Where I Get It From

       I took the 2-liter bottle of Diet Coke out of the fridge and poured all but the last half-inch into a glass full of ice.

        My mother came into the kitchen to observe me.  Her little dog stood at her feet.  The dog has warmed up to me a lot, but it really loves only her.  

       “Finish the soda,” Mom said.

        “The stuff at the very bottom is flat and gross, though,” I said.

         “No wasting!  Drink it all!”

         I frowned and held the bottle up it front of my face, shaking it. NO FOAM.  I said: “But I don’t want to drink it.  Look, it’s no good.”

         “Well, you can’t open a new soda until you finish this one.  I don’t like to waste.”

          “Momma!  We have six bottles of soda in the garage!  It’s only $.99!  It’s not wasting!”

           “Finish it.”

           I eyed my glass and the remainder of liquid in the bottle.

           “It’s making me feel weird that you’re watching me,” I said.  Because she was.  Watching me like a hawk.

            “I need to be sure you don’t pour it down the sink,” she said.

            I sighed and took a drink from the glass to reduce the liquid content.  Then I poured the last of the soda into the glass.

            “There.  It’s done.”

            She smiled and picked up her dog.  They went to watch TV.

4 thoughts on “Where I Get It From”

  1. I’m sorry to have to say this, but what you have described is a person with a borderline personality disorder, and a useful idiot of modern marketing methods.

    Who the hell needs to buy diet coke in 2 litre bottles? That’s equivalent to 3.5 imperial pints per bottle. The reason why those nice people at Coca-Cola sell it in super-size bottles is that it encourages over-consumption and swells their profits.

    It’s completely irrational to buy the product in quantities that, while cheaper per litre, also ensure that the said product is undrinkable by the time you get to the bottom of the bottle, unless you drink the whole 2 litres at one go.

    The waste that your Mum is terrified of is actually planned by the marketing people and their accountants. Planned obsolescence, planned waste, and planned overconsumption are the holy trinity of modern capitalism.

    Would it be possible to explain this to your mum?

    I suspect not.

  2. Hi Margo

    We can never truly escape our childhoods can we? Best we can do is see our parents as the fallible people that they are, who in most cases I believe did the best they could and with time maybe come to some understanding of them.

    As for why soda is so cheap in the US. In large part it is because of the enormess subsidies given to agribusiness. The documentary King Corn does a much better job of explaining it than I ever could.

    Take care of yourself


    PS–did you watch The Roosevelts on PBS. I learned a lot about Eleanor and found myself likeing FDR a little more and Teddy a little less afterwards.

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