I've finally caved.
For the past two weeks there has been an unfinished block of Milka chocolate in The Family's fridge, two little rows of four creamy brown squares, folded up at the bottom of the packet. Every day, whenever I've been alone in the house, I have unfolded the pale purple paper and slowly inhaled the sweet, chocolatey scent. Then I've been folding it back up again and carefully placing it back in the fridge, where it has remained, untouched by The Family.
I thought that maybe The Family were testing me, that they had planted a chocolatey trap for me to stumble into greedily, so that they could then turn round and say 'We knew you ate everything!' It has been my very own French Resistance, bravely eating all of their Nutella, all their biscuits, all their cake, all the kid's Easter eggs*- anything to stop me from touching the half-eaten bar of Milka chocolate.
But I think maybe I am being paranoid. Normally I would say that you can never be too paranoid, but I think, asides from eating the eleven year old's chocolate cake that was meant for school, the family don't mind what food of theirs I eat... In fact, I think they prefer me this way than when I first started working for them and I let loads of food go to waste, because I assumed it was Sacred Food when in fact it was just food that needed eating.
Do you understand though? There are some foods that are Sacred in somebody else's fridge- posh ham, expensive cheese, exotic fruit... and over the past six months I have gradually, tentatively, started eating all of their Sacred Foods and nothing has been said. I bet now the mum will get home and demand to know why I have eaten all the Emmenthal and all the parma ham, but so far I have managed to eat sneakily, which is quite a skill. I have little tricks: I'll slice the cheese lengthways to make it look like a thinner piece of cheese that hasn't been touched, rather than take an obvious chunk off the end; or else I'll eat an entire packet of something so that if they notice it missing, they'll convince themselves it never existed.
Of course, they probably know exactly how much I am eating. But so what? With a job that 'includes food' they can't stipulate how much food or what food... can they? If they do I will burst into tears and tell them I am a Compulsive Eater.
Anyway, last night the eleven year old finally ate the Milka chocolate. I realised that the mum and dad wouldn't get home and ask who had eaten it, they wouldn't even notice, and I vowed that if such an occassion should reoccur, I will eat it without a second thought.
About ten minutes before I started writing this post, I looked in the cupboard to see what biscuits they had and what did I see but seven bars of Milka chocolate taped together. I don't know why they sell chocolate like that here, but I know the only reason that it isn't causing an obesity epidemic is because French people can control themselves when it comes to food.
I, however, am not French. I've eaten half a bar (when I say 'bar' I mean a massive one with twenty four squares, I am not being funny about a tiny, normal-sized chocolate bar) and I was going to save the other half for the kid's gouter, but I really, really want to eat the rest.
There was a little card at the front of the first bar and it said '6 + 1 GRATUIT'. This means they thought they were buying six and instead they got seven. Maybe they didn't even notice they got one free...
Seven is my lucky number.
I am going to eat it and after this post saying how they won't mind, I have almost definitely jinxed myself, but I am ready for their wrath. It is worth it.
By the way, for those of you paying attention, you will know that I went to Serbia on Saturday night for my cousin's wedding. I am waiting until I can upload the photos, because without photos I don't think you will believe it.
*Easter was weeks ago! I'm not being Mean Au Pair eating all their chocolate, if they leave it on their bedside tables any longer it will go off, so I'm just doing what needs to be done. The joy of stealing Easter eggs is that they have loads of little ones, too many to keep track of, and the big ones are all broken up, so they will never know that their Easter chocolate is being nibbled away, little by little, by their Greedy Au Pair.