Sunday, September 18, 2011

Not Decadent, Just Yummy

I’m puzzled by the use of decadent to describe things like rich desserts and spa treatments. Granted, it’s technically correct according to the word’s second definition in my e-dictionary: “luxuriously self-indulgent,” but the first definition is “characterized by or reflecting a state of moral or cultural decline,” and my Webster’s gives only one meaning, similar to this. To me, decadence suggests reckless, hedonistic gratification, like a house party attended by Metallica, or a typical night for a New York Governor.

So I always chuckle when I see something like this…

Someone gave us a whole box of these, and they are delicious. But decadent? Come on, Mrs. Field! Decadent stuff happened at the Moulin Rouge cabaret. The Playboy mansion is a decadent place. Things get decadent backstage at a Mötley Crüe concert. It is not decadent for suburban Utah housewives, straight-laced bloggers, and our young children to eat your chocolate grahams in .7-ounce doses. I mean, it says right on the wrapper that they have only 100 calories and no trans fat. How can that same wrapper call its contents decadent?

I’m picturing a TV commercial with a sultry brunette in a flowing red gown who rolls her eyes back as she nibbles these beside a Mediterranean villa. Then, just before it ends, the narrator says “Also an excellent source of fiber.”

I guess I’d accept the “decadent” adjective on the wrapper if there were a serving suggestion on the back that reads, “Best when dipped in butter, caramel, and cocaine." Or maybe, "Try Mrs. Field's chocolate grahams in a hot bubble bath, in Xanadu."

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