People have been telling me for years that my mild addiction to Diet Coke was going to bring me trouble. I for one think there are much worse things to which I could be addicted to have ignored the not so subtle screen shots of aspartame and cola’s effect on eating thru various parts of cars and erosion… or the science fair project. To be fair I have tried to cut back, but some days are better than others.
I recently sent out a text to my girlfriends “I am a felon” was all I shared. See I accidentally committed robbery. Now I’m sure many will say that our jails are full of people professing innocence… but I swear it was an accident. I have been a bit distracted by personal stuff lately and one recent afternoon after an especially trying day, I decided to swing by the local Wawa for a large Diet Coke with lite ice (my standby). Now our store is laid out so that you come thru the doors and go straight back to the dispenser, with the registers across the front on the other side of the store. So, as always I plowed to the back, pulled out the extra super large cup, filled it with the perfectly shaped ice, and topped off with the fresh soda, lid and of course straw. Then I turned on my heels… and promptly walked out the front door.
A nano second passed before I realized what I had done. Here, at 40 something I have committed my first robbery. I froze in my step only to have the man behind me collide into me. “Oh my God, I forgot to pay for my drink” I said to him as though he represented the moral police and was going to report me immediately to someone. “Just keep walking “ he responded. Shocked, I hustled back into the store telling every poor soul I scuttled near that I had accidentally walked out… as though they had all watched it and were now judging me and I would perhaps loose my head as the ultimate punishment a la “Game of Thrones” (yes I’m still watching). As I sputtered apologies to the check out lady she responded “you know honey, no body cares”… oh, consider myself checked. Now that I know this perhaps I should begin a crime of peanut butter M&M stickie fingers along with my side of well iced beverages.
Then there was this morning… as an afterthought perhaps I should have buckled before opening the can, or put the open can in one of the cars cup holders… even ask my husband to hold it for me. We were heading to a ridiculously early morning (read 830am) time share update while on family vacation. Nothing that we wanted to attend, much less have to be awake for. But I was there and by golly I had my caffeine. Apparently I did not have enough … as the SUV beeped with “put on your seatbelt before you die” or some such warning, I squirmed in my seat to grab the buckle all the while telling the sound to be quiet. Then, as though in slow motion, somehow the can is dislodged from my grip and makes a circle through the air before settling upside down in the cup holder. Now, a few things to note. 1. my husband is a very serious driver. No games, no distractions, 10 and 2 kind of guy. 2. I had taken maybe one sip from this can. 3. I am a fast food napkin hoarder.
The can flies tumble bumble into the air tossing droplets of sticky soda onto my husband, my shirt, my jacket, and lands in the cup holder flooding it in seconds. I yell a few choice words as my mama reflexes spring into action and I flip the can right side up like it was a falling bottle of freshly pumped breast milk. Thank goodness no one was injured. Thank goodness no tempers were lost. Thank goodness for my secret paper products problem and the feminine wipes in my center console. The cleanup was somewhat doable, at least in the moment. I was able to take the remaining sip as we arrived on time to our members meeting.
Apparently this afternoon required more cleanup. Fortunately for me, I gave my oldest son a plastic bag and a roll of paper towels on their way out to play laser tag… “just in case some more cleanup” was needed. They returned several hours later with half a roll of paper towels, so I presume he fixed my sticky day heat drying cola mess.
And with the cabins water tasting like something I can’t even begin to describe, I have consumed more cans of diet soda today than I care to confess. A stain remains on my favorite shirt as a reminder to slow down, breathe, and remember I’m not a circus act. Next time that will help me keep my sanity.