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Confessions of a Chocolate Hater on Dealing with Halloween (and Every Other Day of the Year)

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Scott Eells/Bloomberg via Getty Images

My name is Diana, and I don’t like chocolate.

No, I’m not allergic. Yes, I’ve always disliked it. No, I don’t like Nutella. Or chocolate cake. Or candy bars. Not hot chocolate, either. White chocolate is fine, but it’s not my preferred dessert and I think we can all agree that it’s not real chocolate, either.

When I tell people about my hatred (yes, that’s a strong word, but it’s how I feel!) they’re understandably shocked. I get it — it is weird, although my dream is for someone to hear that I don’t like chocolate, and simply say, “okay.” This has yet to happen.

Don’t get me wrong: Hating chocolate has its benefits. It’s a lot easier to say no to dessert when nothing sound remotely appealing to you. A slice of flourless chocolate cake? Gag. A giant, fresh-out-of-the-oven chocolate chip cookie? No thanks. My disdain for all things cocoa never fails to save me a few calories.

Most of the time, especially as I’ve graduated into adulthood and out of the birthday-party-every-other-week stage of life, I can coast by with my chocolate-hating existence. I get the occasional raised eyebrow or surprised comment, and there’s been more than one occasion on which an acquaintance has bought me a chocolate cupcake for my birthday (a well-intentioned gift, to be sure!). But for the most part, it doesn’t come up.

But once a year, there’s a day that brings my chocolate-hating side into the spotlight. You guessed it: That day is Halloween. Though I’ve long given up on trick-or-treating, it’s hard to ignore chocolate’s day in the spotlight. Bags of it line the drugstore walls, it’s constantly being handed out at parties, and in general, people can’t stop talking about candy. And when candy comes up, so does my dislike of chocolate.

However, my adult experiences don’t begin to compare to what it was like being a chocolate-loathing child on Halloween. Some kids counted down the minutes until they could start trick-or-treating every year. For me, it was a completely meh occasion. I’d usually end up with a bag full of candy I’d eventually dole out to my friends (or parents), as well as a bunch of classmates staring at me like I’d grown two heads when I shared my shameful secret.

And when you admit that you truly hate something as beloved as chocolate, on chocolate’s most sacred holiday, well, there’s going to be questions, concerns and, of course, pleas for you to try it once more.

Which I’ve done, multiple times. In fact, it used to be a Halloween tradition of mine: trying one piece of chocolate candy every year. And yes, every year, I hated it. Now, I abstain. Life’s too short to put yourself through torture just to please the chocolate-loving masses.

So yes, while I hate chocolate, I am not a monster. I am not a robot. I enjoy plenty of other well-loved foods and candies (Skittles! Starburst! Jolly Ranchers!). And no, I don’t want to try some.

And on chocolate’s most sacred day of the year (well, perhaps tied with Valentine’s Day), I’m issuing a plea on behalf of all my fellow chocolate loathers. Don’t ask us if we want a bite of your Hershey’s bar — or keep asking after we insist we truly don’t. Try to control your stunned reaction, and please, don’t ask if there’s anything wrong with us. (Yes, this happens to me frequently.) We’re just trying to make it through everyone’s favorite candy-filled day unscathed.

If you’re feeling really generous, when we tell you, just say “okay” — or better yet, nothing at all! You’ll be making a chocolate-hater’s lifelong dreams come true.