Member Monday: Adopted Love by Ed Sulpice

Welcome back to Member Monday!  Today it’s a pleasure to feature a piece by Writer’s Forum Newsletter Editor, Ed Sulpice.  Welcome, Ed.

Adopted Love

by Ed Sulpice

Entering the store, a fragrant invitation of transcendence wafts deliciously around my being. This lingering presence forces all other thoughts in my mind to evacuate the cerebral arena in a dazzling display of mental superiority and acquiescence. Slightly dizzy. Expectant.  The divine scent intoxicates. Chocolate is present.

I should have anticipated this. It’s near February, Valentine’s Day.  I’m sure I came to this retail establishment to buy something or complete some task, but what?  All spiritual and neurological triggers have become fully engaged and focused…salivation, the promise of dopamine (which I hear does good stuff) and the emotional edges that I am willing to let be assuaged by this confectionary treasure…just  the anticipation of the taste causes me to celebrate fully. I smack my lips. I rub the moistening palms of my hands together. An Everest-like mountain of heart-shaped, red and pink boxes ascends before me. Dark chocolate, truffles, bordeaux, nuts, not nuts, cremes…..mmmmmm!!! I channel my inner George Mallory with the only rationale I can muster to defend my desires for consumption against the logical, sugar-free antagonist of all that is gooey and coco…because it’s there. Because it’s there. “BECAUSE IT’S THERE,” I accidentally speak the phrase out loud. A nearby clerk smiles knowingly. Smiling back, I detect a minuscule smudge of Nestles’ goodness adorning her uniform, just above the name badge. I sense empathy sojourning between the clerk and I.

Because it’s February, it’s there. Because it’s Valentines’ Day, it’s there. Because of love, it’s there. Yes, you read correctly, “because of love.”  I totally defend the symbolic nature of love being partially defined by chocolate…flowers? meh Chocolate, definitely. And just like Christmas and Easter and Mother’s Day and 4th of July, I offer an aside to all of those who would like to argue about the corporate influence and commercialization of all holidays…

Yeah, I get it. Now go away!

I say this because I have chosen a perspective that says there are two sides to every story. A yin and a yang. A day and a night. A love and a fear. I have winnowed out of the culture, and now possess for myself,  the notion that it’s the intention of gestures that either adds or subtracts from core behavioral value…you know, “it’s the thought that counts”…even it means plunking down a few bucks for an overly-adorned box of candy. I have engaged the courageous expression of affection. I have adopted love. Or more accurately, love has adopted me.

You see, besides the Super Bowl and Valentine’s Day, I celebrate two additional holidays in February. On the eighth, I celebrate my biological birth to a loving, unwed, teenage girl who was willing to let me go. Like the mother of Moses, she took a chance.

And on the fourteenth, Valentine’s Day, I honor the day that my adoption by two amazing people became legal.  My adopted parents, my mom and my dad, embodied care, compassion and love. They adopted me. They took a chance.

What’s cool about adoption is the inherent choice involved in the act. A decision to step into the unknown. Whether you adopt a cause, a perspective or a person, your story expands and your life complicates. Kinda cool.

So while I”m standing here in front of this mound of chocolate joy, I smile. I embrace the appearance of that whimsical narcotic, memory, and it’s  sacred array of people, places and things that I hold dear. I have chosen to address life in this manner…not a naive foray into the reality of cynicism and bitterness…but a deliberate attempt to share my adoptions.

I have adopted “Do unto others…”

I have adopted faith, forgiveness and mercy.

I have adopted love.

…and  I purchase chocolate!

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