February 13th

Toilet paper. I’m out of toilet paper.
She stops at the drugstore on the way to the train station.
Still time to kill. What else do I need?
Toothpaste… sensitive teeth… whitening with breath strips… tartar control with whitening… clean mint gel with maximum cavity protection.
Hand lotion.
Arms full, she crosses through the candy aisle on her way to the checkout and spots the Valentine’s Day display. Picked over, mostly. A clear plastic container of Hershey’s Kisses, red and white M&M’s, sugar-free cupid lollipops. On the bottom shelf, she spots the heart-shaped boxes of chocolates. Whitman’s Sampler, $2.99.
I really shouldn’t. But maybe I could bring them to work tomorrow, to share. Will that seem weird?
She watches the unsmiling woman at the register telling customer after customer to have a wonderful day and that she hopes to see them soon. She hands everyone their bags without looking them in the eye.
She’ll just think I’m buying this for someone special. Or will she think I’m cheap to buy a $2.99 box of chocolates?
Sitting in the train station food court, she eyes the red cellophane peeking out from her bag and runs her finger along the curved edge. It crinkles. She looks at the back of her hand and is glad she remembered to buy lotion.
So dry.
She looks back at the red cellophane, then glances at all the people shoving food in their mouths in the final moments before their trains arrive.
They’d probably feel sorry for me, eating chocolates alone in a train station. I feel sorry for them with their tacos.
She picks up her bags and walks into the bathroom, selecting a stall on the far end. She sits down and carefully pulls the heart-shaped box out of the bag, turning it over.
I hope there’s raspberry.
The cellophane echoes in the near empty bathroom. It is so much louder than she anticipated. She coughs as she rips open the box, and then selects the round milk chocolate piece with dark chocolate drizzle.

Ew. Strawberry. And salty. How is it salty? I don’t want this.

She looks at the uneaten half in her hand, wondering what to do.
Can I drop it in the toilet? What will that sound like?
She considers putting it in the garbage can, but doesn’t want to lift the lid. She’s afraid she might see something that would make her lose her appetite, so instead, she shoves the rest of the candy in her mouth and quickly swallows it.
The next one is coconut, but doesn’t taste anything like a Mounds bar. She thought it would taste like a Mounds bar. She sighs as she puts the box of candy back in her bag and exits the stall.
I bet they’ll be half price tomorrow.

14 Responses to “February 13th”

  1. kat! Says:

    see, this never happens to me, mainly because i live with a boy human and a boy kitty in 812 square feet and i keep probably 800 square feet of that filled with toilet paper.
    (this is probably why boy human and boy kitty bite me all the time.)

  2. asia Says:

    at that price you only get nougat, and, yeah, it comes in different colors but nobody likes nougat.
    when i was a kid i perfected the art of breaking the seal underneath the candy so you could tell if it was nougat or caramel or occasionally truffle and if it was bright pink i could lay it back down undisturbed, free to pick another… see, my mother had this retarded youbreakit-youbuyit policy but WHO WANTS NOUGAT? nobody, thats who.

  3. nina Says:

    I’m so glad this post was about someone else (a friend, right? your mother? grandmother?), not you. I would have felt sorry if it had been you. Especially that part about having to swallow a bad chocolate.
    P.S.: in chocolate — you get what you pay for.
    Happy Valentine’s Day!

  4. Strode Says:

    That is possibly the saddest post I have ever read on this site. I wish I had one of those little cards we gave away in grade school to give you.

  5. Roy Says:

    There’s candy over at my blog. Just don’t drop any in the toilet!

  6. You can call me, 'Sir' Says:

    Eating bad drug-store valentines candy in the stall of a train-station bathroom? And your skin is dry? The only things missing are a sad little kid holding a sparkler while standing next to a lame puppy.

  7. You can call me, 'Sir' Says:

    Eating bad drug-store valentines candy in the stall of a train-station bathroom? And your skin is dry? The only things missing are a sad little kid holding a sparkler while standing next to a lame puppy.

  8. jenny Says:

    kat! i practice the “just-in-time” philosophy of toilet paper inventory management. i think yours is better.
    asia: NOBODY wants nougat, that’s for sure. i actually think the chocolate filled chocolate ones are the worst, because it’s really just brown nougat.
    nina: happy VD to you, too! and no need to feel sorry, honest!
    strode: yeah, i’m taking this blog in a new direction. mope jen mope. kidding! i loved those little valentine’s cards as a kid – especially smurfs. :)
    roy: candy!? really?! ::puts on running shoes::
    sir: oh man, the sparkler bit killed me. good thing i didn’t put my mascara on yet. ;)

  9. Miss Britt Says:

    Jen, I don’t think anyone would feel sorry for you if you were eating chocolates.
    Single is the new 20!

  10. churlita Says:

    I would have dropped the candy in the toilet just to hear what it sounded like…But then I’m weird and have no shame.

  11. Fiorello La Guardia` Says:

    Single is the new 20! (posted by Miss Britt)
    ROFL… I love that line.
    And I personally feel like Valentine’s Day is just a Hallmark Holiday. Another guilt trip foisted on us all.
    Now, of course, I feel that I have to go into a public restroom and drop half-eaten cheap chocolates into the potty. Of course it won’t be fun unless I know that there are lots of stalls full of women who will hear me and wonder what the HECK I am doing. HA!
    (This is a most bizarre topic!)

  12. shari Says:

    Toilet paper as an opening line? You totally rocked it!
    That said, have I mentioned that I shop at Costco? Yeah, their toilet paper is packaged in groups of 480 or some rolls I think. I will not run out until approximately the end of time.
    Also? A pox upon nougat! It BELONGS in the toilet and I can’t believe you ate it. You are brave and self-sacrificing, my friend.

  13. jenny Says:

    ok, i have to get this out of the way. all of your concern is touching, truly, but don’t worry. i did not now, nor ever, eat a box of cheap chocolates in a public restroom. i swear on a stack of whitman’s samplers! :)
    but i might steal “single is the new 20″ as my personal slogan.

  14. Dustin Says:

    Just buy yourself mini-Twix bars and be content with a life of no surprises.
    Surprises are so 2007.

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