Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Today, Godiva showed up at my door. Unasked. Announced only by a knock I wasn't expecting and a bark from the dog.

I'm a food writer. I get things like this all the time. Over the summer I got an incredible basket of booze. (Glad my college boys weren't home to receive THAT unannounced gift.) I've gotten incredible cakes delivered. Delicious breads. Fine wines. Spreads, dips, chips and more.

I don't ask for these things. My contact information is relatively easy to find and picnic basket loads of PR people have it. Sometimes I write about the samples. Sometimes I don't. But I always, ALWAYS try them. Mostly always enjoy them.

Yeah, sure. Some wackadoo might be sending me poison pills, but...nah. I continue to open packages that appear on my doorstep.

So today, Godiva showed up at my door, and frankly? Lady Godiva showed up on a good day, because it was one of those days. Two potential gigs fell through. Emails went unanswered. My future is slightly uncertain.

I ripped into the box (I knew it was Godiva. It said so on the packaging). I opened the cellophane and picked the prettiest tidbit in the box, the white chocolate star filled with raspberry ganache (or something. I ate it too fast)...and while the sweetness was making me happy, I dug through the papers to find the card. Which PR company found me today? Who do I have to thank for this treat?

"We thank you for your business over the past year and look forward to your business in the years to come." Or something like that.

But wait. I don't do business with this company. This is a financial company. I write about food.

Oh, maybe because I just joined the Chamber of Commerce. They love me because I joined.

No. No mention of the Chamber.

I look at the label. There, in black and white is my address...with my neighbor's name. A sense of mortification engulfs me. What do I do now? I announce my gaffe on Facebook, of course, and make a joke of it. Then another writer friend, Leah, she who writes about all things etiquette, pointedly (but politely, of course) notes (on Facebook, for all to see): Guess you need to buy your neighbor some chocolates.

Really? I mean. She doesn't know she was supposed to get the chocolates, right? So she won't miss them. I don't even know her. It was an honest mistake, right? No harm, no foul. But Leah has me. I am a good girl. A good girl who ATE SOMEONE ELSE'S GODIVA. She's right. I need to buy someone some chocolates.

After thinking I have to buy a whole new box, I come up with a new idea. Buy the smallest amount of Godiva I can. Replace the piece I ate. Knock on her door, admit that I opened the box...but I'm stopping there. I will not, cannot, confess that I actually ate one of the chocolates.

In the end, it was much less dramatic than I thought it would be. I didn't even touch the chocolate I put back in the box ($4.50 for two chocolates! That's crazy. But while I was in the store, I signed up for the Godiva club: I got ANOTHER free chocolate today, and I'll get one free chocolate every month. Who needs mystery packages showing up at the door? Oh, AND I got a half truffle sample of the flavor of the month. Holiday spice, or something. But that's just between you and me, okay?), I tipped it into the box. Replaced the lid. Replaced the elastic band and the printed card thanking me (er, you, Janet) for the business over the past year. Knocked on the door, and introduced myself. To Janet's daughter.

I hope Janet's daughter, being the teenager she is, forgot about me the minute she closed the door. Devoured two or three fancy chocolates and left the box and the note for her mother to find.

Think I'll be reading labels a bit more carefully in the future.