Open Letter To Sugar:  White Devil In The Kitchen

Dear Sugar,

And I do not mean “Sugar” as an endearing moniker. I’m talking to you, White Granulated Demon! You inflammation-boosting, brain-eating, addictive best bud of the Fat Brothers, Saturated and Trans. The three of you combined lead to deliciousness, but at what cost: lost rationality, crushed will power, and abandoned hopes of health and slimness.

There are those sturdy folk who can eat one cookie and be done. One bonbon. Three M&M’s. Their number though is not legion. And forlorn, I was never in their ranks. I live large and eat large. Don’t talk to me about portion control. I know, I know, I know, but when it comes to you, you Sweet Thang, I am a drug-crazed devotee without self-respect.

I used to think you could give in to the little temptations every now and then, and save virtue for the big ones. No, I will not call in sick when I’m not; I won’t shoot my neighbor upstairs when he practices his drums; I don’t lie to my brother about what I did with the money I’m trying to pay back. But, I will eat that cheesecake left from the party; I will have two scoops of mint chip on my way home from the gym after work and call it dinner; I will have a Double Peanut Butter Cup at three in the afternoon. But this “mind the big things and not the little” plan is no good. You cannot jump out of a plane a little. Two bites of the White Devil and my need for you is stoked. One bag of M&M’s leads to the primrose path of Snickers, tiramisu, and the nadir of nutrition: doughnuts.

Which is very odd because I do not like fried food. I don’t even like french fries. I never eat them. I don’t eat fried chicken, chicken-fried steak (what is that exactly?), fried zucchini blossoms, or fried okra. But don’t get me started with doughnuts. The difference you will note is you, White Evil. I have a feeling that if they took hot fries and rolled them in you, it would be utterly fantastic. In fact, I’ve probably just invented the next big fast food thing: “Surprise Fries,” “Tasty Tater Treats,” “Sugar Sticks.” Some muckety-muck at McD’s is probably running to the lab right now to see how to perfect this addictive item at the lowest cost and highest production rate.

Oh, you are clever, White Stuff! Do you really think we’ll stop at honey? We hear repeatedly though that it’s as bad as you are, even the local, organic, hand-filtered stuff. You can’t fool me. Honey is a stepping-stone drug. In a moment of great hope and foolish dreaming, I once bought a bag of Trader Joe’s honey-chocolate drops. No sugar! Buoyantly I thought honey is good for me! Chocolate is too (at 72% cacao, of course)! Had I beaten the demon drug? Alas, honey and chocolate do not marry well. It was a nightmare in my mouth. Only the truly desperate or duped would voluntarily ingest these. No, the bell has tolled for honey.

If I can go three days, though, without you, White Siren, I have found that I am free again. You do not call my name from shelves, display cases, and vending machines. If I can weather three days, I can then laugh at you, Sweet Satan. It’s tough, but I have done it and will again. Let your crullers, twists, bars, jelly-filled, raised, and plain cakes moulder. Lashed to the mast I will ignore your call and win back my soul.

Your ex-slave,
Sandy Kestler

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