I ate a piece of chocolate cake today. Because some days you just need chocolate cake. It does something to your soul that money or love or babies or puppies just can’t duplicate. When you’re eating chocolate cake, you’re suddenly teleported back to age 12, when babies were cute, puppies were cuter, money was for buying a soda at the movies, and love was batting your eyelashes at a boy in the school cafeteria during lunch.

But after you finish the chocolate cake, you’re suddenly snatched from your 12-year-old fantasy world and kicked in your 30-something gut with the realization that it will take at least 2 weeks to run all those calories off your ass.

That’s when you start making deals with yourself.

With your tummy all full and happy, you can say with all the willpower and confidence in the world that you just won’t eat anything else today.

You sit there at the table listening to the idle chat between your babies, your parents, and your husband, while the twos of you are arguing between each other as to whether you should grab your Blackberry and go to the Red Lobster website to see exactly how many calories are actually sitting on your ass.

You decide that would just be the equivalent of kicking dirt in your own face after being tossed face first into the sandbox by the girl who’s twice your size and has a crush on the boy you batted your eyelashes at in the cafeteria.

And then you remember that at 12 years old, you were in the 6th grade, and at least 4 years removed from playing in sandboxes. Which is completely irrelevant to the issue at hand. That being the number of calories currently standing in the way of you and your normally svelte physique.

At this point, you are pretty sure you’re going to wind up on one of those Discovery Channel shows about the 1000-pound woman and her 300-pound hernia. You’re thinking becomes so convoluted because of this one stupid piece of chocolate cake that you’re even evaluating whether or not the seatbelt fits the same on the way home from Red Lobster as it did on the way to Red Lobster.

The 6 miles you ran this morning, the 4 you ran yesterday, and the 4 or 5 you will run tomorrow figures not into your doomsday scenarios. None of that matters. Your normally bleak and sparse diet matters not. The only thing that matters is your nightmare visions of every single calorie in that piece of cake sprouting arms and legs and fangs and dripping with pig lard while square dancing on your ass.

By the time you get home, you’re feeling it. The diabetic coma. Sugar shock. Chocolate crash. The next thing you know, you’re peeling your face off your blankie from where your sugar-saturated drool dried and glued them together. You look at the clock and realize it’s been 4 hours since your last conscious memory.

You roll your mac truck sized ass off the couch and zombie-stumble to the bathroom. Rubbing your eyes, you look in the mirror. Curious. You look the same as you did this morning. Eyes are a little red. Hair is all pasted to your cheeks. But otherwise, you’re pretty much the same. Turn to the side. Tummy’s not falling over your britches. You look down. Toes are still there. Turn around. Ass is no worse for the wear. Never was great to begin with, but certainly no worse.

As you turn your face toward the mirror again, you watch as the corner of your mouth kinda curls into a grin as you remember raking your finger across the empty plate where the chocolate cake had once been. And suddenly, the only thing you regret is not picking up the whole plate and raking your tongue across it right there in the middle of Red Lobster.

Your tongue fishes around your teeth to see if there are any chocolate cake crumbs left.

Yeah.

Oh yeah.

It was worth it.