Eat Play Dove chocolate google4228e52aa5dfebc8.html

Eat, Play, Dove

Dove chocolates are better IN BED (so I’ve heard.)

I once had the great pleasure to work with a charming and delightful European intern. This beautiful and cultured young lady took delight teaching me the finer habits of a well-bred woman. I opened her eyes to American fast food cuisine and elastic waist pants.

Stylishly dressed and infinitely more world traveled than this old gal, she demonstrated self-restraint and infinitely more class than her American co-workers. From poise to dress to manners to gestures and speech, it would take me an multiple lifetimes to be the gum under her Louboutins.

Do Americans know how to dress up?

Where I dressed for comfort, in jeans and a t-shirt, I learned that in my friend’s country it is considered disrespectful to the family for a woman to be seen in public wearing “play” clothes. Her maid, she said, dressed better when cleaning the toilette than the average American woman.

Americans in general, I told her, tend to be okay with casual wear all day every day. We go to the gym and then to the bank in our ripe Spandex. We give little care to running in and out of the market in sneakers with our hair looking like it hasn’t been groomed in weeks.

She was politely appalled by this American behavior.

And it only took us one semester to corrupt her and create a scandal in her hometown.

Back in her native country for the holidays, she had gone to the gym to work off her American diet. Still in her sweaty gym clothes, she made a quick stop for coffee. She scanned the case for a cinnamon bun and as she reached for it the relative snatched it from the server.

I’m not sure how well the conversation translated. Something to do with fat Americans.

At home she said her mother was angered and embarrassed by the phone calls she’d received. Was something wrong? Was her daughter ill? On drugs? Relatives pleaded to not allow her back to the U.S.

To my own mother’s credit, she insisted I change my underwear daily.

She often threatened to send me to Mrs. Brown’s Finishing School to learn ladylike manners. I maintain Mrs. Brown, if she even existed, would charge too much for my mother to extract measurable value from her investment in polishing my tomboy ways.

In contrast, there was something very sensuous about my European friend’s packaging that I found attractive. She obviously took great pride in her appearance. Her beautiful scarves were artfully knotted and tied. Fashion shoes and hosiery complemented her blouses, sweaters and skirts. Her outfits pressed and pleated. Every day her twisted hair bun or up-sweep meant she’d taken more time to look presentable that I did for my high school graduation photo (and it shows).

When they go out on Saturday night, American women tend to dress in competition with other women, which she said was just silly. European women on the other hand take attracting men to an art form. They dress to please themselves first. Shoulders back, head held high, they delight in their ability to twist a handsome suitor into a frenzy. The hell with the other women!

Forget fashion and food. In the world of love and lust, Americans fail there, too.

She gave me a pass on this one because I was married. She’d missed the opportunity to school me on couture fashion but felt she could offer a few insights on the simple art of seduction. She thought it interesting that I really only dated one guy all my life. I stretched my experience to include a handful of high school “dates” and later a few flirtations to appear more well-rounded in love relationships. Which was a joke.

But to my young intern, the extent to which her culture grooms women in the practice of dating, and I’m guessing, sex, is something taught as a rite of passage. In America, we learn social inter-play from reality television, which is anything but real life. Growing up I learned everything there was to know about boys and sex from the pictures in Tiger Beat magazine.

To demonstrate her lesson on love and sensuality, in a context I’d relate to, my cultured friend opened a bag of Dove dark chocolates.

These small delightfully smooth and creamy treasures are wrapped in foil with cutesy messages printed inside.  My friend proved that every message in a Dove chocolate could be enhanced by adding the words “IN BED”.  She’d tape dozens of these to my computer monitor and over time created a force field of lust that made it hard to concentrate. “Read them every day and then go home to your husband,” she said. I swear she winked at me.

Today without much thought I grabbed a package of Dove dark chocolates at the store and laughed, thinking of my old dear friend. I opened one candy and read the message: “Lend an ear. And a chocolate.”  With a black Sharpie pen I wrote, “IN BED”. Then I opened another. “Kiss and Tell” it said. I wrote “IN BED”. And another: “Solve arguments with a dance-off” and I wrote “IN BED”. I opened every one of the Dove candies in the package and wrote “IN BED” after each one and they totally made sense.

So to my adorable, passionate European friend, lover of all things sweet and beautiful, thank you for teaching me so much. I know how to fashion a silk scarf and never wear Spandex to the coffee shop. Today I remembered you fondly and laughed out loud, IN BED.



BE F*CKING AWESOME TODAY! (and every day)
Image: Stephanie DelTorchio (P.S. I ate them all!)

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