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Chocolate sentiments

Mackenzie Sain | Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Valentine’s Day is a polarizing holiday. Some love it and go all-out every year, wearing pink and red and handing out boxes upon boxes of conversation hearts. Others are extremely anti-Valentine’s and can’t stand all the gooey sentiment. There’s one thing, however, that unites the two factions: candy. Especially chocolate.

No matter where the chocolate comes from, be it a secret admirer, a care package from home or the post-Valentine’s candy sale at Martin’s, it never fails to make life just that much better. If you happen to be lucky enough to receive a bag of Dove chocolates, even the wrappers can brighten up an otherwise lousy day.

Every delicious, melt-in-your-mouth chocolate square comes with a short message intended to help each chocoholic feel a little bit better about him or herself.

These messages range from good-natured words of encouragement such as “Memo to self: you’re the best,” to well-concealed advertisements like “Linger over chocolate longer.” Sometimes they’re a little strange, like my personal favorite: “Draw yourself a bath.” Other times, they dispense advice that, frankly, every college student could use and tell consumers to get more sleep. Whatever the wrappers say, though, they always make you look forward to reading the next one.

If you think about it, writing messages on candy wrappers is a pretty good marketing strategy, especially if they’re entertaining. I got a bag of Dove hearts in a care package last week, and I always read the messages on the wrappers. The best part is still the chocolate of course (I mean, come on, it’s dark chocolate,) but I always look forward to what those little foil squares have to say. If I happen to be eating the chocolates with a group of people, we always read them to each other. The candy is delicious, and a source of entertainment. There is no downside.

As I was eating one of the chocolate hearts earlier today, I began wondering what would happen if I implemented all of the chocolate’s advice. If I followed each wrapper’s instructions, I would “be more mysterious” and “remember my first crush.” I’d “hug someone today.” Honestly, that’s not a bad plan. I have absolutely no problem lingering over chocolate a bit longer, and I could always use more sleep. Better living through chocolate?

Whether or not you take the advice of those little red foil squares, there’s no denying that eating a little (or a lot) of chocolate makes life a little happier. Whether it’s in bar form or molded into little hearts, whether it’s milk chocolate or dark, it’ll brighten up a crappy day. And if that deliciousness happens to come with an entertaining missive to read while you enjoy it, so much the better.

Contact Mackenzie Sain at


The views expressed in the Inside Column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.