Monday, April 12, 2010

Hold the sugar, please.

Driving from Ohio to Florida requires crossing the Mason Dixon line into the south. I assure you, once we did this, at every restaurant we went to, I ended up with sweet tea, even when I made it clear I wanted UNsweet tea. Most of the time, I usually would just say, "Excuse me, I ordered UNsweet tea," and it was taken care of.  Not without a funny look, though.

However, one conversation went like this:

"....and I would like an iced tea."
"Sweet or unsweet?"
"UNsweet, please."
"Oh, HOT tea? Sorry, I misunderstood."
"No, I would like UNsweet iced tea."

I did end up with an unsweet iced tea. However, when I stopped someone to top off a carry out cup and said, "Could you refill this with UNsweet tea?," I ended up with sweet tea. When I explained to the hostesses that I actually wanted UNsweet tea but got sweet, they looked totally confused, as if they had never heard of UNsweet tea nor had they ever met a creature who would make such a request.  This scene was repeated pretty much our entire vacation.

During this trip, we ate at the "world's largest McDonald's" (yes, there is a McDonald's that boasts this fact, and I assure you, it is a huge McDonald's) and I got my own UNsweet tea.  The dispenser clearly said unsweet.  Guess what?  They were messing with me.  It was totally filled with sweet tea.


  1. Don't you know, darlin' that in the South there is no such thing as UNsweet tea?

  2. I have a similar experience with unsweet tea everytime I visit my folks in Arkansas.

  3. They must not have understood your accent. Just kidding.
    My husband and I don't have Southern accents but we have lived in Florida and GA for the past 25 years. We always order unsweet tea. My husband is especially not into sweet tea. He may emphasize by saying "Not sweet". Sometimes I order half and half to just make it a little sweet. Maybe only once or twice had got it wrong. Maybe we don't go out much...

  4. I am a southern gal ... and I love my iced tea sweet. Not with sugar mind you. Nope. UNsweetened tea but those ubiquitous pink packets of Sweet 'n Low. Try ordering that! The waitress might just as well say "Kiss my grits!". Cheers!

  5. one of the many reasons I don't think I would make it in the South. The first time I had sweet tea was during a visit to north yankee taste buds were in shock!

  6. LOL - love it.

    But I'm from the South darlin' - no such thing as Unsweet. Just not AS sweet ;-)

    Next time, try ordering a Pepsi. That will get you a look or two.

  7. LOVE sweet tea! I'm even guilty of putting it in my kid's sippy cups when they were little:) Both my dad and my hubby always order the unsweet with no problem. Oh, and the iced black tea with splenda at Starbucks? Awesome!

  8. i haven't stopped by to say "hi" in a bit so i thought i'd see how things are on your side of blogosphere.. my oldest spent the last 4 years in college in the south so we have all had our fill of sweet tea, i think it's one of those things if you grow up with it you're used to it and the rest of the world not so much lol
    shelley :)