Last week was a bit of a blur as I spent Monday through Thursday in Mexico City. My Facebook page was abuzz with my constant updates on my taqueria exploits. Got home late Thursday and then had to go into the office Friday, which was wholly unpleasant. Friday night was going to be catchup night but instead, we decided to go out to dinner and get caught up as a family. This was a mistake - not getting caught up - but making the decision to go to dinner on a Friday night around 630PM in one of Chicagoland's western suburbs. Suffice to say, we wound up at a branch of the Corner Bakery that isn't on a main drag. Anyway, it was good to get caught up with the stunningly patient SML, CAL, and the Boy. To complete the night, we headed over to the local fancy-pants Target to do some last-minute grocery shopping for Saturday's slog (500 mile round-trip) downstate. Nothing, and I mean nothing, says good family fun like a Friday night trip to the Target. And that's when it happened.
The stunningly patient SML, CAL, and the Boy were in the snack aisle debating the virtues of Twizzlers versus Skittles as road snacks and I could take it no longer. So I moved on. Innocently. As I rounded the corner, heading toward the butcher's counter in search of pastrami, it hit me. Hard. An end-cap piled high with it. Twelve pack after twelve pack of it. I thought that they head ended distribution of it in Chicagoland. They haven't. It's back. What is it? See for yourself:
Diet Pepsi Vanilla, you cruel, cruel temptress
I stopped dead in my tracks. The sight of those cases piled up, and ON SALE no less, was almost more than I could take. Friday the 27th was day 58 of my self-imposed life without caffeinated beverages. I'd done so, so well. Nary a sip. And now for me, the mother of all temptations, was staring me in the face, calling my name like there was no tomorrow. And it was cold, I mean unpleasant Chicagoland cold Friday night and the DPV is the stuff of spring and summer. It evokes all the goodness of the best times of the year. Just one can would have sent me into a spring-like euphoria that would have been all kinds of awesome. So what was I to do? Succumb to the sweet siren song of the DPV (but I wasn't certain how I was going to get it bought without my family knowing - I knew my line about a charitable donation to a food pantry wasn't going to fly) or, and sorry Lance Armstrong for 'borrowing' this line, live strong and let it go. Ultimately, I rejected the tempter's snare and just walked away. Oh but what a long walk...I even found myself turning back to look at that end-cap, kind of like Lot's wife in the Old Testament. Now as we know, that glance back ended badly for her. I'm pleased to report that I was not turned to a pile of salt as I looked back.
So it's now another quiet Sunday morning here. Of course, it's freezing. I've managed to get all caught up from being gone. I've read all my foodie blogs this morning, which was a mistake, as I am fasting today. We've recovered from our trip yesterday downstate - took a bunch of kids from Church to Nauvoo. Quite an experience - first time I'd been there, let alone driven down there Illinois is a whole lot of nothing once you get outside Chicagoland. Iowa is worse. Glad to be home and ready to see what a day full of getting religion brings.