Mom’s Sweet Tooth

Mar 18

My mom has the craziest sweet tooth ever. If you watch her prepare a cup of coffee, she’ll drench it with cream and then drop a spoonful of sugar into it…and then another one…and then another one…and then another one. By the time she’s done, it’s really a mug of sugar with a splash of coffee. The color is more akin to chai than a cup o’ joe.

She used to make the best Kool-Aid when we were kids. Take one empty gallon jug and add a few packets of Kool-Aid mix, about a bag of sugar, some water, and mix. This potent brew would rot your teeth off and send you into a trippy haze of sugary hallucinations. Whenever I’d go to a friend’s house and get poured a glass of Kool-Aid, I’d pucker my lips and knock the cup onto the floor, sneering, “What is this sludge you’re serving me? Get this shit out of my face!” (Well, not really, but I felt like doing it.)

How ridiculous is my mom’s sweet tooth? One summer she and I flew out to Seattle to visit my heavily pregnant sister, who was about to pop at any minute. Being the “cool” older sibling she was, my sister bought a six-pack of Mike’s Hard Lemonade for me to sneak-drink. Because I was 16 and didn’t know any better, I thought I was so bad-ass for knocking back a beverage nobody over 21 would touch with a ten-foot pole. I sat on my sister’s deck, drinking a hard lemonade and enjoying the sunshine and cool breeze, when I glanced over at my mom and noticed that she had taken one out of the fridge.

My heart skipped a beat as I watched her take a sip, furrow her brow, and ask, “This have alcohol in it?”

“Oh crap,” I thought, “I’m so screwed.” I shrugged and said unconvincingly, “Uh, I dunno, I don’t think so.” Mom fell silent for a while as I willed my entire body to prevent itself from breaking into a nervous sweat. She took a couple more sips but said nothing.

The conversation continued around us for several minutes before Mom piped up again. “Yeah, I think this have alcohol in it.” She looked up and stared at me. I winced, expecting an onslaught of little Korean fury directed towards me for being a minor drinking alcohol, and towards my sister for supplying it. I braced myself for impact…..and then…

She got up and puttered back into the house and over to the kitchen. Curious, I followed her. Was she going to dump the hard lemonade out before berating me? Maybe she needed the empty bottle to wield as a weapon while she screamed, “Oh my gahhh, you minor, Rebeccaaaa!!”

No, she wasn’t headed for the sink. Instead, she rummaged through my sister’s cupboards until she emerged with a bag of sugar. I stared, mouth agape, as my mom scrounged around for a funnel, placed it atop the bottle of Mike’s Hard Lemonade, and scooped several spoonfuls of sugar into it. She then stirred the concoction to mix it all together, and headed back outside, sipping the liquid crack through a straw.

Yes, my mom is such a sweet freak that she added sugar to Mike’s Hard Lemonade. It only took one to get her drunk.

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