Thursday, March 15, 2007
I’ve been doing this little thing lately. Every morning, I come to work with a can of Diet Coke in my bag. When I get to my office, I take the can and place it in the office fridge, right after I log on to my computer and check my messages. There the can chills until 3:00 p.m., the hour when lunch is gone, but at least two more hours of work remain.
3:00 p.m. is the hour when I need something to look forward to, something to kick my booty into gear and keep my nose to the grind, when I'd rather stare blankly, check my email, or take online quizzes that tell me what kind of household cleanser I am. In other words, it's a perfect time for Diet Coke. This is also an addiction management method. I do not drink Diet Coke for breakfast or lunch anymore like I used to. Rather, I save myself for 3:00 p.m. At an hour of the day when I need it most, that’s when I get it. Mommy gets her candy. At 3:00 p.m., I let the tiger loose. Every moment of the experience is like a tickle: opening the door, pulling her from her chilling place, the crack-pop sound when I open her, and Good Heavens and all that is Righteous and Good, THAT FIRST SIP…oh gravy.
Up here on the President’s floor, we have a lot of board meetings, which means we often get free food and sodas. And sodas. After these meetings, the extra sodas get thrown in our fridge, free for the taking. This afternoon, the President exercised her powers of Imminent Domain, or in this case Egregious Obtuseness, with a manner so grotesque I hardly know how to say it without swearing through my teeth.
The woman stole my Diet Coke. She thought it was a leftover. My Diet Coke! A leftover!
An honest mistake, you think, one that’s easy to do. I might agree with the first part of that… and I do emphasize the might. But the second part of this thought is immediately dismissed as false because of one important fact: all leftover sodas are Pepsi products. Unmistakable blue packaging with the Pepsi products. And women are not color-blind. And no, smarty-pants, our President is not a man dressed as a woman.
3:00 p.m. today comes. I go to the fridge. No can. I’m slightly disappointed, because I think this means that somehow I forgot to take the can from my bag this morning, which means I’ll have to track down some ice and a cup in order to enjoy my Diet Coke. And I typically don’t like ice in my Diet Coke, because it waters it down too much. Spoken like a true addict. I go back to look in my bag. No can. It must be in the back of the fridge, or maybe in the door, I don’t remember where I put it. I go back to the fridge to look again, and standing at the photocopier is the President’s assistant. I open the fridge, and look more carefully. No can.
“Huh,” I utter casually, as if this isn’t the true moment of panic that it obviously is, “I could have sworn I brought a Diet Coke with me today.” President’s assistant stops what she’s doing, turns to me sharply with her hand over her mouth and a look of regret. “Oh, Mary. Did you say Diet Coke?” I nod. “I’m sorry, Mary…the President drank your Diet Coke.” I smile. “That’s okay,” I say, “I really shouldn’t drink the stuff anyway.” President’s assistant offers to run out and get me a replacement. Why should she do that, did she drink it? Defeatedly, I decline her sweet offer, and thank her just the same.
My very next thought: Get to your computer and blog this. Hey, it’s 3:00 p.m., and since you didn’t get your Diet Coke, it’s not your fault you’re not going to do any work for the rest of the day. Blame the President.
And for the record, you have more Diet Coke will power than I EVER will.
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