Please Pass The Soda!


On a weekend trip to visit my brother, we were invited to attend a fiftieth birthday party at his friend’s house. My son (age 14), daughter (age 12), and I were floored by the outdoor brick oven and personal pizzas the host turned out. Nobody could get enough of the delicious stuff, and pretty soon I was thirsty. Not familiar with the house and sprawling yard, I picked my way through the crowd to the deck, where I found a corner for soda, an area for beer kegs, and a bench with huge vats of ice tea and pink lemonade. The lemonade was sort of weak and watery, but it did the trick. Ten minutes later, my son asked me what he could drink since I told him I didn’t want him hitting the soda (he binged on it the day before) and he didn’t see water. I told him about the pink lemonade on the deck and off he went.

About half an hour later, my nephew (age 13) wound up in trouble with my brother for behaving immaturely and acting like a goof. As I watched this scene play out, my son came back to ask if he could have soda because he didn’t like the lemonade. I said, “I know, it’s kind of weak, isn’t it?”

“No,” he replied. “It tastes like grapefruit, so I only had half a cup.”

“Grapefruit?” I asked. Uh-oh. “Why don’t you take me over to the lemonade dispenser.”

“It’s not in a dispenser,” said my son. “It’s the container with the foil over it, right?” Turns out, his “pink lemonade” was actually sangria with lemon slices floating on top! And while my son didn’t like the taste, guess whose nephew with the sudden goofy behavior liked the “lemonade” and drank lots of it after his cousin pointed it out?

“Well, kid,” I said to my son, “Guess you had your first drink at age 14. That was so not my plan for you!”

His face erupted in a snarky smirk. “Guess that soda is looking pretty good now, huh?”

(photo courtesy of Apolonia/