THE CHOCOLATE BOX THEORY OF RELATIONSHIPS
A Ridiculous Exercise by A.N. Nonymous
Forrest Gump’s mother famously said ‘Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’ll get.” In a similar spirit, I offer for your contemplation and amusement the Chocolate Box Theory of Relationships.
Let us consider a relationship from the point of view of an average semi-literate befuddled male. Why? Because I am one (usually) and because trying to see this from some other point of view seems arbitrary and Jenner-esque. In any event, here it is:
Imagine that you’re looking at a box of assorted chocolates. As is usually the case, someone has already removed the labels and shuffled the empty wrappers so there is no way to tell what is what. Nvertheless, you really want the one with the chocolate fudge in the center. Why? Because you think it’s the best one, of course. But which one do you choose? You stare into the box, but many of them look appealing. You can’t tell by sniffing them, because they all smell about the same. You hesitate, but at last hunger and desire overwhelm you. You pick a chocolate.
At this point, a few different things can happen. Maybe you get the one with chocolate fudge in the center. If that happens, you live happily ever after and the story ends. But what if you don’t? You take a nibble. Hmm, this seems like the maple flavor. Can you live with maple? Some people like it. Some don’t. Maybe you choose the take a few more bites just to see, and as you do you come to appreciate the flavor more and decide to keep it. Or, after a while, you decide to move on and select another chocolate. Maybe you try another while holding on to the first just to try to be sure. Not fair to the chocolate, perhaps, but there it is.
Maybe you get the one with the pink stuff in the middle, and you spit it out instantly. Keep in mind, there are probably a lot of people who actually like the pink stuff. Even so, it’s just not right for you. Nothing wrong with you, and nothing wrong with the chocolate; it’s just not a good match.
Perhaps you’re just not sure what you want. You want to nibble every chocolate just to say that you did. Or, like my brother used to do when we were kids, you try to lick every chocolate just to keep others from trying them. You really don’t consider the chocolate’s feelings at all. This makes you an asshole, but we can address that later.
So how can we be sure that we select the right chocolate? Unfortunately, we really can’t. Even when we think that we want one thing, it sometimes turns out that we truly want something else. Love is stupid, blind, drunk, and complicated. But in the end, if you finally find the right chocolate (which may or may not be the one you thought you were looking for), it all seems worthwhile. After all, isn’t love the point of all of this foolishness? Shouldn’t we aspire to end up with a chocolate that makes us happy?
What can we learn from this? Not every bite of chocolate will be what we want to keep. Still, why shouldn’t we respect the chocolate, and thank it for giving us the bite we had? If it doesn’t work out (and many bites don’t), must we loudly proclaim the chocolate inferior and throw it away with a public display of derision and contempt? It could be the perfect chocolate for someone else. And it may talk to the other chocolates in the box.
There is one additional complicating factor that we have not yet considered: the chocolate also gets to decide who takes a bite. But that, my friends, is a topic for another day.