I have been waiting for today for almost a week now. Several days ago a card came in the mail informing me that on February 12 (today), a local business would be giving away free boxes of chocolates. All I had to do was show my valued customer card that I have through them, and I would get my free box of chocolates. No catch. Just free chocolate.
I think Jonah thought I was kidding, but I've been talking about cashing in on my free chocolate all week, and sure enough when today rolled around, I said to Jonah, "You know what today is, don't you?"
He stared at me in confusion. "What?"
"FREE CHOCOLATE DAY!" I blurted in genuine excitement.
Jonah rolled his eyes, but was supportive in my bizarre desire to get what was most likely going to be a box of low-quality chocolate. Who cares?! It's chocolate...and it's free! What's not to like?
I'm serious when I say that our little excursion to this local business was truly the highlight of my day. It doesn't take much to make me giddy with happiness.
Jonah and I headed toward the elevators of this local business, and I was practically dancing with excitement. Jonah was giggling and rolling his eyes at my excitement over such a stupid thing. Stupid? Maybe. Free chocolate? Definitely.
As the elevator opened, an old man stepped out holding a red heart-shaped box of Russell Stover cheapie chocolates. Jonah and I entered the elevator, and the doors closed.
I squealed, "Did you see that?! He has the free chocolate!!" I knew we were just moments away from the miracle of free chocolate.
As we walked around this business, I saw several people pass me holding their red heart-shaped boxes...most of them old people. I was brimming with anticipation!
Finding the free chocolate was a bit of a challenge. It's a big business, and there was no sign telling us where to go. But like a heavenly beacon, an archway of pink, red, and white balloons suddenly appeared, and I suspected we were in the right place; just within reach of the free chocolate.
The irony of this promotion was that it was designed to reward locals for their patronage. Although this is my home, I am still a legal resident of Utah and have actually spent more time there than here. Still, I have my valued customer card, and that was all I needed for my free gift of chocolaty goodness.
There were security guards or employees directing all these pathetic people like myself towards our ultimate goal. One of them asked, "Are you here for the chocolate?"
I nodded and, just to make sure there was no catch, I asked, "I just have to show my card, yes?"
"Yes," he replied.
"FREE CHOCOLATE!" I thought. I noticed Jonah, who wasn't nearly as giddy as I was, pull out his card, too.
"A-ha!" I thought. "He wants the chocolate, too!" But not as much as I do.
Although they had stancheons and ropes set up to control a big crowd of chocolate lovers, I was fortunate to come when there wasn't a line at all. I was directed immediately to a table where a woman asked for my customer card and ID.
For just a brief moment, I thought my chocolate miracle might be thwarted by my Utah driver's license. They would know I wasn't a true local! They would deny me my right to free chocolate!
My brief moment of panic was eased when I was immediately directed to a room containing boxes and boxes of red, heart-shaped delight!
"Do I just grab one?" I asked in amazement.
"Here you go!" a man said, smiling, as he handed me my heart's fondest wish at that moment. "Happy Valentine's Day!"
I had in my hand a box of Russell Stover cheap chocolates (12, I think), and I didn't have to a thing to get it but show up with my customer card. It was like a Valentine's Day Miracle!
Jonah got his, too, and I carried both around, proud of my achievement! We had lunch, and I spent the trip home talking about our chocolaty miracle. Jonah simply laughed at me in amusement.
Here's my prize and me:
I haven't even opened my box yet. I thought I'd probably wait until Valentine's Day...although knowing me, I won't. The chocolates are probably just average. But who cares? In my book, any kind of free chocolate is a miracle to be savored, appreciated, and valued.
My gratitude is full. Happy early Valentine's Day, everybody!
Postscript: Jonah told me to make sure I don't re-gift the chocolate to him on Valentine's Day or else it will be a St. Valentine's Day Massacre. We'll see. ;-)