September 23, 2009

The Cola Factor

I was going through the refrigerator this morning and saw that we were down to our last 6 cans of Diet Coke ... again.  Although there are only two of us in the house now, we go through a lot of soda in a week.  I've never stopped to consciously think about how much we buy, but it has to be over ten cases a month, easily.  So conservatively, we consume 8 cans of Diet Coke between us on any given day.  I suppose that's a lot and we probably aren't doing ourselves any good by downing that much, but I'm certain there are worse things that we could be doing to our bodies.

I asked Jan over the last weekend if she thought that we were trying to make up for something that we felt we may have been cheated out of during our childhood.  We both grew up in lower middle class families and each of us had two siblings.  That generally meant that luxuries were cut to a bare minimum.  In my household, soda was a luxury and bottled six packs were bought rarely and severely rationed.  I think I was in high school before I was allowed to have a bottle of soda all to myself.  My Mom used to get mad at my Dad if he would bring home a full case of Vess, but since this was the poor man's Coca-Cola, she didn't get real upset.

It wasn't only soda.  Things like cookies, candy and Little Debbie cakes were seldom bought and doled out like water on a life raft.

There are two tenets that we all carry as we journey from adolescence into adulthood.  One is that we want our children to have things better than we did.  The second ... is that we're damned well going to make up for all the good shit we didn't get when we were kids.

Sometimes there's a one to one correlation.  My parents always yelled at me for using too much toilet paper.  I can still imagine them sitting there listening to me rolling paper off the holder after I used the bathroom and gritting their teeth, knowing that I couldn't possibly need that much paper to wipe my butt.  Now I use as much paper as I want and unconsciously flip them off as I go through roll after roll.  Ha!  How do you like that Ma?

For the most part, there is probably little or no correlation between what we thought we lacked as kids and how we make up for it.  Did I buy that Camaro because I didn't get the slot car set that I wanted in 6th grade?  Only my psychiatrist knows for sure.

I never really try to over-analyze why I buy stuff.  I get things because I want them and I can afford to buy them ... for the most part.  If I'm buying or doing something because I'm pissed off that it never happened during my childhood, well I really don't want to think about that. I'm screwed up enough as it stands.

Almost totally off subject, and a topic that has been beat to death many times over, how many words are used to describe a carbonated beverage and why?  I grew up in southern Missouri, and a carbonated beverage was always called pop.  Here in northern Illinois, it's either pop or soda.  Some places in the south, it's called Coke, or dope. When we were in the southwest this last summer, I always asked for a Coke with my meal.  In a few places, the server asked me what kind?  Pepsi or RC?

I don't believe there are too many products that have such widely varied generic names.  And they all seem to be regional.  One of life's little mysteries.

1 comment:

  1. You know, I never really thought about this until I started reading blogs of people from different parts of the country. I have lived on the West Coast my whole life.

    Sometimes I call it soda, sometimes pop and sometimes I'll call it soda pop. I have no idea why. I guess it just proves that I really am messed up.