I was looking to make a really big splash this Lenten season when I announced to anyone that would listen that I had decided to “give up” popcorn.Â Not forever, just during Lent.Â But for me, it might as well been forever, because it’s been that hard.
For many years, I gave up candy and chocolate, which really didn’t prove to be that difficult.Â You see, I’m not a crazy chocolate fiend or a craver of candy.Â And as a running joke, for the last 10 years I’ve declared watermelon off limits for me during Lent.
So it was with that, I decided to up my game, and give up something I truly was going to miss.Â Popcorn.Â And anyone who knows me realizes what an ordeal this has been.Â I come from a long line of popcorn lovers.Â Some people might even think an intervention is in order.Â Suffice it to say, its been a long couple of weeks.
The temptations?Â They’ve been plentiful.Â From the wonderful ladies that work on the suite level of the Ralph pushing popcorn on me like it was a drug to an incident yesterday at Ace Hardware in the Grand Cities Mall.
Those of you familiar with this store know that there is a popcorn machine right inside the door.Â The popcorn is freshly popped and already in bags.Â This popcorn is begging to be eaten and the smell permeates throughout the joint.Â “I’ll grab a bag on the way out” I thought to myself, forgetting my Lenten vows.
The Ace Hardware store in the Grand Cities Mall is awesome, by the way.Â It’s one of those places you can go in with what I call “the dumb guy look” and one of the employees will quickly ask, “What are you looking for?”Â I assume they do that for everyone, not just me and my dumb guy look.
Now back to the popcorn.Â After paying for my items and walking to the door, I opened up the popcorn machine and was ready to grab a bag when I came to the realization that I’d given it up for Lent.Â I was crushed.Â For what seemed like a minute but was probably closer to 20 seconds, I weighed the pros and cons of taking a bag.Â It was truly a “Devil” on the one shoulder and an “Angel” on the other moment.Â It was at that point that I realized the young woman working at the check-out counter was watching me.Â Maybe because I had a “dumb guy look,” but probably because I’d been staring at the popcorn for 20 seconds, tilting my head back and forth like a dog.Â I quickly mumbled, “I gave it up for Lent” and scurried out.
Speaking of dogs, a casualty of my Catholicism has been Furry Sidekick (FSK, aka CJ).Â He’s a lot like Summer Sidekick, except he has more hair and he’s more dependable.Â Anyway, FSK has also given up popcorn for Lent.Â And he really, really likes popcorn.Â In fact, if he had been at Ace Hardware yesterday, he would have finished two bags in the time it took me to “Just Say No.”
Next year I’m going to give up something easy.Â Like Diet Coke.