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It’s not very often that I am able to eat both breakfast and lunch. I’m usually choosing between the two – either I can make a lunch or I can spend that 10 minutes eating a bagel, cereal or granola. I sometimes have a “good” week where I make my lunch every day and, although I’m not eating breakfast, I’m at least not going to my beloved Taco Bell.

I love food, so each morning is a struggle – in addition to choosing whether to sleep more or shower that day.

But this past week, my disappointment wasn’t in myself, it was in the vending machine at work.

It’s beautiful, sleek and modern. Not only does it take cash and credit cards, but you can even pay with your phone. Prices are reasonable for a vending machine, although the ramen noodles are nearly five times more than in the supermarket. It boasts that it has healthy options, including Hormel Compleats, Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, and Chef Boyardee (I think my definition of “healthy” is different from the company’s …)

The fancy machine has a precious eight spots for drinks. Most days, there are three cola choices (Coke, Diet Coke and Coke Zero), some juice and flavored sparkling water (who drinks that?), water, an energy drink and a Snapple iced tea.

The only thing I really like out of all of those options (Three colas! Come on.) is the Snapple, and on Wednesday – the day that I drank my Mountain Dew Voltage early, leaving nothing to have with my sandwich – I was really counting on that Snapple. But it wasn’t there.

Instead it had been replaced by yet another row of Diet Coke – making that four colas! Who needs that much Diet Coke? Apparently my coworkers.

The vending machine is smart. It knows what is making the company the most money and it isn’t my Snapple.

“Break time just got better!” reads the flyer for the vending machine.

I’m picky, though (appppparently) and headed to the gas station to get an Arizona Green Tea with Ginseng and Honey for 99 cents, plus tax. But, man, was that a trek. I could’ve had gotten into an accident trying to make a possibly illegal U-turn in order to get back to the office. All over iced tea!

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Why don’t I bring my own Snapple (or Arizona) you ask? Well, sometimes I do. But all I had at home was soda, which is fine. I love soda, but I didn’t want more soda, especially when there is only one very plain option.

You need to understand that if the Snapple hadn’t been in there all those weeks before, this problem wouldn’t be a problem. I would have never known what it was like to have it at my beck-and-call (for $1.50), but the issue here is that I did know and because of that I had expectations.

I get very attached to my expectations, it’s why I try not have them. It’s like when you’re expecting a surprise party only to find out no one even remembered your birthday (Molly Ringwald style) or when you think a movie is going to be great but it’s not. Total disappointment – a type of disappointment that is borderline life-shattering in that moment.

That’s what it was like to not have a Snapple on Wednesday. That’s what it’s like to have to choose between breakfast and lunch. After all, like in those clever Snickers commercials, I’m not myself when I’m hungry.

Or thirsty.

Maria Sestito is the Napa Valley Register public safety reporter. Jersey Girl runs every other Sunday. Follow her on Twitter at @RiaSestito or email her at


Public Safety Reporter

Maria Sestito is the Napa Valley Register public safety reporter. She covers breaking news as well as crime and courts. Maria came to the Napa Valley Register in 2015 after working as a reporter and photographer at The Daily News in Jacksonville, NC.