Sugar Rage

The holidays are long since over. The presents have been opened and returned, the gift wrap recycled, and all the decorations have been taken down and returned to storage in the holiday hole beneath the stairs. But I’m still fighting with one effect of the holidays: I still have an enormous amount of sweet treats given to me by neighbors, friends, and family.

Every time I look on the counter, I see chocolates and cookies. Every time I open the refrigerator, I see boxes of fudge and containers with more cookies. I open the cupboard, and yes, still more cookies. It is as if the Keebler elves engaged in a sugar-fueled baking orgy in my kitchen.

The effects of possessing so many sweet treats has induced psychological problems, particularly when invited guests come over. My wife and I might host friends who we have not seen because of the busy holiday season. Or we may invite over my wife’s mom simply to enjoy a dinner and evening together. The guests tote with them a gift or dish to complement the dinner, invariably a container with sugary goodies in it. The sight of the offering induces what my wife calls a “sugar rage;” an outpouring of criticism and complaints about bringing yet another stash of sugary snacks into our household. The guests suffer through the same disagreeable display when they refuse to sample the treats we are trying to curtail.

The locale doesn’t matter. I’ll tote a tin of treats to work and put them on the community food table. My wife will bring some to her class or her volunteer group as a token of friendship. At the end of the day, we’ll carry home a nearly full container only a couple treats lighter, but not before we voice our sugar rage to the group for not partaking of the tasty treats and lessening our load.

It is obvious why others offer us sweets and decline to sample ours; they are experiencing the same surplus of sugared delectables and suffer the same psychological effects. Yesterday I could feel the visual daggers in my back from a coworker when I walked by the community food table replete with plates of chocolate chip cookies he brought in.

The rage is intensified with the subconscious understanding that treats as delicious as the ones we receive cannot be simply pitched in the garbage. Our minds know treats must be eaten, they cannot be discarded like old meat, or trashed like stale crackers. They are called treats for a reason, and the reason is: they must be enjoyed. Pitching them into the garbage is tantamount to thumbing one’s nose at life’s pleasures, pooh-pooh-ing the joys of existence. It is a cosmic sacrilege and one of the reasons most European countries have made tossing chocolates into the trash a felony.

So every day I consume a couple of the sugary snacks that overload our bowls. And I gain a few pounds that I’ll need to work at getting rid of during the warmer months. Though we think we’d learn from past experience not to inundate our friends and family with sugary treats during the holidays in the future, the cycle will begin again, we’ll receive too many sweets, and succumb to our sugar rages, because the treats are so damn good.