Friday, February 11, 2011

Long-time habits wind up in the bathroom

Like most children, I watched my parents and grandparents drink coffee and I swore it was the most disgusting substance on Earth. “I’ll never drink it!” I said, and somewhere a young coffee farmer in South America chuckled.
There were a million things wrong with the most popular beverage in the western world. For one, it stained your teeth and made your breath reek, as I learned every day of school in first period when I sat in the front row. Surely my teachers knew what kind of rancid air they were breathing on us as they strutted around with their giant mugs of joe. Surely they must be aware of how terrible it was.
But then I hit high school and the homework piled up and my life as a working girl started. Juggling the two and extracurricular activities soon left me pinching myself between the covers of my government textbook and using saxophone reeds to prop my eyes open as I drove home from my work shift. There must be an answer, I thought to myself.
It was, sadly enough, instant vanilla coffee.
Suddenly, the world was awake! I was awake! I would shake and shimmy from one task to the next and life was absolutely fantastic for awhile until it got even better and I actually got a real paying job in a coffee house. Oh, the sweet smell of freshly ground beans, the sound of frothing milk, the quickly acquired taste for espresso. My teen years were a-buzz with joy and happiness and then climaxed when I purchased my very own coffee maker to take off to college. I think I may have cried a little.
With college came a huge jump from quality to quantity as I found myself swimming in papers and lab work and books. I began measuring coffee consumption not by the cup, but rather by the pot and it got so bad that I found it necessary to purchase a travel coffee maker that I could take with me from class to class because one mug wasn’t enough to get me through. In the beginning of my senior thesis, I even gave tribute to the 24 hour gas station that served 20oz. coffees at all hours of the night; they are practically responsible for my entire collegiate degree.
But the love of java transcends the single person, and there is not only strength, but true bonds, in drinking coffee with others. So when I met my husband and found out he was a fellow guzzler of the grounds, it was instant love. I had found my soul mate, not my Coffee-Mate, because coincidentally we both drink it black.
Through the years we have watched our caffeine habits change with the times. Early marriage found relaxing mugs as we walked silently after a peaceful meal. Later on we found ourselves cutting out or cutting back while carrying each child, only to ramp up consumption to a maximum to get through mornings after all-night rocking sessions.
But it wasn’t until recently that our habits landed us in a brewed bliss as we nearly proved that great minds think alike for each other’s Christmas presents. Individually we have both remarked over the years how pleasant it is to stay in a hotel with that cute coffee maker right there in the bath, so convenient to smell it dripping away while you shower and dress. And now with these handy single-cup coffee makers, what better gift to bring home?
I bought one for him and entrusted my oldest with the secret because she’s a steel door when it comes to that stuff, not to mention a fabulous actress. So when they all went shopping for mommy and my husband put a coffee maker in the cart, she slyly replied, “Oh daddy, that’s a silly gift. Mommy won’t like it at all.”
I ended up with some other great gifts.
He got his coffee maker for the bathroom.
It’s a win-win, instant-brew, single-cup, situation made in heaven and probably grown in Columbia.

1 comments:

Koala Bear Writer said...

Way too funny! My mom was the only coffee drinker in our house when I was growing up. I can't remember when I got started on it... probably at Starbucks, as I loved the frappucines - that hint of coffee flavour that goes so well with caramel or chocolate. I still prefer mochas or flavoured lattes, but lately I've even taken to drinking plain coffee with regular cream and sugar - to my husband's astonishment. We have a big coffee machine that sits unused on the counter because he usually drinks instant. In university, he carried a thermos in his backpack so he could refill his travel mug. Now, he just carries a small jar of instant coffee, so all he needs is a hot water tap and he's buzzing again.

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