The other day, I drove to not one, not two, but three stores looking for Equal sweetener packets for my coffee. Much to my dismay, every single store was out. Bare shelves, and nothing in the back stockroom. (Believe me, I asked.) Which can only mean one thing: My friends, the apocalypse is indeed upon us.
I quickly ordered two jumbo boxes from Amazon (thank god for the two-day Prime shipping!) and shared this dire news on Facebook. Take heed, y’all, fresh hell awaits. There is no Equal sweetener for my coffee and — OMG! — how can we cope?!
Well, it didn’t take long for my well-meaning friends to offer up their advice on alternatives to this toxic chemical carbohydrate.
JUST USE REAL SUGAR, some friends internet-shouted at me. Raw sugar. Cane sugar. Coconut sugar. Seriously, I had no idea there were so many kinds of sugar. And yes, I see the appeal of the real stuff. But given the amount of coffee I drink (about 10 cups a day, no joke) and the amount of sweetener I put in it, I’d need to clock some serious hours at the gym to burn it all off. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
And the newest USDA dietary guidelines say that we’re only supposed to have 10 teaspoons of sugar a day anyway, which wouldn’t even get me through my morning coffee intake. The amount of Equal that’s considered safe? Seventy-five. That’s right, 75 packets! Take that, haters.
But artificial sweetener will kill you, people warned. My response? FAKE NEWS. Experts have debunked all of those badly executed animal studies and shady PR campaigns that falsely linked artificial sweeteners to cancer.
But even if artificial sweetener is bad for us, that’s a risk I’m willing to take. Because a life without coffee and two Equals is not a life worth living.
Here’s the thing: I’ve tried the other stuff. Sweet’N Low tastes like poison powder and makes my tongue buzz (and not in the good way). Agave nectar is just too complicated for me, and Stevia tastes like butt. One friend, who can’t consume sugar due to a medical condition, swears by Splenda. Umm…sure, fine, whatever. Just hand me the blue packets of Equal, and no one gets hurt.
Folks, I love you, but you will have to pry the fake sugar from my clenched fists. Because I am never giving it up.
Okay, so I may have overcome a minor addiction to fake butter spray, so anything is possible. But here’s the thing: I don’t wanna give it up. I’m 40-fucking-years old and you can’t make me.
Let me break it down for you: There’s a whole lot of sadness and anger in the world. Fake sugar brings me joy. Well, Equal sweetener to be specific. You can keep those nasty pink packets. Coffee is what keeps this whole operation running, and without a little sweetness, coffee tastes like bitter-ass water, so please just give me my damn sweetener and STFU.
After a fair amount of internet debate, it’s obvious that everyone has their own brand of sweet and thinks their preference is best. Who knew? So, we will just have to agree to disagree. You keep pouring bitter vomit powder Sweet’N Low in your coffee, and I’ll stick to my blue packets of joy Equal.
Now, if you want to debate fake creamer, that’s another issue entirely.
This article was originally published on