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The Freedom to Choose Indulgence

By Brooke Benton

Maybe it’s because I’m so full. Because I just ate the entire pantry full of Trader Joe’s delicacy: chocolate covered almonds, chocolate covered pretzels, chocolate covered PEANUT BUTTER pretzels, and THEN, after all that, cut the chocolate with a few macaroons. So this food journal entry, I’m cataloging it because I think it might be the reason I’m about to say what I’m saying and my normal, hungry, full of denial, green eating self can’t be held culpable. Anyway, here goes.

But before I say that I have to tell you this: I was on a flight two months ago, from Oakland to Salt Lake City, and just as I was settling my toddler into the seeming empty seat beside me, a pretty blond woman rushed down the aisle, with her blown dry hair and carry-on baggage ribbons of wake behind her, and claimed the seat. She was really apologetic about taking up some of the space I obviously required for four children and all their various electronic accoutrement, and I was taken aback by her heartfelt kindness—I don’t usually get a lot of compassion on these types of flights. And so, this woman and I, we really started talking. It was the proverbial set-up that you think will happen to you on every flight into or out of Utah, when you suddenly find yourself knee-deep in a conversation with a really open-minded inquisitor of Mormonism.

Of course, I only tell you of this quick association and the accompanying candor of the conversation to display for you the gristle of it—the chewy part I choked on.

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