Kicking the Can

Note: I wrote this more than a year ago, but it has been lingering unread in my “files” since then. I decided the time was ripe to share it.

I have been drinking a can of Coca-cola, at least one, every single day for more than 20 years. When I was a student, it was my after-school snack. As an adult, it became my default lunchtime beverage. I loved it. The bubbles, the caffeine, the sweet-but-not-too-sweet taste.

After a time, though, I began to have misgivings about my love affair with the red-and-white can.

39 grams of sugars per can–the equivalent of nearly 10 teaspoons of sugar. Off-limits for diabetics–how good is it for me?

Accusations of human rights abuses abroad. As I attempt to be a conscientious consumer, how can I justify this purchase that may encourage oppression?

Big business. I’m trying to foster a local economy. Why not spend my money on a small-batch local root beer instead?

Budget. Money is a little tight in these here parts. Why tithe $4 to Coke each week?

And then my infant daughter started grabbing my Cokes. At first I thought it was cute–evidence of her early fine taste…and then I thought again. I’ve been addicted to Coke against my better judgement for more than four years. Did I really want to start my baby down this path?

But I still didn’t stop. I kept the Coke away from little hands, but I kept drinking it.

Until one day…when the price of Coke went up. Nearly $5 for a case. And I thought, this is ridiculous.

“Aren’t you getting anything?” My husband asked, as he swung his customary case of Mountain Dew into the shopping cart.

“No, I’m going to try it without. It’s too expensive right now.”

“Okay.” Unconcerned. My husband is well-accustomed to my eccentricities.

The first week I missed it. Oh, how I craved the caffeine! I drank 2, 3, 4 cups of tea in a day. I spurned water. Flavor! I needed flavor!

I broke down and bought a 65-cent can of Coke from a vending machine. Cracked it open. Took a sip.

It was syrupy. Didn’t taste right. I left it on my desk overnight.

Days passed. I still missed the flavor of something in my drink, but I was determined not to fall back to Coke out of pure habit. If I started drinking Coke again, it would be because I wanted Coke.

We made an “emergency” late-night run to the supermarket. Bought Lemon Zinger tea and Ovaltine.

Another week passed. I ceased missing my daily Coke.

We went to the market. Coke was 2 cases for $5.

“Do you want some?” My darling husband asked.

“Nah,” I replied, walking on by.

I wish I could explain why I was successful in quitting Coke this time, after so many abortive attempts in the past. I wish I could say it was my iron will and moral certitude. But honestly, my willpower resembles jello more than steel. And my morality…well, I try.

The truth is, for whatever reason, Coke just doesn’t taste good anymore.

And I’ve got a half-empty can on my desk to prove it.

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2 Responses to “Kicking the Can”

  1. anotheryarn Says:

    And to think I bought a 12-pack for your visit 🙂 I too have nearly stopped craving soda (says the girl who drank one today and two yesterday).

  2. Dixie Says:

    I am ashamed to admit that I am fostering a mild Coke addiction as well. It is time to give it up. But, the coffee must stay – for now. Thanks for this great blog entry and reminder.

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