Debbi Fields Entrepreneur and Author of Mrs. Field's I Love Chocolate! Cookbook "This book will feed your soul and fuel your dreams. You'll believe that anything is possibe."
Chocolate for a Woman's Soul: 77 Stories to Feed Your Spirit and Warm Your Heartby Kay Allenbaugh
Treat yourself to 77 true stories that celebrate life and capture the essence of what it means to be a woman. Like chocolate, these stories soothe, satisfy, and delight -- better yet, they're good for you! Written by and for women, here are heartfelt insights on commitment, compassion, work, marriage, friendship, motherhood, love, courage, spirituality, passion, and dozens of other topics. Contributors share their most personal experiences -- funny, poignant, powerful, and uplifting -- as they inspire you to jump-start your own life, discover your talents and vocations, overcome old fears, find love, and let your dreams take flight. Like a box of chocolates, this book can be enjoyed in one sitting, or you can pick out treats at random and savor them one at a time. Whether you want a good laugh or need a good cry, the perfect "chocolate story" is right here, waiting for you!
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Chocolate for a Woman's Soul77 Stories to Feed Your Spirit and Warm Your Heart
By Kay Allenbaugh
Walker Large PrintCopyright © 2005 Kay Allenbaugh
All right reserved.
Sleepless in San Francisco
by Penelope Pietras
By age thirty-four, I was living most of my girlhood dreams. I had a quaint apartment in San Francisco, an interesting job, and great friends. But there was one thing I'd dreamed of that still eluded me -- finding someone to love and marry.
I didn't have boyfriends in high school. And in college, it often fell on my roommates to fix me up with blind dates for important weekends. Even in my twenties, long after the asthma, pimples, and fat were gone -- when I was actually quite pretty and accomplished -- I still didn't see myself as someone another person would want to share a life with. Chalk it up to childhood traumas, big and small. A multitude of things had chipped away at my self-esteem.
Of course, I wasn't aware of the inner beliefs that were keeping true love out of my reach. Now and then someone came along with enough glib charm to put me at ease, and I'd fall head over heels. But these were usually brief romances, brightening my hopes, then dimming them.
Once I launched my career and began working side by side with a lot of fascinating males, I began to really enjoy men as friends. But mylove life still consisted mostly of short-term, loose connections with lonely spells in between.
I rarely let myself dream about the big "M" word anymore. This was the commitment-phobic early eighties, when a monogamous relationship that would last through Christmas seemed like too much to ask. Then Newsweek came out with the man-shortage article that said a career woman in her thirties had about as much chance of getting married as getting killed by terrorists.
The news was perversely comforting. With simple demographics to blame, I stopped wondering what was wrong with me and started grappling with the idea that I might remain single.
I settled for another tenuous relationship, this time with a man I'd met on vacation in Mexico. Jon was a political aide in San Francisco, a weekend pilot, introspective, good-looking, and fun.
He made it clear that he didn't want me to get serious. Thoughts of a house, kids, and a lawn mower made his skin crawl. Actually, he hoped to be working overseas within a year. It saddens me now to recall how easily I assured him that I had no expectations of a long-term commitment. We continued to see each other off and on, like two planets in orbit, sometimes close but never completely in each other's worlds.
On my birthday, however, Jon was there with lovely gifts of clothes and jewelry, taking me out for dinner and dancing. It seemed to me that we were closer than we'd ever been, and I started to wonder if things might work out after all. Then the next day, he bluntly announced that he was bringing another woman to a party we both planned to attend the following weekend.
I usually cry when I'm angry, but that day my fury was like dry ice as I asked him to leave my apartment. My anger stayed hard and frozen inside me for weeks, even when he called to make amends. He told me that a job had come through -- a yearlong assignment in Africa. He wanted things to be right between us before he left, so wouldn't I please have dinner with him.
"No way," I said, surprised that my resolve wasn't melting. "If I let myself feel close to you again, I'll spend another year waiting with hope and doubt and I can't afford to do that. Besides, I expect to be married by the time you get back!" Married! Where had that come from? Jon couldn't have been more stunned than I was by my proclamation. But he left the country, and while he was gone, miracles happened to me.
Everywhere I went, it seemed I met another attractive man who wanted my phone number. Some of them I met at parties, others came up to me politely on the train, even on the street. These were men who seemed almost old-fashioned in their manners, attentiveness, and regard for me. For the first time in my life, my calendar was crammed with "real dates." One of the men was David, a neighbor in my apartment complex.
An hour into our first date, I felt I'd known David for years. We discovered we shared many hobbies and interests. Before the day was through, we'd already planned our next outing. Soon I was finding flowers at my door and romantic cards in the mail while he was away on business trips. I'd never known a man who was so sweetly persistent, so blatancy smitten, so dependable and generous. Of course I fell in love with him.
Jon returned to San Francisco, bewildered to find me engrossed in wedding plans. I don't know what's happened to him since, but David and I have been married for six happy years.
People used to tell me when I was single chat I'd find love when I was "ready." I'd thought I was ready all along, but now I know I wasn't -- not until that day on the phone when I loved myself enough to claim what I truly wanted and deserved.
Copyright © 1997 by Kay Allenbaugh
Excerpted from Chocolate for a Woman's Soul by Kay Allenbaugh Copyright © 2005 by Kay Allenbaugh. Excerpted by permission.
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Meet the Author
Kay Allenbaugh, creator of the Chocolate series, is a writer and speaker who is known as "The Caretaker of Stories for Women of the World." She lives in Lake Oswego, Oregon. Contributors to the Chocolate series include bestselling authors, motivational speakers, newspaper columnists, radio hosts, spiritual leaders, psychotherapists, businesswomen, and teenagers from all over the world.
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