• Day 56: Jean-Marc, My Own “Doubting Thomas”

    Date: 2010.04.24 | Category: Uncategorized | Tags:

    We live in a great little neighborhood in the south of France, in the super-old section of Nice called Vieux Nice, and we all sort of know each other – expats, the locals – after a while we’re all locals.

    People are always crashing chez nous and Jean-Marc, who’s just gotten back from Paris, will be here while I’m off in Singapore for a week.  I didn’t even know he was reading A Year Without Candy until we were sitting out on the terrace today.

    He was telling me he has a sweet tooth, too, which I didn’t realize.  Then he looked at me sharply and asked me to take off my sunglasses and look straight at him. Then he says:

    “Are you really not cheating?  Even a little bit?”



    I’m really not, even though recently it’s been pretty hard.  As I’ve said before, I’m not one of those people who experienced an instant miracle going off candy and sweets.  Nor did I lose my cravings in the 21 days it allegedly takes to be free of them!

    Some days it’s not too bad not to have any chocolate or ice cream or dessert of any kind – other times it’s very hard.  My taste buds just want sweet things.  It’s what excites them and gets them through this life.  My taste buds are like heat-seeking missiles for sweets.

    Savory food, potato chips – that stuff is fine.  But for me comparing regular food to sweets is like comparing going to the Jersey Shore to going to Turks and Caicos.

    Got reservations for Alain Ducasse in Brignoles – which is about 90 miles west of here on the way to Provence? Hey, it’ll be a great meal, guaranteed.  I love it there, the food, the ambiance, everything.  But if there wasn’t anything sweet at the end of the meal?  Feh, I’d rather go to the Dairy Queen for a mint Oreo Blizzard.  I know, why is the fabulous south of France existence wasted on me?  I’m not even a wine lover!

    The very hardest time is when I don’t feel well. Once or twice a year I’m prone to a very bad headache that will make me nauseous if I don’t have the ant-migraine tablet Zomig at the ready. Zomig stops a bad headache or migraine in its tracks.

    Last week I had a bad headache and some nausea and even though I popped a Zomig in time, you feel a bit sick all day.  Now the cure for a headache and nausea – the tried and true trick – is a Diet Coke with ice and a chocolate bar, preferably a Hershey bar.  Throughout my life friends have mocked me when I suggested this potent medicine – yet even the most doubting Thomi have tried it and admitted it works.

    I did cave last week and had a Diet Coke with ice when I felt sick but no chocolate.

    I had another weak moment Thursday night after a business meeting in Nice’s city center.  I was walking back to Vieux Nice with my friend Laurent. I began considering buying a can of whipped cream.

    As we walked along the Boulevard Jean Jaures, I tuned Laurent out as I started a series of negotiations in my head.  I’d buy the can and have one bowl of whipped cream and then throw it out.  With me, if I have anything in the house I don’t want to finish eating, I have to soak it in water or bleach or else leave the house and place in an outdoor garbage can.

    I rationalized to myself that whipped cream did not qualify exactly for what I committed to giving up for a year.  I said no candy or desserts. Well, isn’t whipped cream sort of an accessory to a dessert?

    I was very close to buying whipped cream at the Epicerie Centrale. Laurent unwittingly saved me.  He had to buy some wine for a friend he was going to see – so he headed into the store ahead of me.  He doesn’t know about this blog, nor would he care.  But I took it as a sign that he walked ahead of me just enough to reach the store first.

    I turned and went home.

    To a sweet-less night.

    Ce n’est pas facile, cette vie.

    Pauvre moi,