In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review January 22, 2008 / 15 Shevat 5768

Confessions of a coke addict

By Malcolm Fleschner

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | As anyone who's attended a wedding recently may have noticed, many time-honored wedding conventions are rapidly falling out of favor. Modern brides, for example, often forgo the traditional bouquet toss, preferring to keep the flowers as a memento of their special day. Elaborate, tiered cakes are also less common these days. And many of today's time-pressed young marrieds no longer wait until the reception is over to begin returning gifts.

With wedding customs in such a state of flux, it's no surprise that forward-thinking couples are increasingly choosing to rewrite the traditional wedding vows, a process that typically involves significant pre-matrimonial negotiation.

Bride-to-be: "I'll say I'm going to 'honor' you, but 'obey'? As if. How about, 'Honor and agree to entertain his frequently idiotic suggestions?"

Groom-to-be: "OK, but what about this 'forsaking all others' part — is that firm, or is there some wiggle room for threesomes?"

Modern couples, it seems, understand that putting extra time and effort into crafting deeply personal vows today will make it all the more special on the day they break them. I certainly remember the way my wife and I carefully worded our own vows, emphasizing concepts like trust, honesty and openness. Which is why I feel so awful today when, despite my solemn promises, I regularly go behind my wife's back and almost daily break my expressed promise to her by continuing to drink. To drink soda, that is.

My wife is adamantly opposed to soda, a stance that dates back, coincidentally enough, to when she quit her Diet Dr. Pepper habit cold turkey. Since we've become parents, however, she's grown more insistent that I also set a good example for the children.

"Wait, I thought that was your job," is not an acceptable defense, it turns out.

Unlike other junk food items, soda is virtually indefensible on nutritional grounds. Even a Snickers bar has nuts, which provide some level of protein, not to mention all that bone-strengthening calcium contained in the milk chocolate. But when my wife catches me sneaking a Coke, it's difficult to argue that I'm merely trying to meet my recommended daily allowance of, say, caramel color.

My love affair with soda originated in childhood when, much as my wife tries to do today, my mother banned soda from our house. Instead, Mom purchased the ostensibly more healthy — and definitely less expensive — Carnation brand powdered milk. Imagine my delight when a friend would come over and Mom, after offering the unsuspecting child a drink, instead of walking over to the refrigerator, would pull from the pantry a large box containing what appeared to be dishwashing detergent, stir two spoonfuls into a glass of water and, grinning, hand the light bluish, powdery concoction over to the child.

Needless to say, "Let's get together after school — at my house" was a refrain I frequently heard from grade school chums.

And so began my lifetime of illicit soda consumption. Of course, marketing also played a key role. Specifically here I'm thinking of a contest from my youth in which consumers were instructed to collect caps from 16-ounce bottles of Pepsi. On the underside of each cap was printed a single letter, and anyone who could spell out the phrase "Pepsi Spirit," was guaranteed a fabulous cash prize.

With each successive bottle of Pepsi I could taste that money, even through all the sodium benzoate. After about a week, however, during which time I consumed approximately 4,000 bottles of Pepsi, it became clear that while all the other letters were easily obtained, I was about as likely to find a pint-sized Amelia Earhart as the letter "R" under a Pepsi bottle cap.

This conclusion was borne out by my friends, who were similarly disappointed in their pursuit of the elusive "R." In search of Pepsi Spirit, all we got was a handful of "Pepsi Spiit." Still, the experience carried with it an important lesson: specifically, that companies with highly visible truck fleets should probably not enrage caffeine-and-sugar-addled pre-adolescent boys, particularly if said boys are in possession of hundreds of empty glass bottles.

Much as I felt burned by the Pepsi Corporation, the damage was done, and I was hooked. As a result, today I'm forced to sneak sodas behind my wife's back like a 13-year-old boy with an illicit Playboy.

Wife: (knocking on bathroom door)"Hey, what's going on in there? Do I hear effervescence? Me: No, honey, just taking my medicine! (as prescribed by my personal physician, Dr. Pepper)

But as they say, the first step to overcoming addiction is admitting that you have a problem. Clearly, the best course of action is for my wife and me to sit down and have a frank and open discussion about our feelings on the matter. And then revise our vows.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Malcolm Fleschner is a humor columnist for The DC Examiner. Let him know what you think by clicking here.


01/02/08: Our bills are due
12/13/07: Going (to lunch) once, going twice…
11/28/07: Out with the old
11/06/07: My latest pet project
11/06/07: Can't tune it out
10/23/07: Something special in the hair
09/12/07: Can I have your attention, please?
09/12/07: Houston, we have an image problem
08/21/07: In the heat of fashion
08/09/07: Let's get in the game
06/13/07: You gonna eat that?
05/08/07: That's disinter-tainment
05/02/07:You Are (not) Getting Sleepy...
04/18/07: No time like Father Time
03/15/07: Deface the Nation
03/08/07: More gifts? You shouldn't have
02/22/07: Relationships can be such a chore
12/05/06: Who's calling the shots?
11/09/06: I'm taking selling to a whole new level
10/27/06: Some skills are beyond repair
10/18/06: You can't tech it with you
10/04/06: Award to the wise
08/24/06: Phrased and Confused
08/09/06: We're Gonna Party Like it's $19.99
07/19/06: Just Singing in the Brain
05/24/06: Who says you can't go home again?
05/11/06: When nightly news stories go off script
04/26/06: Cents and sensibility: A thought for your pennies
03/16/06: The day the Muzak died
02/23/06: Checkbook diplomacy begins at home
02/15/06: Today's toys: Where learning means earning

© 2006, Malcolm Fleschner