Thursday. Lent day 2.
An employee of mine named Barb makes the most delicious chocolate mint brownies and knows how much I like them. Recently, she has needed some flexibility with her schedule, so she brought in a pan of these brownies as a token of appreciation. I really like these brownies. She made them just for me. It would be rude not to eat them, right? She is the sweetest lady and I would hate to turn away her gift. What is a man to do???
After an intense internal struggle, I told her that I couldn't eat them because I was giving up chocolate for lent, but that it was a great gift and I really appreciate it. It was genuinely sad to tell her that, because she makes them from scratch and really put thought & time into it. I could see it on her face. Nonetheless, she understood and was actually apologetic to me, which she of course had no reason to be whatsoever.
That evening, we went over to some friends' house to celebrate their daughter's first birthday. They had made cupcakes (not chocolate) as dessert. Before going, Nancy asked "You can eat cupcakes, right?" I did the math: cupcakes are not cookies and they are not chocolate. Strictly speaking, this is not a problem. Still, does that violate the spirit of the no cookies & chocolate fast? I don't think so... I didn't say I was giving up sweets altogether, and I had clearly defined the terms going in. So, I had a cupcake. And a bowl of ice cream. It was goooood.