I hate it. Yeah, yeah, yeah… I know. Gotta have it to live and all that baloney. But does it have to taste to so bad?

Ok, maybe “bad” isn’t the correct word, but “good” sure as hell doesn’t work either. I have never been a fan of plain ol’ dihydrogen monoxide, I have always preferred something with flavor – any flavor. Cola, fruit, tea… six of one, half dozen of the other. Just put something in that transparent, tasteless tap spew and make me a happy camper.

Now, I’ve heard all the propaganda of how plain water is the ultimate hydrator. Funny thing – I am an unlimited times more satisfied when I drink a soda. Thirst quenched, heat quelled… to me, “soft drink” describes the feeling when a soda is in my mouth and slithering down my throat. Water is hard, in comparison. Harsher to drink and god help me when I have a sore throat or an upset stomach. Water is like brute, pummeling my tender tissues so I feel even worse than before. Even just adding in a little powdered tea or Kool-Aid makes a world of difference.

I have tried, though. Really, most sincerely. I have gone so far as to purchase nice large water bottles to carry with me, using as an excuse that water is free and everything else isn’t. Ok, so water isn’t free – up here it costs a boatload (about $600/year on average for single solitary yours-truly), but saving money is a good motivation point for me right now. My current one is a great pumpkin orange with a wide mouth for easy washing. I got a black silicone sippy-adapter for it, decorated with a very nice skull and crossbones. And I do my best. I fill it in the morning, pop it into my backpack or toss it onto the passenger’s seat of my car and try to puff myself up with a feeling of accomplishment. And, invariably, I return home with the thing still half-full, and a couple of empty soda or tea bottles laying next to it. I can usually get about half of the water down my gullet before I reach my breaking point. But, since failure only means I reverted to my preferred beverages, the sting of defeat just isn’t so hard to take.

Yes, I have a cold soda in front of me right now. Yes, I am enjoying the hell out of my icy beverage. Yes, it’s not the first one I’ve had this morning. In fact, I generally start my day with a swig of something out of a 2-liter bottle or a pitcher, even before my coffee is brewed. If at the gates of St. Peter, that comes up on my vice list, I will refuse to apologize. I may even do a little jig. I’ll bite my thumb at my sin and ask if there’s a coke machine nearby. Oh, and borrow a dollar… no, wait… I’ll make sure to be buried with a couple, just in case…