In theory, it sounds good. It sounds like it should be delicious. And at first taste, it is, a little.
But it’s also weirder than you thought it would be. There’s something not-quite-right about the taste, but you can’t say exactly what it is. Bananas and chocolate–these things generally go together. The Bluths made a whole business out of the combination. So this should work. It shouldn’t have this strange layer to the flavor that makes you want to wince. It should be easy to drink. It should go down smoothly.
You know this. Rationally, you understand it should taste good, so instead of chalking it up to a bad cocoa experience and leaving your cup unfinished, you keep drinking it. After all, that first spoonful wasn’t so hideous. You probably just need to try harder to appreciate this. You’re probably just being inflexible when it comes to your hot chocolate taste expectations. Just because it doesn’t taste how you would have wanted it to taste, that doesn’t automatically make it wrong. Even though you’ve given it the benefit of the doubt through numerous tries now, and you’re halfway through the serving and it still isn’t getting any better–in fact it’s getting worse–does that mean you should give up?
It’s banana and chocolate. You want this to work. You even, if you’re being completely honest with yourself, need this to work; not “need” in the sense that you’ll die if it doesn’t, but need in the way that if it doesn’t, you’re not sure you’ll ever be able to give chocolate and bananas another shot (at least not without crying a little first).
You’re 3/4 of the way through the cup now, and though the taste hasn’t improved, you realize you’ve already dedicated so much effort to this drink that it would be silly to abandon it now. Sure, it’s only been about 20 minutes, but in those 20 minutes you feel like you’ve really invested something important. It wouldn’t be fair to that part of you that is now irretrievably with the hot chocolate to get rid of it. You have to stick it out. You have to believe it will improve. Your friends tell you it’s not worth it, especially considering how little you even know about this drink, but you know they’re wrong. You know they don’t know how much of yourself you devote to each drink, and how quickly you decide that this drink is going to be the drink for you, even though you tell everyone else it doesn’t matter. I’m just drinking this for fun, you say. This drink isn’t going to be a long-term drink. I’m going to sample others; I’m going to keep trying cold and hot and lukewarm drinks till I find the one I really want to drink all the time.
And you do believe these things you are saying, deep down. Of course you do, because you don’t want to be stuck with a drink that isn’t worthy of you. You want a drink that reflects how amazing you are. You want a hot chocolate, or a beer, or a lemonade that truly complements your lifestyle. You don’t want to forever be making excuses for why it doesn’t taste right and isn’t always satisfying and often doesn’t sit well in your stomach.
But at this particular moment, when you’ve reached the bottom of the cup and are scraping the sides, hoping to relive that original flash of deliciousness from the very first taste, all you can think about is how it’s banana and chocolate and it still somehow didn’t work out, and how can there be any hope for any other hot chocolate flavor if this one didn’t make it?
Luckily, City Bakery’s hot chocolate festival doesn’t end till Thursday, so you know there are at least a few more chances. Though honestly, it feels like way too much effort to go back and try again at this point.
You will. You always do. But for once, you’d like the hot chocolate in front of you to just be enough.