. Trust me, there was no shame that day. Thinking it over, I should have eaten the whole rabbit in the first place, and hid the evidence of the wrapper. Hmm, maybe I didn't learn a lesson that day...

  9. Love your story! And it totally wasn't your fault, your body was stuck in the pattern of kitchen ->chocolate, kitchen ->chocolate. It happens.

    1. RIght? Thanks for understanding the pattern part. It really was hypnotic. :)

  10. Look, I don't care WHO you are......when chocolate magically appears in your hiding place, you eat that chocolate and ask ZERO questions. Really, you should have been sainted for following this unspoken platinum rule.

    You NAILED THIS POST, twinnie!

    1. This is why I love you! I'm totally calling it the Platinum rule from now on. Sainted? For sure, my twin!

  11. That is awesome!!!!!! When chocolate is involved, no holds barred. My kids will go to battle over the last piece of chocolate or cake or bowl of ice cream. So I consider it a peace effort when I eat it for them.

    1. You, my dear have nailed the true love of chocolate. I never thought of it as a peace effort :) Thank you for that.

  12. I've heard this story at least a dozen times but this is by far my favorite version. The illustrations are great, too. I'm impressed that at the age of seven you were able to get to the top of the fridge. Knowing your size, certainly a chair must have been involved, or did you just open the fridge door and climb the shelves like a ladder? I know the lengths you go to when chocolate is involved so I could see that happening. Good thing we don't have any resident CSI detectives at our house today - they would need to investigate all kinds of missing items. Great story and kudos to CM for the illustrations.

    1. Thanks, man. I was thrilled that C. could help me out. I couldn't draw myself out of a hole. Our goldenrod fridge was reachable by a side counter. I left the part out about actually climbing up it.However, I would probably have zip lined to the fridge from my neighbors house to reach it if I had to. :) I may have also climbed the shelves once or a hundred times.

  13. what great story and lesson learned...that was an awesome punishment..almost like the scene in Matilda (with the chocolate cake).

    1. It's weird when you can remember the "good" punishments, eh? I loved Matilda! See, there's something special about girls with chocolate :)


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