My mother drinks this vitamin C supplement that turns a rather impertinent shade of neon purple when it is dissolved in some water, which is FANTASTIC because I’ve come to believe that if a potable solution deliberately impersonates distilled highlighter ink in appearance, then it must have also been engineered to taste like a fruit that corresponds to the colour of that drink (i.e. a last-minute reprieve to make up for the displeasing shade—e.g. radioactive pink/strawberry, sad yellow/mango, dank blue/blueberries, etc).
So. What exciting artificial flavour did the manufacturers of my mother’s vitamin C supplement select for their suspiciously shaded solution? NOTHING.
It tasted like the plain water poured into it. Plain water is delicious on its own, but all my years of drinking rainbows had me trust that a purple-coloured drink should taste purple (whatever this means) or effervesce, at the very least.
I didn’t realise how jarring it really was to have expectations dashed—I am so spoiled, so used to imbibing purple drinks that hearken to more saccharine, sexed-up imitations of açai or grape that do not readily occur in nature. I wouldn’t have minded if it tasted completely rancid, just as long as it tasted like something. The absence of flavour was more offensive than the reality of an unpalatable one.
Plugging in contemporary buzzwords to see if this applies to everything: The absence of a significant other is more offensive than dating a cast member of Jersey Shore/The absence of a well-paying job is more offensive than the reality of receiving minimum wage/The absence of democracy is more offensive than government.