The illicit affair that led to a major life change

I need to confess to a love affair.

Thankfully, this torrid romance is a thing of the past. But while it lasted, it had all the drama of a Hollywood blockbuster: temptation, desire, indulgence, shame, guilt, regret. No matter how many times I swore the last time was the last, I couldn’t stay away. After years of the on-again, off-again tango I finally severed the ties for good, and I am never looking back.

No, I’m not talking about an illicit affair with the pool boy. I’m talking about my soda pop addiction.

Dr. Pepper and Coke were my drugs of choice — no diet for me, thanks. I liked the hard stuff, straight up. It wasn’t the amount of soda I drank that leads me to call it an addiction; I did my best to keep my consumption to one can a day. I call it that because my lust for Coca-Cola was not purely physical, it was also emotional and psychological.

It started innocently enough. One of my fondest childhood memories involves the mini glass bottles of Coca-Cola sold at Christmastime. My parents would hold an annual White Elephant party with their friends, and my brother and I would get to take plates full of party food and our own little Santa Cokes upstairs to watch Christmas movies while the festivities went on below. In fact, Coca-Cola was a fixture at all our frequent parties, and it was to be found on all our vacations: Disneyland, Lake Powell, road trips, even camping in the woods. Cracking open a cold can and hearing that little pop-fizzle-sizzle before taking a swig means a good time is about to go down.

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