I belong to a small minority: adults who drink milk as a beverage.
Most kids in America grow up drinking milk. It was important for our development, and gave us important nutrients. Personally, I grew up with non-fat milk, which I've argued as the greatest of the milks for many, many years. Most of my friends had whole, 2% or 1% in their homes, but we did not and that was the way we liked it. Until we tried to make chocolate milk with non-fat and Hershey's syrup. That was pretty disappointing.
But from what I can tell and have observed among my own friends, people tend to stop drinking milk once they're out of high school. They drink water or juice or pop or alcohol, but not milk. I, however, go through about a gallon a week or more. Not for cooking, not for my coffee, but for drinking. Straight.
I'm practically incapable of eating any kind of dessert (especially chocolate) without a glass of milk. When eating pasta or a sandwich or pizza or toast or even a salad, I love a glass of milk. I think I might have inherited my lactose addiction from my mother, who to this day loves to order a glass of milk at restaurants. I used to do so as well, but the price most restaurants charge for a small glass of milk is preposterous. I usually need 2-3 tall glasses of milk per meal. When I'm home visiting my parents and we're about to sit down to eat, one of us inevitably asks, "Anyone want a glass of milk?" If I'm pouring, I grab a large mason jar mug for myself, a petite tumbler for my mom, and something in between for my dad or sister (who usually have wine instead).
I was talking about this seemingly rare trait with two members of my book club, Leigh and Susie. I was so pleased to hear that Susie is also a milk addict, and that she loves to put an empty glass in the freezer for a while before she puts her milk in it, so it's as cold as possible. I suddenly felt so understood. (And excited to try it.)
I'm not sure why more adults don't make the milk-drinking transition from childhood to adulthood. Any theories? I just know I could never live in Canada (again) because apparently their milk is hideously expensive. When the apocalypse happens--be it zombie or Jesus--my plan is to commandeer a dairy farm. Got to keep my nails strong. When I hear someone is lactose intolerant, or has given up dairy, my first thought is "How are you still alive? Why do you get out of bed in the morning? WHY?" I couldn't do it.
In fact, I think I'm over-tolerant of lactose. I could probably drink a whole gallon in one sitting and not vomit. Impressive, aren't I? My name is Maryann, and I drink milk as a beverage every day, and proud of it.