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Family Chatter


By Mary Becelia

As I sit at my computer, having already checked in with my Facebook posse and caught up on email, I am sipping on a McDonald's mocha frappe. It doesn't hold a candle to my actual favorite mocha drink (below!), but it's pretty darn good.

Now that my kids are in school, what was an occasional temptation has morphed into an almost daily test of my willpower. With no need to "set a good example" or avoid their whining for Happy Meals, I seem to drive by, and all too often into, a McDonald's these days and find myself ordering one of those oh-so-addictive freaking mocha frappes. Work of the devil, they are!

I've long had a sweet tooth and a particular fondness for mocha drinks, dating back to my first job out of college, where management provided free coffee and cocoa packets. The coffee alone was too bitter for me, but once I added a little sugar and fat in the form of instant cocoa, I had discovered "my drink": chocolate sweetness with a dash of caffeine. Bliss!

When I moved to Fredericksburg, I quickly noted the placard outside Goolrick's advertising "Best Milkshakes in Town!" and verified for myself that they weren't lying. For the few years, while I worked full time at the University of Mary Washington, the milkshakes were a very occasional treat; and the frappes weren't yet even a twinkle in the metaphorical eye of the McDonald's new product development team. Life was good; I had things under control.

When I had child #1, Katherine, and became a mostly stay-at-home mom, my life was suddenly anything but under control. I had more time on my hands and my trips to Goolrick's turned into an almost-weekly ritual that has endured into the present day. Yes, for the past eight years I've had my mocha fix at Goolrick's.

Then summer 2010 hits and some McGenius decides that the chain needed to add mocha and caramel frappes to their McCafe line. They had me at "mocha." Even reading the nutrition information (loads of fat and sugar, didn't you guess?) hasn't been enough to dissuade me from pursuing my addiction.

I am, for sure, out of control on the mocha front. I either need to get a grip, up my gym time drastically, or write to the powers that be at McDonald's asking--no, begging--that they save me from myself and remove the mocha frappes from their menu. In the meantime the bus is here and my kids are piling out. Need to gulp down the last few swallows and hide the "evidence" in the recycling bin...until next time, anyway!

Mary Becelia lives in Stafford with her husband and two children, and is considering adding a small flock of chickens to the homestead.

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