The Vanilla Bean Calamity

Gladys sat tapping her toe on the floor beneath her seat. The 30 minute meeting seemed to drag on for hours sometimes, especially on days like this one. Squirming uncomfortably on the lime green, plastic chair, she crossed her arms and let out a sigh so loud that Connie, the meeting’s leader for the day, stopped in mid-sentence to inquire what had provoked such exasperation. Gladys felt her cheeks get warm as all eyes in the room turned to look at her. Nervously she cleared her throat and squirmed uncomfortably in her seat until she was able to force a very quiet “nothing” out of her mouth. Embarrassed and agitated, she leafed through her weekly pamphlet while silently praying that Connie would not ask how her week had gone, for it had been a disastrous week.
Gladys had not wanted to leave the house this morning, knowing without pause, that the scale at her weekly Weight Watchers meeting would not be kind. It was ironic that the days she needed the most support were always the same days she wanted to shut out the world. Gladys would conveniently find an excuse to skip her meeting, while promising herself to get back on track tomorrow. The problem was that every single day was followed by a “tomorrow” along with another excuse to stop counting her points and tracking her steps; today was no exception.
Thankfully, all eyes returned to the front of the room as Connie resumed her discussion on power foods and protein. When the clock hit 9 am, Gladys was the first person out of her chair and through the front doors, anxious to put the dreadful weigh in, along with the 4 pound gain behind her. No sooner had she stepped out onto the sidewalk, when the cravings began. She surveyed the strip mall for a potential, quick sugar fix and decided to venture into the Vanilla Bean coffee and bake shop just two doors down. Strolling into the shop, she felt a bit giddy as the aroma of warm cinnamon rolls and cheese Danish swirled around her. Gladys heard her stomach rumble as she stared into the glass showcase, mentally filling a pastry box with enough baked delights to eat all the way home and on through the afternoon while she did laundry and watched her programs on the TV.
The young lady behind the counter grabbed a white box and asked if she was ready to order and Gladys smiled for the first time that day. Staring at the yummy goodness before her, she was just about to begin the exciting selection process when she felt a hand upon her shoulder. A sudden gasp escaped her mouth as she spun around, finding herself face to face with CONNIE! Wincing, Gladys clenched her teeth and feigned a hollow smile. Their eyes locked, as Connie uttered “Well…well…well, fancy meeting you here.” Gladys Stood there frozen, like an eight year old caught with her hand in the cookie jar and finally let out an uncomfortable laugh as the girl behind the counter cleared her throat. With her cheeks becoming crimson red, Gladys glanced uncomfortably between Connie and the alluring pastry case and for the second time that morning she released a massive sigh. “Just a bottle of water and an oat bran muffin please.” she declared as she watched Connie’s look of concern softened into a blissful smile. “Nice choice” she whispered as Gladys tossed her money onto the counter and snatched up the paper bag. Giving an irritated nod to her leader, she walked briskly out the bakery and into the summer sunshine, tossing the little bag into the garbage can on her way to her car. Cracking open the bottle of water she took a swig, rolled up her sleeves and decided with great abandon, that it just might be a nice day for a long walk. Shaking her head, she put the little car into to drive and headed towards the park.

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