I’ve added a few layers to this old cake metaphor: un-riddling this inconvenient, age-old, conundrum. So go ahead — have the best (but still, also, worst) of both worlds. Just follow these seven simple steps:
Step 1.) See cake. Immediately start salivating like one of Pavlov’s dogs. Marvel in its innate ability to simultaneously awaken all your senses and sensibilities. Mentally prepare for how glorious life is about to be. Naively slip into seductive susceptibilities.
Step 2.) Take bite of cake. Feel your tired tastebuds rejoice in newfound purpose. Smile as you swallow that sweet, fluffy, perfect confection of the gods. Lick lips lasciviously. Savor explosion of flavors. Experience elation of surging serotonin secretions amidst all that dancing dopamine. Celebrate your cerebral cortex for its celestial capabilities. Melt into happiness. Document and store all important information in hippocampus. (God forbid you forget such sweet memories!)
Step 3.) Disconnect from visceral emotions for a split second. Fight your pretentious, nagging, pre-frontal cortex, drowning you in doubt and guilt, disrupting your joy. Think: diabetes. See: love handles. See also: thigh dimples. Panic. Sigh. Re-think your whole life.
Step 4.) Rationalize. Justify. Vacillate. Rationalize. Justify. At least it’s not crack-cocaine (“could have fooled me,” screams your stupid, discordant, conflicted, dog brain). Feel loss of control. Enter analysis paralysis. Panic. Vacillate. Crave. Cave.
Step 5.) Eat just one more bite (lol, okay, sure… if you say so) and repeat steps 1-4. Cave. Crave. Cave. Crave. Rinse and repeat.
Step 6.) Embrace self loathing. Failure. Disgust. Reject that stifling happiness you foolishly let yourself melt into. It’s better than co-dependence. Better than needing something so toxic. Better than blindly choosing the opiate of the masses. Better to reject the cake now than to have had cake, loved cake, then lost cake. Better than embarking on an addiciton-addled sluggish life of highs and lows, always needing more. Never satisfied. Never able to rival the adrenaline rush of that first bite.
Step 7.) Discard all evidence of cake’s impact on your dumb dog brain. Try to delete files stored in hippocampus. (If only you could forget the sweet side of it all!) Keep small piece of that beautiful temptress locked somewhere out of reach. Throw away key (pretend you didn’t make a spare).
See? Your selfish dog brain can have its cake and eat it too. Voilà.