Love is like a box of chocolates.
Forrest Gump’s mama had it all wrong.
And if you love your wife enough to buy an expensive box of specially selected bonbons, you’d for sure better know her well enough to choose her favorites — or it could end up in a column.
So, uh, spoiler alert!
The husband had just come home from work when he handed me the box, wrapped in black-and-white checkered paper with gold ribbon jauntily tucked over two corners.
I knew immediately what it was — that rectangular shape is unmistakable. See’s Candies.
“For you,” he said, smiling.
“Nuts and chews or assorted?” I know my See’s.
“Custom,” he answered.
Nooooooo. Uh oh. My heart dropped, my mind reeled. This was no longer a gift. I was holding in my bare hands the results of a multiple-choice, not-so-standardized test of our entire 24-year relationship.
“Wow, um, no pressure but you realize, if you picked incorrectly, this little box is going to shake our marriage to its very core.”
He smirked, confident in his present-picking abilities.
I — who once received TV table trays and a cordless phone as Christmas gifts while we were still dating — was not as sure.
How well he knows me, my likes and dislikes, my hopes, my dreams were all tucked into this 1-pound box of chocolates. Well, there was his first mistake. Only 1 pound? Really?
I slowly lifted the lid. Ah, good sign. Off the bat I recognized favorites — a brown paper cup filled with crunchy molasses chips, a squat block of California brittle. Yay! A scotchmallow! I grabbed one of the mystery lumps.
What the? Blue ... berry?
I grabbed another and took a tentative bite. It tasted … yellow. I couldn’t even identify the vague flavoring of the squooshy middle.
Dear God. He doesn’t know me at all. Each nibble cast more doubt on my marriage. A lemon-filled chocolate?! That is just an abomination. Should we even be together?
I was on the verge of tears.
“Fruit creams!? You think I like fruit creams?! Blueberry?”
“I thought that sounded good,” he called from the living room. Of course he would. He likes cheesecake. I, on the other end of the sweets spectrum, think cheese has no place as the main component of a dessert.
“There was only one trick one,” he said.
“What was that?”
Ah, that was the yellow, non-lemon thing. Good grief.
Just as I was contemplating a trial separation, I found redemption — in a sprinkle-covered bordeaux and, awwwwwww, a mocha! He does know me!
I took a deep breath, and a step back, and thought about how this super busy guy who has no room in his day for such a time-suck as creating a custom mix of treats from a bazillion options, stood in line and picked out an entire pound of chocolates. For me. And yeah, a third of them were gross, but, at least in this particular case, I’m gonna say it’s not what’s on the inside that counts.