So I bought some refrigerated tea. Before I continue, it’s important to note that I don’t really drink anything except water, plant-based milk, and hot tea. I never drank soda as a kid, the coffee gene skipped me, and alcohol has never been a thing for me.
Because of that, this refrigerated tea was a special occasion kind of experiment. All but one in the assorted order was caffeinated and - as mentioned - I don’t do coffee. At the risk of throwing off an already tumultuous sleep schedule, I bookmarked those for extra sleepy mornings.
I immediately opened the caffeine-free tea, took a swig, and plopped it into the refrigerator. I was going to make this one last. I could take a sip of it here and there throughout the day because of its lack of caffeine and I thought that was simply brilliant.
Until I kind of forgot about it. Or rather, just assumed that it would be fine there. After all, I didn’t want to rush through this special treat.
For the first couple days, I happily took a sip of tea with my lunch or dinner but ultimately, it sat next to the soy sauce, untouched.
Several weeks later, just before bed I opened the fridge and was delighted to see my tea staring back at me. Without a second though, I uncapped it and tossed back a big gulp. And felt something more solid than tea gliding down the back of my throat.
I slowly peeled the bottle away from my lips and looked down - maybe that was part of the wrapper I had just swallowed - and with a sinking feeling, realized that was not the case. The bottle was filled with globs of mold.
In my late night horror, I flipped lights on and began chugging my water bottle while Googling things like, “if I just drank mold should I try to make myself throw up?” Eventually, I ate a cracker to get rid of the taste, brushed my teeth, and went to bed.
The next morning, I pulled an unopened bottle from the fridge. I shook it. I paused for a moment. Was I really going to drink more tea after last night’s debacle?
I opened the bottle and took a sip.
But that was last night’s tea.
This is this morning’s tea.
And while there’s reason to be a tad bit more cautious, i.e., checking the bottle for mold before consuming, there’s no reason to give it up completely. And there’s especially no reason to turn away from all tea simply because of one poor decision I made with a previous tea.
Don’t let past mistakes keep you from trying again. Don’t let an unhappy memory become the dominating memory about a person, place, thing, etc. And, perhaps most importantly, don’t drink moldy tea.