Friday, April 2, 2010

Drink Love

I am so freaking thirsty.  Picture someone who is kind of thirsty and then picture that same person after running a marathon in the desert during a dust storm in one hundred degree weather.  Okay, that's me all the time. Waiters hate me because they can't refill my glass fast enough.  I just love my beverages.

The first time I noticed my crazy affection for all things liquid was at a McDonalds in high school.  Actually, I should say that my friend Aaron noticed it first.  I only had two dollars for lunch because I'd blown that week's lunch money on a Smashing Pumpkins album the day before.  Instead of ordering two food items off the 99 cent menu like a normal person would, I got a small order of fries and a large Dr. Pepper.  "You'd rather drink than eat," he said and he was right.  I could give a damn about the food, all I cared about was getting that soda.  A normal lunch for me in high school was soda, whether from the mall food court or the school vending machine.  Anything else (peanut M&Ms, Chick-Fil-A, Happy Meal) was bonus.

After that day, I began thinking of drink-love as my own special little quirk.  It is true that I was always thirsty, a fact I blamed on the allergy pills I've been taking since I was three.  They dehydrate you. Hydration is important, right?  I started thinking back to times I chose a beverage over food.  I can remember being more concerned with the juice portion of our snack at church pre-school than the vanilla wafer part.  I also traded my goldfish crackers for Dylan Van Meter's Capri-Sun every day of third grade because one Capri-Sun just wasn't enough.  I recall going to a Tupperware party at a friend's house in elementary school and marveling not at her mother's pound cake like everyone else but at the gorgeous complexity of her punch and the lovely way it made your lips pucker when you drank it.

In my head, life is just a series of drinks. Different events beg for certain beverages.  A typical day goes like this:  morning calls for coffee and maybe juice.  Usually I take it a step further and drink a protein shake instead of eating.  If you are out to brunch with friends, a latte or mimosa or bloody mary may be in order.  Mid-morning should be iced tea or more coffee.  Gym-time equals water.  Lunch is either iced tea, Arnold Palmer (say that three times fast) or, very rarely, a diet coke.  If it's vacation or, I don't know, a Thursday, a beer is also a good choice.  Dinner goes down well with red wine year round or if it's a hot LA summer, then white wine does the trick.  Sushi is a vehicle for sake and Japanese beer.  Mexican food is all about margaritas.  Heat waves exist for Slurpees and lemonade.  Movies are an excellent excuse to have those diet cokes I try to avoid and weddings give me reason to toast with champagne.  Karaoke with friends equals vodka.  Colds equal orange juice.  Hawaii equals Mai Tais.  Why else would there be such a thing as winter if it weren't to give me an excuse to drink hot chocolate and apple cider?!

I am up on all the beverage trends.  Acai juice?  Been there.  Red Bull?  Done that.  Coconut water?  Oh yeah.  Wheat grass?  You better believe it.  Kombucha?  I'm addicted.

I might be the thirstiest girl alive.

Don't get me wrong, I like to eat.  But, after dinner, given the choice of cake or ice cream, I'll probably ask for a digestif.

*photo by dmourati.