At 25 years old, I had never had a milkshake. Yes, you read that correctly. When I’ve revealed this to friends and coworkers, I’ve often received looks of shock, mouths agape, and questions like “Are you joking?” “Do you eat dairy?” “What did you even eat growing up?” and “Were you deprived as a child?”
I certainly wasn’t deprived. I guess I was too busy enjoying scoops of vanilla ice cream topped with crushed Oreos and bubblegum popsicles (don’t judge) to ever order a milkshake. At a pitch meeting, as the impending arrival of National Chocolate Milkshake Day on September 12 prompted my colleagues most recent outraged reactions, I started thinking: Am I missing out? As an adult in my mid-twenties, did I miss a crucial rite of passage?
So, we decided to take a field trip to the Walter’s new White Plains location. I’d try my very first milkshake and we’d document it on our Instagram. Despite the pictures on the Internet of decadent milkshakes piled high with candies, cookies, and gumballs, it was decided that I should stick with the unadorned classics.
The entire car ride there, the excitement and anticipation mounted. I ordered a chocolate-peanut-butter shake and a side of fries. (It was suggested that I dip the fries in the shake, but I never got around to it.) It tasted like cold, liquid peanut butter cups — my favorite candy. I was explaining what a milkshake tastes like to thousands of Instagram followers, but, in hindsight, I realize I was probably the only one who didn’t already know. The shake disappeared quickly (yes, I got brain freeze), and I enjoyed it more than I thought I would.
Back at the office, I felt like I was bouncing off the walls. No stranger to sugar highs (giant donuts and chocolates are some of my favorites), this milkshake buzz felt more powerful, but it was worth it.
Was I missing something my whole life, as some had alluded to? I don’t think I would say that. But at least I’m now able to say I’ve joined the ranks of adults who endured this rite of passage, albeit long ago, with their very first milkshake.
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