Sticky Tricky Sweets You Crave

I do not understand why I don’t like soda.

“Soda” as a name for it is an affectation I’ve picked up since moving to the US, much to my dismay; it’s the same as the fact that I instinctively call trousers “pants” now, even though they are quite clearly trousers, dammit. I don’t really want to call it soda, and yet I do. In my heart, I know that it’s called “fizzy juice,” because that’s what we called it when I was a kid, but one of the true joys of fizzy juice, or soda, is that there’s no one true name for it. It’s “pop” to a lot of people, which I love very much. I don’t call it pop, however; I don’t even call it fizzy juice any more, much to my upset. I call it soda, as much as I wish I didn’t.

Anyway: I don’t like soda. I didn’t even really like it as a kid, with the exception of Lucozade — a sugary, syrupy concoction that was initially sold as a medicinal tonic before idiots like me started drinking it for fun — and lemonade in its British incarnation, which is basically Sprite but more bland. My sisters and my friends loved Coke, or Ginger Ale, or any number of a similar carbonated beverages, and I just… didn’t. I feel like it’s a missed skill, a step I somehow didn’t get around to treading upon at the right time. Something I’ve somehow done wrong.

It’s not something I think about, normally, but in summer I always end up wondering if I’d have a better time if I was a soda drinker — if the possibility of a nice big glass of soda with some ice cubes would make the heat more pleasurable in some way, instead of leaving me seated on the sofa, fan in my face, as I sweat and frown and long for cooler days.

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