Every morning on my way to work I stop at Oren’s coffee shop in Grand Central Station to get an oat scone and coffee. I love this coffee shop because they carry freshly made items from Balthazar Bakery, Doughnut Plant and Mitchell’s and also stock a variety of prepackaged sweets from famous chocolatiers around the country. During morning rush hour there is always a line, and plenty of time to puruse their wide selection as you wait.
I always enter Oren’s with the same, single intention of getting an oat scone, but my eyes quickly wander as I begin to wait. The line begins next to a display of See’s hard candy, wraps around a curved counter full of sweets, and ends at the row of pastries where you order. My first temptation as I enter the line is no problem to resist since hard candy is not my weakness. Trouble begins as the line moves forward and I reach the packets of Serendipity Frrrozen Hot Chocolate and cute tins of chocolate covered espresso beans. I give both serious consideration since chocolate is definitely my style, but since I’ve tried both before I manage to hold back. Rounding the curve of the counter I pass various cookies, brownies and biscotti that almost make me give in, but since it’s breakfast time, I wait. Then, just as I’m about to give my order for the item I actually came in for, a tall glass jar filled with Hammond’s chocolate and caramel covered marshmallows comes into sight. Normally I can walk by a marshmallow without thinking twice, but the cute, old-fashioned packaging and layers of chocolate, caramel and marshmallow showing through the glass always makes me pause. Today was the day I finally gave in (buying both the chocolate and caramel varieties, of course) and I took my little marshmallows, along with my oat scone, with me to work.
As soon as I reached my destination, I unwrapped the wax paper packaging of the chocolate covered marshmallow and attempted to cut off a slice.
The knife had serious trouble working its way through the marshmallow gob, and it took every arm muscle I had to break off a piece. It seemed like the “Since 1920″ label on the packaging referred to more than just the company. Undeterred, I attempted to eat the marshmallow and spent the next 5 minutes chewing my bite sized piece. With the consistency of a Milk Dud and the flavor of Tootsie Roll, I decided that my first bite of this marshmallow was my last. Unfortunately, this was a case of falling victim to the smart placement of candy in the check-out line.
After all this fuss, do I regret my impulse purchase? No, because now I’ll have one less thing to worry about when I line up all over again on Monday morning.