I think one of my first ever blog posts had this same title, where I touted the many attributes of Diet Coke, Peanut M&Ms, and bacon. While I still swoon at the thought of any of those three things (though Diet Cherry Pepsi has eked out to first place in the artificially sweetened carbonated caffeinated beverage category), it's time to get a little more serious and pay tribute to things that can love me back.
Over Christmas, Ted and I tried hard to get together with the two men you see pictured below. For good reason. Jamal (name has been changed) and Adler (name has not been changed, but also goes by "Uncle Ads") became our go-to Settlers companions because they are as addicted to it as we are.
Let me back up. Settlers of Catan, particularly the Cities & Knights version, is how Ted and I got back together after a messy breakup and period of silence. Our first game we played with two other guys was quite awkward, but we all loved to just play, so we kept getting together. Then Ted and I had to sit next to each other because we were the only people laughing at each other's dumb (read: racial and/or inappropriate) jokes. Then we became good friends. Then lovers...
Wait. This isn't a Valentine's post. Sheesh.
Anyway, we played with all sorts of people, including other married people - some with kids, some without. We loved that, but one couple moved away, and then the other, but the wife of that couple didn't love it the way the rest of us did anyway. So we started placing an ad in the classifieds* for people who had a sickness and therefore had to play at the very least, once a week (hopefully more). We found them. And it turns out Uncle Ads worked with Ted and Jamal bakes incredible cookies, so it was a win-win-win-win. We had Dinner & Settlers often, sometimes twice a week. I referred to my husband and the two single awesome guys as "my boys", and cooked accordingly. We ate well, we played lots, and the nights were filled with loads of laughter and some of the best intellectual and thought-provoking conversations of my life. These guys are A-1 in my book.
Then we moved. And God found it in His infinite mercy to bless us with people here who are as addicted as we are. Don't think I don't thank Him in my prayers for that.
I flew back to CA a few months later to visit and help my mom pack up for her move. Visiting "my boys" was high on my priority list, so we cooked up a pound of bacon and had a jolly ol' time, though we missed Ted for that game.
To reprise our gaming over Christmas was its own gift. Jamal just got married last October to a fabulous girl, so I spent 90% of the game time engaged in conversation with her and was happy to feel like we all fit together well. And I still managed to win. Neener.
When Jamal was single, I loved going to his apartment because he was the ultimate bachelor. Maybe I shouldn't say "ultimate". He didn't have a "man cave" and his place was clean and hobbit-feet-smelling-free. But the reason I use the word "ultimate" is because of his kitchen, particularly his fridge. It's no secret I love my M&MS (peanut), and in this, Jamal is my soulmate. One night, while Ted and I were there, he ushered me into his kitchen, prepped me for the opening of his fridge door, and watched my reaction once my eyes beheld its contents: not just M&Ms, but Snickers and Reese's and sodas and Grasshopper cookies and chocolate chips for his awesome cookies and more and more. Then he opened his freezer: tiny cups of Haagen Dazs in all flavors and Haagen Dazs bars and more chocolate chips and Ben & Jerry's and and and and ohhhhhh. I made an audible gasp while he grinned at me and briefly considered breaking off my engagement to Ted and throwing myself at this man's feet. He is a sweets FIEND.
Naturally, while at their house over the holidays, I stole into his kitchen to look into his fridge to see if getting married had changed his ways. I saw milk. And cheese. And vegetables. And a couple containers with leftovers. And some chicken or something. What the hell? I expressed my disappointment, but then his lovely (and skinny, which I can't understand given the state of things) wife opened their cupboard and I saw THIS.
You can't see the pillar of light that was shining upon it because my flash was on, but it was certainly there. Look at that thing! A stack of Kit-Kats. Literal BAGS - a pound each - of chocolate-covered peanuts, almonds, cashews, pecans. Gummi rings. Gummi worms. Yogurt raisins and pretzels. Lindt truffles. M&Ms, of course. Licorice, mints, candy bars, oh my! I had to ask his wife, "Did you marry Willy Wonka??"
There you have it. Three more crippling weaknesses. Settlers, my boys, and candy. Yes, chocolate DOES love me back. It loves me on my buns, my boobs, my thighs... It loves me all over.
*I wasn't quite that desperate, but I wouldn't put it past me.