Monday, October 29, 2012

Coffee: A Love Story

Last week, my coffee pot ... expired.

This was an unexpected event, because this coffee maker is newish -- about a year old -- and had no business giving up the ghost at this point. ESPECIALLY on a morning.

A Friday morning.

After a very long week.

When I realized what was happening -- that there was no coffee to be had, senorita, so sorry -- I stoically put on a brave face and thought "Who cares? I don't need coffee!" and continued my day in a stalwart fashion.

Wait, no. That's not at all what happened.

Here's what happened: I cleaned up the mess that had been created by my previous attempt to make coffee, reloaded the machine, and tried again, thinking that it may have been a weird coffee related glitch. While it "brewed" (translation: completely failed to brew) I stood at the counter, fingers crossed, possibly whimpering slightly.

No dice.

I cleaned up the SECOND mess that was made by the coffee pot and sat down on the kitchen floor, and did a crisis assessment. The first thing I realized was that I couldn't complete a crisis assessment without coffee.

The second thing I realized was that I was sitting on the floor, when there were perfectly functional chairs nearby.

The third thing was that this was going to be a LONG day. Oh so long.

I stood up. I made myself a cup of tea.

A word about tea: I enjoy tea. It's delicious and comforting. However. Coffee it ain't.

I sipped the tea. The tea seemed to speak to me. "It'll be okay," it said. "I'll hang out with you today. Go put on a sweater and go to work. We'll ease into the day."

Which, really, is the difference between tea and coffee. Tea wants to give you a hug. Coffee wants to kick you in the ass and get you going.

I WANT that.

Moreover, I NEED that in my mornings. I require a good hearty jolt to the system that forces all systems to set on go. I have to be able to charge through my mornings like a MACHINE, one that runs on french roast and sarcasm. If this is not written into my job description, it should be.

I drank the tea. "See? Don't you feel better?"

I felt -- something. To be honest, I felt like nothing would be more fabulous than putting on my pajamas and curling right back up into bed, which was kind of the opposite of what I needed to be doing. But I didn't want to hurt the tea's feelings.

"I'm GREAT," I said. "Let's GOOOOO!"

Here's the thing: I don't know when coffee became a staple of my day. I didn't grow up drinking it. My dad drinks instant coffee, and let me tell you, if your only exposure to coffee is INSTANT coffee? You don't exactly grow up thinking it's God's favoured beverage. It smells great, but it tastes like filtered mud.

At some point -- perhaps in high school, but I really don't know -- I had REAL coffee. And quickly came to depend on it as the jump start to my every day. I drank it by the pot full through college. I can't really talk about how much coffee I consumed daily throughout graduate school and my first years of teaching, but it was ...

... well ...

... let's just say it was a lot. A LOT a lot. Probably enough for six or seven people, I don't really know. As you can probably imagine, those years are a bit of a blur. A warm, coffee scented, deliciously hyper blur.

I took my tea into my office and sat down at the computer. I was ready to go, I decided. I was ready to DO THIS.

There was just one thing I had to do first:

I ordered another coffee pot.

The tea looked slightly offended. "It's not you," I said quietly. "It's ME. I like you? But ... I can't live without the coffee."

The new pot is supposed to come this week. I'm pretty sure I can hang on until then. In the meantime, the convenience store down the street is becoming VERY USED to seeing me.

"MORE coffee?" the clerk asks in disbelief. "REALLY?"

She has NO idea.

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