Even through all my purpose-driven, chemical-avoiding, Red 40-hating progress I have to admit that Valentine candy does me in. Sorta like the chocolate bunny at Easter, all I crave on Valentine’s Day is that one piece of strawberry or orange crème-filled milk chocolate. With candy in short supply at our house, I usually have to settle for a Be Mine message heart from the kids’ school party sacks, but it’s just not the same.

My dad always brought Valentines candy home for me and Mom each year. The big boxes. The kind that took a week to eat. I loved it! And Daddy would generously help us eat them. But that was before the days of labels under the box lid. So my dad would smash his thumb into each piece to see what the filling was like in order to decide if he wanted to eat it. I squawked, but I really didn’t mind. It just made it easier for me to avoid the nuts and aim for the pink and orange goo no one else wanted. I so wish I had a picture of some smashed-in Valentine candy, but we never took any pictures of it. Because, you know, that’s just gross.

At my office we are especially grateful when Valentine’s Day falls before the beginning of Lent so that we can continue our holiday indulgences guilt-free. And indulge we did! Then Cupid, disguised as Father Price, made the rounds and delivered tiny boxes of Valentine candy to each of us. And I KNEW I would find inside that heart-shaped box exactly what I craved.

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And yes, I ate the whole box. All five pieces. I have had my fill of milk chocolate and Red 40.

For now.

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