Coke Zero: Please Stop Doing This To Me

I’ll admit it. I love Coke Zero. A lot…
So when Coke said said they were going to change the formula for Coke Zero, all I could think about was New Coke, and how Coke lost all credibility with new anything back in the mid 80s.

I’ll also admit that I’ve been pretty nervous about this whole formula switch, and I totally bought several cases of original Coke Zero at Costco just in case. Which basically made me look like a hoarder, or perhaps someone preparing for the end of days.

But here’s the thing. I don’t drink alcohol. I don’t smoke. I exercise five days a week. I’m a vegetarian. I’m religious. I’m a committed husband with three children. I basically live the most clean cut, white bread, non-fat life in the history of ever. My only real vice, if you can even call it that, is Coke Zero. That’s it. This is all I have, and as a working father of three, I need something to take the edge off, even if it’s something as boring as diet cola.

Now, suddenly, Coke was going to take it away from me, and so I freaked out a little.

And I know. Someone is going to jump into the comments section and tell me all about how I’m killing myself with chemicals, or whatever. I’ve heard it all, and I don’t care. So save your breath and let a boring father of three have his Coke Zero.

Yesterday it happened. I tried the new formula, “Coke Zero Sugar.” I was nervous. I took a pull. I swished it around. And you know what, I couldn’t really tell the difference. Perhaps it’s just me, but it was basically what I’d always known.

I leaned back into the car seat, a mix of relief and frustration. I’m thrilled that I still have my one vice, but a little angry because Coke put me through all this stress.

As I read through this post, I realize that I just wrote a post about my love for Coke Zero, and it makes me feel like maybe I do have a problem. I mean, sure, I could live without it. But all of this fear of losing my favorite drink made me wonder if I’d want too.

I think any parent with a vice, even one as silly as Coke Zero, knows my pain. They know how important it is to have that little thing that, even when the children are screaming and covered with boogers, can ease the pain of parenting. It might be chocolate hidden in the laundry room. It might be potato chips stashed in the master bedroom. It might be Starbucks. Whatever it is, that little something can make life as a parent that much more livable.

I’m honestly grateful to still have mine.

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