My Evil Mistress

“I need a favor.” My mother’s voice quivered.

“Mom, are you OK?”   I
had just left work and gotten into my car, which was semi covered in the first
round of slush from our Friday-Saturday snowstorm.

“You don’t have any Diet Coke.  Can you stop at the store and get some?”

My mother had moved in with us for the night in anticipation
of the first blizzard of the winter.  The
kids love having her around. 

Photo: Carolina the new foster dog is here!

And they love that
she travels with Carrie.

I love having her around, because when she’s here, I can
slip off to Target by myself for an hour to buy things I don’t need,
although I didn’t think I would be doing that this weekend in the

To my mom, Diet Coke is like crack, and surviving a
weekend without it would have been impossible for her.  In all honesty, the big DC is like crack to
me, too, except I finally kicked the habit a year ago. It had been a
dysfunctional relationship and a torturous parting to say the least…I’ve always
thought of the big DC as an evil mistress. 
So bad for me yet I kept going back…

But I’d do anything for my mom – except maybe eat processed
sugar or make hamburgers for her, but truthfully, I wouldn’t even make
hamburgers for Justin Timberlake (ok, that’s a lie, I might.  All right seriously, I’d slaughter a cow for
him.  With my own hands.  But I digress…).  So, I pulled into the grocery store on my way

Grocery shelf

Here’s what New Jersey grocery stores look like when there
is the possibility of being snowed in your house for three hours.

Because  everything to
a New Jerseyan is a blood sport, including who can empty the shelves of a
grocery store first before the onslaught of a half a foot of snow.

Even though my higher self/inner yogi/diva would rather sit
on the sidelines than elbow my way through a frantic crowd coveting pints of
Haagen Dazs and eggs, I’m forced to play.

I’m doing it for Mom.  

Although, as you know, when I walk into a store, I get
sidetracked, so the one item tends to turn into two or seven or ten. 

Because I realized I was running out of lemons, and water
with lemon is like my crack.

And I was down to my last bag of red lentils – and curried
red lentils are also like crack.

And the oranges were on sale.

And we needed cocoa powder in the house – because what’s a
snowstorm without hot cocoa?

And then I almost bought this magazine but stopped myself –
although I might have to go back after the storm and buy it for real.

By the time I got home, my mother was in an almost coma like
Diet Coke withdrawal (yes, I remember them well), and I left the groceries at
the door to get that first glass to her quickly.  

As I poured the contents of the bottle into a cup, I watched
the fizz rise to the top of the glass. The fizz, if you didn’t know, gives off
a scent.  A luscious scent, if I might
say so myself.

I swallowed hard, and raised the glass to my mouth.  I wrapped my lips around the cup, tilted my head back…and put the glass down on the counter. 

It was a dangerous moment, and one where I could have easily
gone back to that mistress, but I’d like to think I’ve learned from past mistakes.
When something is bad for you, and you
know when it’s bad for you – it’s time to stop that damn foolery of thinking this
time will be different – and walk away.

I unpacked the rest of the groceries and got my lentils onto
the stove, which I downed with a glass of lemon water, relieved that my Diet
Coke moment had passed.

Snow covered Car

As for that monster storm that sent everyone out to the
grocery store, it was nothing like they had predicted.  Six to eight inches, maybe?  

After two hours of digging out, I was back to
Target before mom went home.

Namaste, Divas! 

Who or what is your evil mistress?  

Are you guys still together?

And if so, why – for crying out loud! 

Where else to
find me:

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My Evil Mistress — 30 Comments

  1. I admire so much your ability to look your evil mistress in the eye and walk the other way. My evil mistress lives everywhere. She is sugar and I live with her still. I’m trying to find a way to ditch her for good… I did it a few months ago and when I dipped my foot back into her well, I thought I could maintain a level of balance… not so with an evil mistress…. that’s why she’s evil and needs to be destroyed.
    p.s. Did you happen to see that photo of JT at the Grammys that I posted on facebook yesterday? What a dreamboat!

  2. This cracks me up. A. Because why do people freak out about snow storms and head directly to the grocery store? and B. I used to be in a relationship with DC. I kicked DC to the curb quite some time ago and now get a stomach ache when I drink it. But I totally get what you mean about that sweet scent when you pour it!
    In other news, it’s snowing again here in Maine. Because the 24″+ of snow we got was not enough.

  3. Martha – once again – we are soul sisters. Sugar is my ex evil mistress – that I more or less gave up “for good” 20 years ago. I am actually AFRAID to go back, That’s how bad it was. And twice again we are soul sisters – Yes I saw your JT photo! Ha! There is a reason why this peace loving hippie vegetarian would slaughter a cow for that man!

  4. So, I’m not crazy about that amazing smell of the carbonated foam on the top of the cup? Oh, that gets me every time – especially when you are opening a new can!
    Yeah, the grocery store thing here on Friday was wild. And we were all dug out the next day – in 18 hours at the most!
    Oh no! More snow up there! I am so glad you bought that snow blower this year – although with over 2 feet, I imagine bigger plows are eventually needed…

  5. I am down to one Coke Zero a day. My husband used to say that if they tried to draw blood from me that it would be Coke Zero. I don’t let my girls have soda and I want to set a better example. Hopefully by the time I turn 40 in August I will be free and clear of the crack in the black can. 😉

  6. I used to be a Diet Coke girl too, but went off of caffeine many years ago … not really tempted anymore. But, whenever I have decaf coffee, I get a mouthful of canker sores. Definitely not worth it so I rarely drink it, but every now and then the evil mistress calls my name (always with the same result!). Ugh! Great post!

  7. Ohhhh, Diet Coke is like crack. I went through a period where I had to have one every day. I figured that since it was just one, it was OK. Not a big deal. And sugar. Sugar is an evil mistress. I’m usually OK for a period of time but then she always seems to find a way back into my life, usually due to stress.

  8. That was a close one, wasn’t it?
    I don’t like soda so I’m safe.
    I can’t quit the chocolate though, so I’ve resigned myself to one piece a day at most. Though sometimes, I have more. Ahem.
    Oh, quit drinking 4 years ago. Do not miss it at. all.

  9. Ahhh…I have so many. I was a regular Coke drinker but finally stopped drinking that or any kind of pop. Strawberries and Chocolate. I buy the dipping stuff and can eat a whole carton of strawberries, however my once a day habit give me canker sores (and I think it was the cause of my mouth cancer scare two years ago). I don’t eat them as often but once in a while, I will and always, the sores come back. Starbucks Hot Chocolate is the big one for me right now. I know it’s working against me in trying to lose weight but I can’t seem to quit. Sugar in general is a big one for me, too.

  10. Hilarious post! I get the anxiety that comes with each storm now post-Sandy, and we did get lucky with Nemo (ridiculous name), but I always find it hysterical how much people freak out about stocking up when there’s a snowstorm. Ha. Also, I believe you when you say the fizz has a certain scent. As a recovering DC addict, I applaud your restraint. It’s been years since I’ve had one myself and once you do, you’re doomed. Glad you guys made it okay and that you still managed to make it to Target. Cheers to nearing the end of winter (fingers crossed!). 🙂

  11. There is nothing like sugar during stress. Or chocolate. I have sworn off processed sugar because it’s “that bad” with me, but I buy those vegan chocolate chips at whole foods – hits that “I need chocolate because I’m stressed” spot every time! Come to think of it, they are part of my long list of items that qualify as “crack!”

  12. You are the second person in my comment thread that mentioned canker sores from a caffeine like substance! That can’t be a coincidence! I am so glad your cancer scare was nothing more than a scare! And chocolate – like I have said about – how could we even imagine life without it?

  13. Yes! Yes! You get the scent of the fizz comment too! Of course you do! You are a fellow recovering DC addict! This time, the restraint was tough – it’s SO EASY to say we can have just one, right? I am glad you are on the other side of DC too. And yes, let’s hear it for spring!

  14. Yay for you putting down the diet coke! My weaknesses come in the form of baked processed white sugar…. pastries, donuts, cakes, cookies, ugh…. I’m trying really hard to get rid of them all, it’s tough.

  15. I can hear the can opening and that delightful fizzzzzz..
    I went Whole30 strict paleo for a month this summer with no sugar and no diet coke. I swear I rebounded back into both with a vengeance, and the Whole30 ended mid-September. Arrrggghhh! Still struggling to regain control. You did well to just put the glass down and walk away. 🙂

  16. Best of luck putting down the processed foods and sugar. Sugar is truly the devil for me. I can’t touch it. It’s THAT black and white. Do you bake? There are a ton of alternative sweeteners out there! I am a huge fan of Sucanat! Look into it! If you need more suggestions, email me! xo

  17. I think that changing eating habits can take a lifetime – and I applaud you for going Whole30 and sticking to it for the summer. I bet that one area at a time, you will be able to do it. My focus was nothing but staying away from sugar for years, and then began to eliminate other things as well. My last nemesis – and one I am “not ready” to leave is caffeine. Maybe never – maybe one day. Who knows?

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