Soothing One’s Heart Through One’s Stomach

When Ben and I were driving up to the mountains recently for a wedding with Babygirl, I reached some sort of frazzled parent tipping point where I could no longer share the backseat with my own offspring and requested a stop. We got off the Taconic and I left the car and I went inside a gas station to regroup. Right outside the bathroom was one of those horizontal freezers filled with treats.

I had exactly one dollar and fifty cents in cash in my wallet. OK, I told myself. If one of these ice cream sandwiches costs $1.50 or less, I will buy it and I will bring it outside and share it with Ben and Babygirl, and we will eat it together, taking turns, on a picnic table on the sunshiny grass, and everything will be okay.

If not? Well, I couldn’t bring myself to consider the alternative.

I took the ice cream to the counter and smiled at the nice man at the register and he smiled at me, because I guess he is used to frazzled parents on the road, or perhaps because he is the Patron Saint Of Frazzled Parents On The Road; he rang up that chunk of potential contentment and told me, “$1.50, please.”

I brought the ice cream sandwich out to Ben and Babygirl, who were frolicking on the sunshiny grass, and I watched both of their faces brighten with the same simple joy: someone who loved them was bringing them something sweet. We sat at the picnic table and shared the ice cream sandwich, taking turns, until it was nothing but an echo of itself in our mouths. Then I took over driving and got us to the wedding and everything was okay.

All for $1.50.

I’ve been having an emotionally intense few days — perhaps you could tell from my posts! — and I need a break, the kind of reprieve one can only get from spending money on something discrete and satisfying like an ice cream sandwich. But should I duck into a bodega for the simple, straightforward kind, to which Meaghan once wrote an ode? Or do I go for something fancier like, oh I don’t know, a black-and-white-cookie ice cream sandwich, yours for only $7.

the civic-minded folks at Ample Hills Creamery and Baked bakery have decided to combine the two treats in one luscious package called the Black & Walt, after Ample Hills’ bovine mascot. The Brooklyn-based dream-team collaboration consists of vanilla malted ice cream slicked with malted fudge, shoved between a split Baked cookie, then rolled in some Ample Hills’ malted-chocolate Rice Krispies crunch. It’s available for $7 beginning Friday at all Ample Hills and Baked shops, and will eventually be sold at the Ample Hills kiosk in Brooklyn Bridge Park.

There’s always the potential though that it could disappoint somehow, and I would kick myself for spending $7 — which could buy me the entirety of a lunch — on a treat, something I hadn’t even tried before.

Maybe I need to look again through this slideshow of women scientists capably and cheerfully refuting Nobel Laureate Tim Hunt’s comments about “girls” in labs weeping and falling love with him and weeping some more instead of doing their jobs.

Or read more Tweeted responses to the NY Post piece about how women could not possibly understand the genius of Goodfellas.

No, I need something physically satisfying as well, whether avant garde or #TBT simple. Comfort food that I can pay for, hold in my hand, and finish in one sitting. My heart needs to be soothed via my stomach.

Maybe the answer is an ice cream sandwich and feminism. (The answer is always an ice cream sandwich and feminism.)

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