Nina Van Horn: You think too much.
Maya Gallo: That’s my style.
Nina Van Horn: Yeah, well, you’ve been trying the same style for fifteen years now. How’s that working out?
—Just Shoot Me!, “Maya Stops Thinking” (5/3/01)
Warning: This is going to be excruciatingly boring. I know it because I’ve actually told this to people, and I can watch them just glaze over. But, what the hell. I should update this thing more often, so sometimes you get wheat, and other times you get chaff.
It drives my doctor crazy that my A1C number is so high. She’s always poking around in my habits to find out whether I’ve got soft signs of Type II Diabetes (so far, no). And one of the questions she asks me is whether I’m thirsty a lot. The reason for that is because the excess sugar in your system will draw more water out, so you’re urinating more often. Dehydration = extra thirsty. But the problem is, early on in my adult life I got into the habit of having something to sip on with me nearly all the time. So when I decide I’m thirsty, it’s more like a force of habit thing—“Hey, I don’t have a drink nearby”—than it is an actual Being Thirsty thing. There are lots of times I’ll make a cup of tea or something, and then forget all about it. It’s just good to have it nearby and such. At any rate, peeing a lot and having a beverage on-hand all the time are just part of my normal routine. I drink a lot, therefore I pee a lot. And lemme tell you, oftentimes during the day, that urine is so clear, it’s practically potable. I’m soooo hydrated, yo.
But my blood sugar is not what I’m writing about today, not specifically. It’s my choice of beverage, and the weird lengths I go to with it.
In the morning, and during the day, I’m all about the tea. Hot tea with my breakfast sandwich, then I make a pot of the stuff at work and have a few cups of that throughout the morning. If I don’t finish the pot, I pour what remains into a plastic container and drink it cold, and unsweetened. (Back to the blood sugar thing for a moment: I put a single packet of sugar into each mug of tea I drink—and I usually use 12 ounce mugs. So my sugar intake from tea isn’t much, considering how much hot tea I drink.) Near the end of the day, I’ll probably have a can of Coca-Cola. And there begins the downslide, because soda is definitely my downfall.
So now I’m on the Coke Train, and when I’m on the way home, I’ll stop and get a fountain beverage. And here’s where I fully concede I get weird.
More often than not, I stop at 7-Eleven and get myself the Super Big Gulp of soda. That’s the 44-ounce cup, and it’s actually at least TWO steps down from their largest. Hey, I’m no pig. But anyway, one of the reasons I like the 7-Eleven is that they give you a discounted price on the refills, so the cost gets cut nearly in half. (Getting the occasional freebie via their app is cool, too.) But the other thing you have to deal with is getting the clerk’s attention when you first come in, so they see you’re doing a refill. Sometimes if they don’t see you come in with the cup, they give you a hard time. So my tactic is to go in with a cup from another place, like Wawa, or Sheetz, or Royal Farms. This way there’s absolutely no question whether I’m getting a refill. And, of course, most times they still ask me, “Is that a refill?”
Man, I was dumb when I was younger, but when I worked in a 7-Eleven, I wasn’t that dumb. Maybe a little naïve, but that’s another story.
So if I’m not getting a refill, I’m less choosy about where I go. However, Royal Farms, Wawa and Sheetz all have a fatal flaw with their cups: the lids suck. They’re made of this soft, flimsy plastic that doesn’t fit very well over the tops of the cups (looking especially hard at you, Wawa), and you really have to work to get that lid on correctly. Sometimes you wind up going through two or three lids to get one that fits right. And—AND!—more often than not, if you tilt the cup a little bit for those first few sips, the lid will leak and now you’ve got soda all down your shirt. As it happens, however, 7-Eleven has GREAT lids. They’re a slightly harder, transparent plastic, and best of all, they fit on all the other guys’ cups. What ‘s more, they fit better AND easier on the other guys’ cups. So now I’m going into 7-Eleven with the foreign cup, and snapping a 7-Eleven lid on top. (UPDATE: Royal Farms has finally gotten decent lids on the big cups! Hallelujah!)
But wait—that’s not where the madness ends. We still have to deal with the STRAWS.
7-Eleven straws are way too fat. So when you’re taking a sip, you wind up swallowing a lot of air before any drink gets into your mouth. Wawa has a nice, skinny straw, Sheetz isn’t bad and Royal Farms….well, they had the nice straws until they replaced them a couple of months ago with these fat blue ones. Pfui. So my habit is to re-use the Wawa straws for as long as I can, but I also take an extra whenever I’m in there. So if I have to go to Royal Farms or 7-Eleven for a new cup, I skip the straw and take one from the stash in my glovebox.
So, to recap:
- Most beverages from 7-Eleven because of the refill discount;
- Cups usually from Wawa but also Royal Farms or Sheetz;
- Lids from 7-Eleven because everyone else’s suck;
- Straws have to be from Wawa or, in a pinch, Sheetz.
And yes, I do think about this stuff too much.