Would Your Family Kill Over Iced Tea?

Tea Party Stacey GustafsonBlame it all on me. But in my defense, I didn’t anticipate that my family would fight for iced tea.

First thing you need to know: my husband is a patient, reasonable man. He never gets mad over little things.

“What’s for dinner?” he said, sniffing the air for a hint.

“Leftovers,” I said as I turned on the microwave.


And after the meal, he asked, “Do we still have some of that chocolate raspberry truffle cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory?”

“Oops, the kids ate it.”

“No problem.”

But if anyone messes with his iced tea, beware, an all out war brewed to boiling proportions.

There’s a little story behind how it all started.

On my quest for a healthy alternative to soda and sugary drinks, I discovered caffeine free, no calorie Crystal Light Iced Tea. My family fell in love with it, gulping down a gallon a day. Home from school, the kids downed it with their snacks. When the jug got drunk dry, the blame game began.

“How come the tea’s gone? Who forgot to fill it up?” I said and shook my head.

Both kids denied that they had the last drink and refused to refill it. Sometimes the carafe returned to the refrigerator with one-inch left. Other times, it was put back completely drained. A standoff ensued.

After work each night, Big Daddy tossed his sport jacket on the nearest chair and marched to the frig in search of his favorite beverage to guzzle. “You’re got to be kidding,” he said, shaking the container in our face, ready to blow. “Who forgot to refill this?”

Fe, fi, fo, fum.

We compromised. A black line, marked within four inches from the bottom of the container, represented the minimum fill line. Basic rule: if you poured below the mark, you refilled it. This worked for a while.

“Why’s this so weak?” asked Mr. Thirsty. With an outstretched arm he flashed pale-colored tea in the glass pitcher. “Was it you?” he said, looking in my direction.

Me swill tea? My drink of choice —Pepto-Bismol, straight from the bottle.

Outwitted by teenagers again. They had filled it up to the top with water in order to avoid making a fresh batch. When my daughter confessed to the crime, I put a circle with a slash through her name on the pitcher. Banned until further notice.

Next day. I heard the garage door open. Daddy’s home. The teens had chucked a pile of school stuff at the backdoor: backpacks, shoes, sports equipment, and cleats. He stepped over the junk, nudged a soccer ball across the room, but in the kitchen he exploded. “How come the pitcher on the counter is empty? This is ridiculous!”

Take it easy Crazy.family fight over iced tea stacey gustafson

“Calm down. I have an idea,” I said before his head popped off. I grabbed another pitcher and marked on the front in enormous letters, “DAD.”

Total tally, two jugs.

But they couldn’t resist one final swan song. The kids gawked with glee as Dad filled his jug to the tiptop and strolled away with a smug look on his face. As he turned the corner, I stared as the kids emptied the “DAD” jug into their own. Can’t wait until he gets thirsty.

What type of stuff does your family fight over? Please feel free to leave a comment. I don’t judge!


About staceygustafson


  1. Remember when we were teenagers and we’d fill our parents’ liquor bottles with water so they couldn’t tell we’d taken any? Um…not ME…but I’ve heard things, ya’ know? Now it’s iced tea, and I can totally get it. Iced tea is like my VICE. Oh, I used to have one of those pitchers full too. But I think I might have finally outsmarted that family of mine. Now I brew it straight into the cup with my Keurig. But I hate that I have to wait 30 seconds.

    • staceygustafson says

      Iced Tea Wars in our home are ongoing. Even with 2 pitchers, the kids still drink down the tea and leave the jug empty on the counter. Congratulations on the Keurig, have to get myself one.

  2. I felt like I was reading about my family here. I’m convinced that hormones make teenagers unable to refill anything – or throw something away. I’m so tired of cracker boxes left in the pantry with one cracker in them…sigh. Very funny!

  3. Grounds for murder. For sure!

  4. I’m the only tea addict in this house but husband loves Little Debbie snack cakes (ALL OF THEM). I would always buy two boxes a week my two kids we eat them all but one so they couldn’t be accused of eating them all. It used to drive my husbsnd NUTS! Alas, the kids are all gone now so I just hide them for a little excitement.

    • staceygustafson says

      My husband also demands plenty of Sweet ‘N Low. I mess with him by hiding it. I can hear him clanking around in the morning as he brews the coffee. Makes me laugh.

  5. When our sons were teenagers, any food that one might be expecting to eat later, had to be labeled with an indelible Sharpie with one’s name and words to the effect that if someone were to ignore the label, their “end of days” would be upon them.

  6. With us it is Crystal Light Lemonade. My kids put the pitcher back in the frig empty every time!
    So frustrating. This must be a universal problem. Why do kids think only Mom can make drinks , fix food and clean the kitchen?

    • staceygustafson says

      Yesterday my daughter asked, “Where’d all the food go?” Me: “”We ate it.” They think the frig refills itself.

  7. staceygustafson says

    Have you ever borrowed eye glasses from a senior citizen? Hope you enjoy my midlife moments.


  1. […] I’m excited to read it because I love Stacey’s blog. I can relate to so much of it. Like the epic struggle her husband endures on a daily basis in order to score a pitcher of cold iced tea. […]

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