I never, ever, drink soda. I drink coffee, water (La Criox when I’m feeling fancy), wine (red), beer (nothing ‘light’) and sometimes tea (decaffeinated). But Coke and all its carbonated cousins leave me cold, frankly. The fact that they are cloyingly sweet and calorically empty turns me off.
If I’m honest, I feel a little superior, being such a beverage purist.
For instance, I don’t order value meals at fast food restaurants, because I don’t want the half-gallon-sized fountain drinks that are included. I pay more for my food just to avoid drinking soda! Oh, so pure! While my husband slurps away at his frosty beverage, I smugly sip my tepid bottled water, brought from home.
You know what happens now, right? Yeah. I come to see the error of my ways. The scales of beverage snobbery fell from my eyes due to a combination of the Atlanta heat, a baseball game, and some unshaded seats.
Since Evan is now playing baseball in our town’s ‘little league’, we thought a family outing to an Atlanta Braves game would be a fun way to spend an afternoon. We were hoping that the seats we bought would be in the shade, but you know what they say – wish in one hand and buy cheap seats with the other and see what you end up with. Our seats were completely exposed to the Southern sun on a day with 80+ degree heat. We were all coated with sunscreen, but the fact that we had broad-spectrum coverage was a small comfort when we felt we might melt away, dripping right down the concrete steps onto the Terrace Level below us.
We had brought water from home (so pure!) but even I had to admit that it’s cooling power was nil. Jon knows I hate the sun and the heat, so he suggested that I go out to the shaded promenade to buy the kids some foam tomahawks (go Braves!). Oh, and could I pick him up a foot-long, too?
Glad for any excuse to get out of the sun, I went and bought the kids their toys and stood in line to get a hot dog for Jon.
And then, I knew I needed something else, something to help me beat the heat, and right away.
I ordered the dog and I also ordered the largest fountain drink I could buy. The souvenir cup filled with Coke Zero.
Oh, sweet bliss. After the first sip, I was instantly cool. I clutched the ice-cold cup and returned to my seat in the sun with the family. The kids waved the tomahawks, Jon ate the hot dog, and I nuzzled my frosty friend, pressing it to me like it was a prized possession. For as long as I was sipping it and holding it to my cheek, it may as well have been 70 degrees and shady outside. The heat? No bother. The sun? Didn’t exist. The cold, sweet goodness in that cup somehow had the power to keep the unrelenting rays of the sun at bay.
So, if you yourself are a lover of icy sodas, you may be glad to know that this beverage purist has had her comeuppance. The next time I find myself in the blazing heat at a ball game, or shadeless in a hot car, I will not hesitate to order the largest fountain beverage available to me – preferably Coke Zero, in a plastic cup so large I could bathe my kids in it.
Because frankly, it leaves me cold.
P.S. Here’s the rest of the family, trying to keep cool and watch the game:
And here’s just another random thing – I find it disturbing that at Turner Field, the condiment stations are right next to the bathrooms: