I hope your weekend went well and you had some good times.
It’s Sunday morning and I’m sitting here drinking a cup of hot coffee. This is related to the theme of tonight’s NOT, I promise.
I don’t know if my lovely Canadian neighbors to the north had the DARE program in school, but the idea that sending a cop into your 4th grade or whatever classroom to try to teach kids why drugs are super bad was always a stupid idea. First of all, for most kids in the Midwest at least, you already had an idiot uncle or cousin doing meth. Also I don’t recall DARE talking about alcoholism at all back when I was kid so that’s a huge miss for anything about addiction.
Anyways, one of the key ideas of DARE when I was a kid was that weed was a “gateway drug” and if you took one hit of that, wowsers downhill from there you were gonna end up strung out on heroin and then dead from all your drugs because OMG slippery slope once you started with the weed. Because the people behind the program are stupid, they also missed the point that once you know someone who casually uses weed and *gasp* doesn’t go on to use other drugs, well fuck obviously the whole program was a goddamned lie.
So in the concept of a “gateway drug,” what’s something that opened up other things to you? Like an artist that seduced you into an entire genre you had always disliked? Or an entree that completely changed how you felt about a certain food?
High quality black tea was definitely one for me. I never liked coffee or bitter drinks in my teens or twenties. I also always thought beer tasted sour and gross. I’ll ruin cheap beer for you in the comments if you ask. I don’t like really really sugary drinks (unless they contain tequila or rum) and the idea of blowing 500 calories and $5 on a sugary Starbucks drink never appealed to me, so my morning caffeine was always a diet soda.
Fast forward to my mid thirties, and I started drinking good hot tea as a way to drink more water*. I don’t like hot tea to have any cream or sugar, so shit like Lipton ain’t gonna fly. My palate became more appreciative of savory drinks. Because I really like Irish breakfast tea (has a lovely malty flavor much better than English breakfast tea), I realized a few years back that I quite enjoy some beers now, although it’s not my first choice of alcohol still. A couple of years back I was in Oahu and in an inspired “when in Rome” moment, I was like fuck it, I’m gonna drink coffee here and it’s going to be delicious. Dear friends, I did, and it was. So now I also casually drink black coffee when it’s a good roast. I’m still like fuck that Starbucks crap.
*listen as far as I’m concerned, if I don’t add sugar or cream to my hot tea, it counts as water