I remember a time when my favorite drink, after milk because I’m a dork like that, was Mt. Dew. I thought that stuff was the nectar of the gods or something! Then I moved to a college campus that served Coke products instead of Pepsi and I had to move on, find a new love.
That love? Dr. Pepper. Apparently, I am incapable of liking drinks that aren’t abbreviated. Regardless, it got me through cramming for biology finals and staying awake in boring classes, not to mention serving as a rum delivery vehicle at parties.
But then I graduated from college and I moved to the big city. In an effort to be healthier, I cut out sodas. My caffeine came only from my morning cup of tea, since I’m not a coffee fan, and the rest of the time I primarily drank water and milk. Fortunately, I didn’t have many demands on my brain that couldn’t be solved by a good night’s sleep, and nothing stood between me and sleep but the occasional bass-thumping neighbor. Life was good.
Then I got pregnant, and I decided to switch my morning cup of tea to decaf. I’m short, Southern Honey is short, so why risk stunting the Munchkin’s growth more than the genetic lottery already makes likely? It seemed like a good idea at the time.
Then I had the Munchkin, couldn’t breastfeed him for long, and went back to work on short sleep. Being functional mentally became a must, but how was I to achieve it? Caffeine, my old friend, seemed the only answer.
Until that first cup of full-bodied tea had me up and jittering all night long. My body had adjusted to life without my friend, and we could no longer inhabit the same space. So I reluctantly went back to my decaf tea, shoving the box of caffeinated stuff deep into the recesses of my desk drawer.
Except that Monday I decided I needed a little pick-me-up after a long weekend without much sleep (cranky baby), so I broke out the real thing. Caffeine, my buddy, come hang out!
Yeah, caffeine and I, we’re not buddies anymore. It’s my nemesis. My jittery, brain-exploding nemesis. But, dangit, caffeine, I just want to love you. Why do you hate me so? I didn’t abandon you needlessly; I didn’t throw you aside because I wanted to! Forgive me?