Rules of the Brownie

17 Mar

A friend gave me a $25 Panera Bread gift card for my birthday. I decided to use it last night while friends were here. Unfortunately, the “unused” card didn’t have enough to cover the $24.75 bill. In fact, it only had $3.27 on it.

Maybe the cashier felt bad for me. Or maybe she was just enchanted by my daughter and her friend. While we were eating our meal (paid for by my gracious friend), the cashier came over and handed a Chocolate Fudge Brownie to each girl. But she attached a rule: no eating the brownies tonight. Smart woman! She figured giving those kids a sweet treat after 9 pm would keep them up late. I liked her rule.

My daughter did not like the rule. Although she happily accepted the brownie gift, she had no interest in waiting until the next day to open it. But my friend and I were firm with the girls: obey the rule of the brownie.

My daughter’s friend seemed more willing to obey that rule. At 11, she’s older and wiser than my daughter. She even tried to get my daughter on board with waiting, but it was futile. My girl’s comment about the cashier was something like, “she can make the rules for here but she doesn’t make the rules for me.”

She has a point. The cashier we just met doesn’t control what we do once we leave Panera Bread. But I saw an opportunity to make the point that the gift came with a rule and by accepting the gift, she accepted the rule.

Fortunately for my daughter and her sweet tooth, I felt there was a loophole in the rule. The “no eating tonight” clause would be ruled null and void once we left the premises. As soon as we got home, the brownie could be eaten and enjoyed. I wasn’t about to make her wait a day, especially if it would mean having her ask me if she could eat it for breakfast.

Half of the brownie is left today, and I have a new rule. She must split it with me.

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