photo credit Arnold Gatilao

I remember the first time I drank caffeine. I was a freshman at BYU and I really committed myself to a Big Gulp of Pepsi or Coke. So those 32 ounces hit my uninitiated body like 32 some kinda watts (what’s a lot of watts? I don’t even know. But there must be a good pun in there somewhere). And I was jittery and energized and, to be honest, that’s probably the closest I’ve come to being “high” my entire life. Except that time I let them give me Valium and pipe Jack Johnson into my headphones while I did 45 minutes in the MRI machine.

In any case, growing up soda was a rare treat. Caffeine (which I wouldn’t be able to spell correctly without spell check) was forbidden. And what I really loved was root beer.

I loved root beer especially when it was mixed just so with the right amount of vanilla ice cream and would completely float my boat.

I loved root beer floats so much I used to grab root beer from the tap at the MTC cafeteria and a little bowl of ice cream at the dessert station so I could make a root beer float because I knew I would miss them during my year and a half (actually 14 months on account of 2 months in the MTC) in Belgium and France.

I missed root beer floats so much while living in Belgium and France that on occasion I would buy Perrier and ice cream and whip my out my stash of root beer flavoring from the states and attempt to mix in a little sugar to make a root beer float the hard way.

That didn’t work so well, but it was the idea of a root beer float that felt just a little bit like home.

Since then I came to terms with how I really feel about caffeine (which I still didn’t spell correctly) and have since become more of a Dr. Pepper girl. But because I do make an effort to avoid drinking my calories in the form of straight sugar* I rarely indulge.

*No diet for me. I have a thing for being able to pronounce the ingredients in my food and besides, to me, artificial sweeteners have a nasty aftertaste.

But I still do love a good root beer float a couple of times a year.

By the way, one of the best wedding receptions ever was held in my neighbors’ back yard. Casual dress. And all they served for refreshments was root beer floats.


[Day 51 of Ann Dee Ellis’ 8-Minute Memoir.]