Monday, March 14, 2005


When I was growing up my mother did not allow me to drink pop. She and my dad drank it, but she always felt it was just too harsh for children. Yes, pop. In Southwestern PA it was, and as far as I know, still is called pop. If you went into a store and asked for soda you would get soda water. When I moved below the Mason-Dixon Line I had to get used to saying soda. The Great Pop vs. Soda map shows just what I am talking about.

I remember once when my family was at a drive-in. My entire family has always been big movie buffs. We were always going to the movies when I was growing up. Either the movie theater or the drive-in. Anyway we were at the drive-in and my mother was drinking either Royal Crown Cola or Fresca. I begged her to have a sip of her pop. She relented and she still talks about the face I made. Boy how things changed.

Anywho, soda never passed these lips again until I was in college. Then I quickly became addicted to Coca-Cola. (At times I have had heated discussions on the Coke vs. Pepsi challenge. I never liked Pepsi. Never. Ever). That sugary, caffeine-laden liquid became my constant companion. I would take a glass of coke with me to classes. This addiction increased as time went on. At different times in my adult life I've become addicted to Mountain Dew, but Coca-Cola was always right there, taunting me with it's delectable, sugary goodness. I have never been a coffee or tea drinker. Hot beverages really don't appeal to me very much. Even with a wind chill factor of 10 below 0, give me an ice-cold fountain Coke.

I've given soda up entirely for years at a time. I could give a lot of excuses as to why let the sugar/caffeine monkey climb on my back again, but it's just weakness and I've grown weary of my own excuses. So now I am trying to give it up again. Ever since Vanilla Coke came on the market it was like-Yes, Yes, Yes. I would have it coming out of my spigots at home, I would like to have a Vanilla Coke IV streaming into my arm 24/7. Since I started drinking this ambrosia I've started experiencing some odd health problems. Are they related to this particular drink? Don't know, but I do feel better when I am soda-free. My skin looks better,I sleep better and I just feel better. Now for the past so many years I limited myself to only 1 soda a day. Not since my early 30s could I handle more than that. So you are probably saying-why not drink diet soda. First of all there's that nasty after-taste. Secondly, I know the harm that sugar can do. I don't know all of the harmful side effects these artificial sweeteners may cause, and that metallic, odd taste just doesn't appeal to me at all.

Since January of this year I have been cutting back on my soda consumption. I went cold turkey for awhile. Suffering with the headaches, moodiness and all of the other withdrawal symptoms wasn't fun. Then we went to the movies and I thought, darnit, I'm having a soda with some popcorn. So I had a small Coke and Hello-it was heavenly. I still have a coke every so often, but not every day. Hopefully in the next month or so my taste for it will go away completely.

I've been sublimating my addiction by reading about soda/pop. Galco's Soda Pop Stop sells all sorts of soda. They sell all of these soda pops that I remember seeing when I was growing up. Things like Dad's Root Beer and Faygo's Vanilla Cream Soda.

Pop The Soda Shop sells a lot of different kinds of soda pop too. They have Wink. Wink had a really cute commercial out when I was grwoing up. Wink-The Sassy One from Canada Dry!! Beverages Direct is a great site with all sorts of beverages; not just soda pop.

For those of you that are soda pop collectors and enthusiast there is the magazine Soda Pop Dreams. I've never seen an issue of this magazine, but it sounds as if it would be interesting.

So I'll sit here with my Deer Park water and think about how much better this is for me than any soda. At least I can go to one of the above-mentioned sites and dream.

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