One time my Sis-in-law slash BFF, Becky and I serendipitously figured out we both had friends who lived in Boston. And then later figured out that they were ROOMMATES! It was obviously a giant sign from the Universe that we needed to take a grltrip to Boston. And so, naturally, we did.
We had a great time in Boston. We all got along well, saw lots of awesome historical sights, took a duckboat ride on the Charles River...it was a memorable, wonderful trip.
On our flight home Becky and I were, for some reason, seated one in front of the other. We each had a window seat, but couldn't get anyone to trade with us so we could sit together. Oh well. During the flight I could vaguely hear her in front of me, chatting it up with the lady sitting next to her.
I was sitting by a middle-aged couple who had nothing to say. And when I said, "Oh, look how cute! Miniature silverware!" during the meal, they were not the least bit amused. Awkward.
When the flight attendant asked what I would like to drink I answered, "Do you have Dr. Pepper?" She said, "What? Diet Coke?" (I hate Diet Coke). I said, "....uhhhhhyyyyyyeah, um hmm, yep, Diet Coke. Thank you."
When we got off the plane Becky said, "Did I hear you order a Diet Coke? What the heck? You hate Diet Coke! I was all, 'Did she just order Diet Coke? What the heck? She hates Diet Coke!'" I explained to her that the attendant had heard me wrong and I didn't want to make her feel bad, so I took the Diet Coke. I have been known to have a fairly serious problem with lack of assertiveness, even in harmless situations such as this.
The phrase 'Taking the Diet Coke' has evolved from this story and is a common warning from Becky and others when they fear I am going to buckle in a confrontational situation. I am often admonished, "Don't you dare take the Diet Coke, Kimi!" Or, "Oh, no. You took the Diet Coke, didn't you," by Becky or Bob or anyone else who knows me well. Those two are routinely called upon to give me courage when I have to deal with a sensitive situation. My sympathy often overrides my objectivity and I can end up flipping sides just to make someone feel better. It's a blessing and a curse. I can see both sides of an issue very clearly. Problem is, that makes it really hard to take a side, even when I know it's right.
So, I try my best not to take the Diet Coke. Literally and figuratively.
Which makes me think of my friend, Melinda, who, though she will ALWAYS take a Diet Coke, would NEVER 'take the Diet Coke!'