Doc was in the military most of our marriage and, even though he is retired and we are separated now, I still get a few military benefits. One of my favorites is the ability to shop at the commissary on base. Without fail, I can get everything except meat and produce for much better prices than I can in town – but since the base is about a forty minute drive from my house, I usually only make the trip once a month. During the weeks leading up to the monthly shopping trip, I make a list of things to buy – adding items as I run out or get hit with a craving.
This month, early on in September, one of my coworkers brought a Chocolate Silk pie to work. By the time I found out about it, there was only a tiny slice left – which I promptly nabbed for myself (all the while cursing my coworkers for gorging on pie without letting those of us kept prisoner hidden in back corners of the office know there was delicious sustenance to be had). That tiny slice was delicious – and immediately I wanted more. I considered the idea of running to the nearby grocery store after work to buy a Chocolate Silk pie – but being the cost conscious gal I am (or rather, that I have turned into since my husband left and the financial situation is still up in the air), I discarded that notion. I would put Chocolate Silk pie on my commissary list and wait to indulge until I could buy it at a reasonable price.
I have to tell you, the weeks that followed were torture! I really, really, really wanted Chocolate Silk pie! I could feel that creamy, smooth texture on my tongue. I longed for the crunch of the chocolaty crust and the snap of the tiny chocolate curls that nestled on top of the fluffy whipped cream. Oh, sure – I could have made chocolate pudding and dipped a graham cracker into it – maybe even putting a dollop of Cool Whip on top – but that’s not the same, and you know it! Still, I bided my time and kept my wallet snapped shut, avoiding the local grocery store where I knew that the Chocolate Silk pie would be lounging behind the frosted glass freezer doors, displaying her chocolate bits like a cheap hooker, just waiting to tempt me.
Finally, commissary weekend arrived – oh, happy day! I hopped in the car and made the trip in record time, only stopping briefly for French fries and a Coke at a nearby McDonalds – because everyone knows you shouldn’t grocery shop on an empty stomach! Once in the commissary, I reigned in the impulse to go directly to the frozen food aisle – knowing that I needed to stock up on canned and packaged items first so that my Chocolate Silk pie would not thaw while I was still in the grocery store (although, now that I think about it, that is not a bad plan – I could have indulged in pie on the way home! Potentially messy, but delightful!) I raced up and down the aisles, dodging old women and weaving around unattended children, tossing pasta, soup, flour and sugar willy-nilly into my cart. I paused briefly in the beauty aisle – because a girl needs her anti-aging serum and moisturizer – especially when she lives in the desert.
Then, I was in the cool confines of the frozen food aisle! I zeroed in on the pie section and was delighted to find that this particular Chocolate Silk pie came in a handy (and sensible) mini-pie size – two to a pack for the low, low cost of $1.99! I wanted to get several, but restrained myself and placed just one package in my cart – one little pie for that night after dinner and one for another day when I needed to do some emotional eating.
Back home, I put the pie in the freezer – knowing that the optimum time to enjoy silky smooth chocolaty goodness with just a hint of airy fluffiness was about 8pm. Two hours after dinnertime, so that my stomach had room to welcome a dessert, but far enough away from bedtime so that I didn’t get indigestion – because there is nothing worse than nighttime heartburn! When 7:45pm came, I flew off the couch to take the pie out of the freezer, as it needed 15-20 minutes to thaw (according to the box). Those fifteen minutes seemed to take forever!
Finally, the stars aligned and a choir of heavenly voices rang out – it was time! Time for deliciousness! Time for sweetness! Time for chocolate creamy goodness! I popped the clear plastic lid off of the little container, grabbed a fork, and dug out a good size bite – sighing in contentment as I deposited it in my mouth. Then, as I used my tongue to distribute the contents over my taste buds – my eyes half-closed in anticipated bliss – I froze. My eyes widened in horror; my lips pursed in distaste; I looked at the pie in confusion. This was not Chocolate Silk pie! I took another tiny, experimental bite. I was not wrong – this was NOT Chocolate Silk pie – it was Key Lime pie!
What the hell? Did I pick up the wrong pie at the commissary? I pulled the box out of the freezer and took another look. Nope – that was definitely a box for Chocolate Silk pie. I took out the other tiny pie and cut into it, putting some weight and muscle behind it, because this pie was still frozen solid. Yep – that pie also had a creamy light yellow interior – not a deep chocolaty brown filling. My mind finally started to process what had happened – there had been a screw up at the factory. Somewhere along the line, someone had not coordinated the product and the packaging correctly – and thus my hopes and dreams were unfairly dashed.
I really, really wanted my Chocolate Silk pie! I mulled over my options and finally threw on my hoodie over my pajamas, put on my slippers, and got in my car. At the nearby supermarket, I made a beeline to the frozen food aisle – but the fates were conspiring against me once again! There was no mini Chocolate Silk pies to be had. Oh, I could buy a normal size Chocolate Silk pie for…I don’t know, about 8 gazillion dollars – but besides the money, there was the issue of having a full size Chocolate Silk pie in my refrigerator…just begging me to eat a slice (or two) every night, until I was 20 pounds heavier and two sizes larger. I contemplated other choices in the freezer case – fruit pie, ice cream, cream puffs – I didn’t WANT any of those, dammit! I wanted my Chocolate Silk pie!
In the end, I settled for a banana. It just wasn’t the same.