Friday, August 15, 2008

Call me Lady Godiva

As we headed home from the chocolate shop I asked Flip, "Do you want me to carry the rest of your truffles in my purse?"

I licked my fingers on which a little dark chocolate dipped candied orange peel had melted.

"Can I trust you?"

"You married me. There is an assumption of trust."

He paused, then handed over the aromatic little gold Godiva bag, which I stuffed in with my wallet, keys and his other glasses.

Men only get married so they can use purses without carrying them.

"Are you sure you won't eat my chocolate?"

I shrugged. "If you died, I would eat your chocolate in a minute, no question. But you're still living. That changes everything."

"It warms my heart," he said.

He reminded me for the 5th or 6th time today that he is a good-looking guy. He claims that I never tell him so, which is not true, while he tells me "all the time" how good I look, also not true.

I finally put it to him. "Overweening ego and Alzheimer's is too much on the same plate. I can't deal with both, so take your pick."

He's thinking about it.

I softened the blow. "You are a good-looking guy," I said. "I'm lucky to be seen with you."

He got all misty.

"Of course, they don't know you're balmy."

As soon as we got home he turned on the television. Flip is on intimate terms with every "Law and Order" episode ever aired.

"Alzheimer's is in all the ads," he remarked.

"Oh, good. I'll take three."

I watched, too, for a minute. "It's becoming epidemic. It will be much more common in a few years as the boomers age. You're a pioneer, a trailblazer."

He studied the actor in the Aricept ad, who was much older than he is. "He's pretty good."

"You'll have to work hard to top that," I said.

Some of the commercials are really sneaky. They cut to them seamlessly and mimic the lighting in the shows, sucking you in before you can put the remote on mute. (And I do mean sucking.)

There is a test to let you know if you've been watching "Law & Order" too long:

If you see a woman's face with closed eyes and assume it's a cadaver but when you look more closely you realize it's an ad for face cream, you might have a problem. It makes me uneasy that I've grown so used to seeing dead bodies that I automatically process corpses over cosmetics.

There is also the matter of the very flowery commercial which shows a sweet-looking older woman getting married in a lovely gown and -- Depends. I think this scares me even more than becoming one of the corpses because if someone kills you, you're dead. It's over. But Depends is forever.


Molly said...

I guess you can handle anything life slings your way if you have a well developed sense of how absurd it all is......I'd kill right now for some Godiva chocolate.

On a limb with Claudia said...

The woman in the pictures looks deeply grief stricken to me - as if her deepest love was stricken with... Alzheimer's? Perhaps. I am glad you still love your chocolate... and your Flip! :)

furiousBall said...

when's the naked horseback ride?

RED MOJO said...

Overweening ego or Alzheimer's, no matter which you chooses, he still gets chocolate, right?

Ian Lidster said...

Depends or death, take your choice. Somehow I think there is a deep thought hiding there that could only be appreciated by people our age.
I love, love, love your view of life because you leave me with so much hope. Bet Flip feels the same way, and I think he and I should have an L&O quiz playof. By the way, I'm still in love with Kathryn Erbe on Criminal Intent.

thailandchani said...

I really like that picture, too. If I was less ethical (ahem), I'd snarf it for my site. :)

Still though.... ego or Alzheimer's.. that's one hell of a choice!

Pass the chocolate. :)


Susan Helene Gottfried said...

So who ate the chocolate? Were you able to resist temptation, or were you like me and you forgot about it, only to discover a melted mass a few weeks later?

Jo said...

Research is showing that chocolate is good for preventing Alzheimer’s disease. As in, “I’ve forgotten how much chocolate I’ve eaten today”. :-)

Seriously, though, the antioxidants in chocolate are good for us. Who knew! Flip is onto something.

Anonymous said...

So - did you eat the chocolate?

comfortandjoy said...

Dear Lady Godiva,

That chocolate has been outfitted with a tracking device.

Hold it right there. Slowly remove your hands from the purse and put them where I can see them.

I said slowly!

You know what they do to people like you in prison??? People who steal chocolate from good looking guys named Flip?

You have the right to remain silent...


heartinsanfrancisco said...


So much of life is absurd with a lot of beauty thrown in. And there is chocolate.


I think Lady Godiva is probably checking her goose bumps.


That wasn't you peeping, then? Oh, dear. I was sure it was you.


Of course. Chocolate waits for no man.


I would choose life under nearly any conditions, but that is a choice I hope never to have to make.

Your money or your Depends, and don't scream.


Flip isn't really egotistical at all. He just issues "reminders" sometimes. Your chocolate is on the way.


Oh, it got eaten. No purse-melt. And resisting temptation was easy as we don't like the same kinds of chocolate.


That's it! The antioxidants. That's what it's all about. I really hate chocolate but I need those antioxidants. Especially the dark ones with candied orange peel.


No. I had proclaimed my trustworthiness and besides, I had my own.


The tracking device was really tasty. I wonder how they do that. So what do they do to people like me in prison? More chocolate, or is this just another case of promises, promises?

I have always had the right to remain silent but have rarely availed myself of the opportunity.

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

This bittersweet chocolate story has hints of darkness and light. Flip may be good looking, but he is very lucky to have you.

About 100 years ago you told me that you would go to the Ghirardelli Chocolate Festival over Labor Day weekend, savor the wares for me and take photos so that I could gaze upon them longingly.

Just a friendly reminder... Lady Godiva Ghirardelli, and perhaps, if the weather is good and since you are in SF, you could dress up a bit and put flowers in your hair. Only as an accessory, of course.


Scarlett & Viaggiatore

heartinsanfrancisco said...


I'm glad you reminded me about the Ghirardelli event.

And if I wear flowers in my hair, I will probably wear something else, too. Like a fig leaf.

Anonymous said...

I had a hard time tearing myself away from the photo with the chocolate dipped candied orange peel. I have got to get my hands on some of that. You guys have some lovely moments.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Those are my favorites! :)

And they're all gone. :(

The Fool said...

Nice post. You made me smile. Do you know who the artist is of the painting?

Angela said...

Your ability to write dialogue is incredible and I think that a book on experiencing Alzheimer's should be added to your "must write" list. You have an incredible way of talking about it. Your touch is amazing. Here's wishing you both all the best.

Kapuananiokalaniakea said...

OK. I read this yesterday and I've already quoted you to three people, all of whom agree that "Men only get married so they can use purses without carrying them."
Thank you for that bit of clarification. It helps!

Anonymous said...

I am commentless, as I so often am after reading one of your magnificent posts. In a good way, mind you.

And I do believe that "So much of life is absurd with a lot of beauty thrown in. And there is chocolate." is one of the most lovely things I have read.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

No Fool,

John Collier is the artist.


Thank you so much for your very kind words. I have attempted to keep an AD journal of sorts, but it's so depressing that I never get very far with it.


I'm sure that's the key to a successful marriage. A large purse. Size does matter.


Now don't you be going speechless on me. Your comments are a necessity to my spirit. As well as chocolate.

Pam said...

Ah yes, I'm with you on the chocolate. I tried to make chocolate dipped candied orange peel once.The chocolate wouldn't set,the orange peel wasn't candied enough.Giving up,I spied some soft white peaches on the sideboard. My daughter (then five yrs old)and I peeled and cut them, dipped them in the warm chocolate sauce,tucked a tea-towel down our fronts, and made the best mess eating it all.Unforgettable fun and indescribably delicious!

heartinsanfrancisco said...


I can't believe you didn't invite me.

Jocelyn said...

There is something really happy and flowing and seamless in this post, despite the undertones of harder things.

You and Flip are gifts to each other. You goofballs.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Those damned undertones again. If you're not careful, they pull you right out to sea.

Is a goofball something like a truffle? I'll have to see if Godiva makes them in dark chocolate with dustings of cocoa.

Los Angelista said...

Loved this post for so many reasons, not the least of which is how tender your keeper of the chocolates role is. Yes, you are SO right about the purse thing. Along with my husband, my kids also think it's theirs for storing various action figures, sunglasses and snacks. But never really tasty Godiva chocolates. I wish!

WNG said...

I used to work at Godiva - that is a GREAT job...sigh...

You and Flip give me hope for love - just thought you should know that.

Mental hugs and vodka coming your way, Hearts! Catch!

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Can I borrow your sons? Not only are they delightful children, but I share their passion for plastic action figures. (You never guessed that HISF was really a 6-year old boy, did you?)


Thank you for all of it. There is always hope for love. It's really what we're here for, along with vodka in some cases.

velvet said...

Hmm, dunno... I've seem make-up jobs out there that make a woman look like that.

You and Flip are lucky to have each other. And he trusts you with the chocolate? That's real love. :-)

Nick said...

My mum's pretty scatty and sometimes I think, Is it Alzheimers? But with any subject she's really interested in, she's totally on the ball. She loves chocolate too, she's always got half a dozen boxes on the go. But she seldom eats them when I'm around, she enjoys them furtively behind closed doors.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


I don't know that he trusts me. He just hates to carry his own stuff.


Furtively behind closed doors? Your mum may have a problem. You know what they say about solitary chocolate eaters.

seventh sister said...

Actually, I think they have a drug that supposedly does away with the need for depends.
Stephen is a Law & Order freak,too. It just gets on my nerves.

Nick said...

Heart, I've just read the wonderful poem Forgetfulness by Billy Collins. Do you know it? If not, I think you'd like it.

Franki said...

The lighter side of Alzheimers. You are ever brilliant.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


I hadn't heard of it. I hope if the day ever comes that it's a very small pill because I am a poor pill-taker. (You could even say "piss-poor" in this context.)


Billy Collins is wonderful! I would love to attend one of his readings, and this poem is heartbreaking yet sublime in its final image of a full moon shining in the window.


If life gives you lemons...

I thought of you while I was picking tomatoes and when I came inside, your comment was here. How do you DO that?