I have a thing for drinking. It's one of life's essentials. Not many people could just give up drinking and make a go of it for very long.
The problem is, I don't just enjoy drinking, I'm also rather picky about it. When I moved in the 8th grade I gave up water all together. The sulfury nastiness that passed for water in our new home just couldn't compare to the sweet well water that I grew up on. So for all of high school I didn't drink water. Period.
Unfortunately, that only meant that my thirst was generally quenched by something sugary. And, thus, I developed a craving for sweet liquids to carry me through the days. In college, I fed my need with Gatorade Frost, and cheap Shasta Kiwi Strawberry soda. In Hong Kong, I became increasingly fixated on the plethora of fabulous Fanta flavors that the wider world affords. In recent years, I've settled more on things that also include caffeine. Dr. Pepper, Cola, or sweet coffee drinks cry out to me from every direction.
In the Czech Republic, beer is cheaper than water. They consider it bread. Something essential as both food and drink. When you're sick, the instant prescription is to consume copious amounts of hot tea. I didn't get into either of those, and actually managed to drink a lot of water while I was teaching. We had a big bottle, regularly changed, out in the hall, and that worked for me. I even managed to convince myself, on occasion, to leave my sugary sweetness addiction for meals out, rather than stocking up on it daily. (Although, I must confess to a Pavlovian urge to salivate every time I hear a can of soda cracked open. Makes me weak in the knees I tell you.)
The hear and now has further complicated my need to consume liquids. I'm in my store all day, with no chance to go anywhere, so I have to haul in whatever I'm going to drink. We have no fridge to keep things cold. I bought a big gallon of water once, but it's awkward to pour cups all day. Instead, I've fallen into the trap of getting a soda on my way to work. Here's the real bad part, the cheapest drink I can buy is a 44 oz refill for 79 cents at Circle K. It's a real budgetary blessing, but do I really need to consume 44 oz of soda on a daily basis? Um, not if I'd like to continue having a semi decent waist line. But it's so cheap, and so tasty, and diet soda is nasty, no two ways about it. I sometimes blend a sugar/diet caffeine loaded cup, but it's just not as good, so on tired days, I let myself indulge.
The heart of this post, however, is in today. Today, I decided to be good. A customer gave me a tea bag months ago, and I decided to put it to use. It was my only beverage for the day. I boiled the water, I poured the cup and warmed my hands. I enjoyed the beauty of my Sally Nightmare Before Christmas mug, and even persuaded myself that the tea smelled good. But then I had to drink it. Alas, even the perfect cup could not make it tasty, and the fact that it was caffeine free only added to the failure.
All that to say, it's 6. Time to close up shop and head home for the day. And I'm thirsty!