I'm giving up Diet Coke for Lent.
There. I've written it.
I don't even know precisely why. After all, I am, as my ex-boyfriend so eloquently described me, 'a lapsed Christian', and there are many, many issues that the G-man and I have to sort out. Perhaps I simply like the challenge? Maybe it will make me a better runner? Maybe I just like to deny myself things (no meat, no pancakes, no pizza, no Twizzlers)? I don't know.
What I do know is that in a week's time, I will be Diet Coke-less. At the moment, I remain committed to my goal. I will not give in to desire! Of course, I've said this on many previous occasions, only to give in to temptation the moment a Diet Coke passes my way. I think I may need to set up a star chart for myself - it worked for potty training when I was younger, so it should work for this. (Admittedly, being toilet-trained is a better incentive than successfully completing Lent).
Diet Coke, I miss you already. :(
In other news, one of my karate students has been actively trying to prevent me from leaving after lessons are over for the past few weeks. I honestly don't know what I have done to make him like me. I don't even like children and I could hardly be labelled very 'maternal' or 'caring'. But I must have done something because this one kid has become quite attached. Thankfully, he has learned that the clinging to my leg like some demented toddler and howling at the top of his lungs is the best way not to get me to stay. Since I seemingly lack the necessary instinctive 'mothering' skills needed to deal successfully with such a scenario that particular incident did not end well. Needless to say, I have learned that trying to rationally argue with a 7 year-old is not only pointless, but will only end in threats from both sides.
Unfortunately, his most recent strategy has been to ask increasingly inane questions about the United States that he knows will provoke me into answering. Today's whopper? "Sensei Rebecca, do you have a gun? I heard that in the US everyone has a gun because you can buy them in the supermarket." If the intended effect of this statement was to cause me to stop packing my things to leave then it worked. I stared at him for a bit, trying to determine if he was serious or not. After all, this was coming from a 7 year-old who, barely 2 weeks ago, had all but adhered himself to my leg and blown out my eardrums with his yelling. But further question determined that he was, in fact, serious. His 10 year-old sister didn't think that you could get them at the supermarket, but that every person in the US had a gun. I do not know what is worse: that this is the image of the US being promoted in the media (in his case, primarily television) or that the US has behaved in such a way as to be portrayed in such a way. After all, all stereotypes and misconceptions do have some basis in truth.
To set the record straight: no, not all Americans own a gun. In fact, most don't. Yes, it is easier to get a gun in the United States then it is in Europe due to our extremely (ridiculously) lax gun laws. I won't even begin to get into that subject since I am almost certain to offend at least one person who reads this, most likely someone related to me. Yes, the US has a higher homicide involving firearms rate than the UK. (I spent a good deal of time trying to find hard statistics, but most were outdated). But no, we don't go around shooting each other. The chances of the average citizen being shot whilst engaging in their everyday business is very slim. And no, you can't buy them at the local supermarket. It's not that easy to get them. Not yet at least.
Since we are on the topic of weaponry, I will leave you with this: the Charlie Sheen quote of the day:
"Most of the time — and this includes naps — I’m an F-18, bro. And I will destroy you in the air. I will deploy my ordinance to the ground.”
The man seriously needs help. The US needs to end its love affair with this train wreck and get the man some psychiatric counseling before this ends tragically. (Moreover, who is he? I mean, I wasn't aware that Two and a Half Men was even that popular of a television show. I suppose this just goes to show how aware I am of American pop. culture).