Milk it for all it’s worth

I find myself in the same situation I was in as a child: living within walking distance down a busy road of Wawa.  After having lived in the South for a number of years, I grew to miss the free-standing convenience store.  You see, the South is home to a number of convenience stores such as Spectrum, but they are all attached to gas stations.  Nary a Wawa or 7-Eleven to be seen, I’m afraid.  I’ve always preferred Wawa to 7-Eleven, which, to me, seemed more at home with Spectrum.  For the most part, Wawa’s food seems a bit more edible, especially since they have seriously improved the quality of their sandwich counters.

Since returning home, I’ve rediscovered Wawa milk.  As a child, I drank a lot of milk.  A lot. A gallon-sized container would sustain me for about half a week. Even though I could chug milk like no one my parents had ever seen, I was (and still am) particularly finicky about my milk.  Milk has to be extremely fresh; it must be bought as far ahead of the expiration date as possible.  When the expiration date draws near, say, within two days, milk becomes undrinkable.  Despite the expiration date, some milk is undrinkable from the very beginning.  Take skim milk, for example.  Skim milk is not milk, but rather bitter milk-flavored water.  I managed to wean myself down to one-percent, but simply could not force myself to drink skim.  If you want an example of a particular brand of undrinkable milk, I suggest Lehigh Valley products, which all leave a distinctly undesirable chalky aftertaste.  Wawa milk, on the other hand, is the perfect blend of freshness and sweetness for which a milk connoisseur looks.  I would throw tantrums when my mother would return home from the grocery store with milk that was bought elsewhere, and would flat out refuse to drink it.  Even subtle trickery wouldn’t work.  Telling me that the milk was from Wawa was futile; I could tell the difference.

Although it is not globally known, most of my close friends and family are aware that a more than slight intolerance to lactose has developed in my system over the years.  Perhaps all the milk I drank as a child sent my system into some sort of shock.  Whatever the reason, I usually find myself extremely ill after consuming dairy products on an empty stomach.  As a result, for the past few years I have grudgingly assimilated soy milk into my diet, which has been a strain on my wallet and my taste buds.  However, since relocating within walking distance of Wawa, which has sparked some memories, I have cut loose the yucky soy and returned to cow.

Bryan saw that I had bought milk when I returned home from work last night. He questioned my purchase, as I had previously explained the lactose intolerance to him in much more detail than he wanted to hear.  I related to him how the quality and taste of Wawa milk simply could not be beat, and opened the refrigerator door.  When he asked what kind of milk I bought, I realized that I had bought whole milk.  He gawked, asking if I really wanted to drink that.  I think he feared for my life.  My thought is this: If milk is possibly going to kill me, I might as well go while drinking the best.  Who wants to say that they died drinking one-percent?  Nonetheless, as of this morning, I am still alive.

Rediscovering childhood pleasures is one of the many pleasures I’ve had as an adult.  As I reach the conclusion of this post, I have also rediscovered how strange the word “milk” looks and sounds when written and spoken over and over.

UPDATE: I take back everything positive I said about Wawa milk.  No matter how sweet-tasting it may be, it’s still just as nasty to my digestive tract as the rest of them.  Why did I have to drink so much?  One would think I would learn from experience…


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