Saturday, June 25, 2005

Make it strong, make it sweet, just the way my life has been. Make it coffee, coffee, coffee, and you've absolutely got yourself a friend.

Unlike some people, I love my coffee. Love it. I didn't used to love it so much, but in college we used to study at IHOP, and they kick you out unless you order something. Anyway, seven years later, I'm pretty much dependent. I once told a friend that if you're a true coffee drinker, you'll drink anything, but she disagreed, saying that she won't drink the stuff that comes free in the hotels. Sorry, no. If you are a true coffee drinker, you'll stand in line at 7/11 for a cup from the pot that's been congealing for 7 hours.

I try periodically to kick the habit. I know the coffee-stained teeth and the coffee breath aren't attractive. One day when I was still at my last job, I mentioned to a coworker that I was trying to quit, and she wrinkled her nose and said incredulously, "what, again?" That's when I realized that if I was going to keep quitting, starting, quitting, and starting again, I first had to quit talking about it. No sense everybody knowing what a failure you are.

I realized that without the coffee I didn't function as well, but I didn't realize how much it affected my mood. Then one day I was at school bright and early, and I was pretty surly (I don't like getting up very much). "It's too bright, it's too early, it sucks that I'm here this early, I hate this," was pretty much the mantra going on in my head. I stopped by the little shop in the law school that sells coffee, bought my coffee and started drinking it, and walked outside towards the library. I got outside the door and stopped.

The sun was shining, birds were chirping, the air seemed clean and crisp. "Well, my goodness," I said, "it's just a lovely morning. What a wonderful day!"

That's when I realized I had a problem. But luckily, I can control it. With coffee. Or as I now call it, "mood neutralizer."

The first time I tried to quit, my dad was very alarmed. "But you need it," he said, "it's like a vitamin." He started sending me websites extolling the benefits of a cup a day. "See," he'd say, "it's good for you." My dad's a big coffee drinker. He'd been trying to get us kids to drink coffee for some time, probably because he was a lonely coffee drinker, as my mom won't go near the stuff. Everyone knows that coffee is a social drug. Now that we kids are all hooked, it's good times for one and all. On a good day, we sit around drinking coffee and we get to watch Perry Mason. We will pretty much watch ANY show that is even remotely related to solving mysteries. But that's another blog for another time.

Anyway, so this morning, we're out running an errand (one which I got up EARLY to go do, because I had to drive to my parents' house), and I happen to mention to my dad that I was so sleepy that I almost had fallen asleep on the drive to his house. This was all it took for him to insist that we stop at starbucks. I admit, I had hoped that would be his reaction. I was really sleepy, and I'd had no coffee, because I'm so cheap (though not as cheap as my sister), and I get it free at work, so I haven't been able to bring myself to buy any for home. So anyway, dad leaves the car running while I go in (it's Texas, so we prefer to leave someone in the car with the air running). I'd asked him if he'd wanted any, and he'd said "no, I've already had two cups today. . . Get me a small." I was getting a mocha, because I do not care for starbucks regular coffee (see previous posts: starbucks=burnt newspaper). So I order one small mocha (do NOT get me started on that preposterous tall/grande/venti nonsense--"oh, a grande. I must be in Italy. How fancy this is.")

(this is me ordering coffee.
Me: "I'll have a small mocha, please."
Them: "tall mocha?"
Me: [pleasantly, but firmly] "small.")
(this is akin to me refusing to give stores my phone number or zip code. More on that some other time).

ANYWAY, I order one small mocha and a small breakfast blend. The woman confirms my order:
Her: "tall mocha, and that was a tall COD?"
Me: blank look
Her: "COD?"
Me: [sound of crickets chirping]
Her: "coffee of the day?"
Me: [relieved] "yes, the breakfast blend."

Ok, why didn't she ask me if that was breakfast blend? After all, there are TWO "COD's", so that's not really confirming my order, is it, to throw confusing lingo at me? If' I'd said yes, that still wouldn't have told her exactly what to put in the "tall," would it? That must have been the feelings of the guy in line behind me, who gallantly stuck up for me. "She hasn't had her coffee yet. Don't confuse her with acronyms."

Maybe it was just because I hadn't had coffee yet, but although I hadn't noticed him before then, after that, he seemed very attractive. So the point of this long blog is, Mr. Whoever you are, even though you went to U.T., and burnt orange is not your color, I would marry you tomorrow, if you'll promise to follow me around in the mornings and defend me from the cruel caffeine dealers who have nothing better to do on a Saturday morning than play stump the caffeine-deprived. But you should know that I don't leave my house in the summer time. But for you, I would. In the mornings, when it's cooler. To get coffee.


RR said...

That's right. You stick to your guns. They can call it a "tall" if they want to, but we all know that it's just a small. I mean, look at the size of the cup they give you, for pete's sake. It's *small*. It is not remotely tall.

I *always* order a "small" at Starbucks. Their fiendish attempts to make be believe that their small coffee is actually a large coffee will not fool me!

("Well, it looks like a small, but they call it a tall, so it must be secretly larger than it looks. What a deal!" I don't think so.)

Ben said...

I make our own mochas for Sydney and myself. Can't imagine paying 3 bucks for a mocha everyday.


steve said...


I actually and so glad I got my BA so I can actually order coffe at Starbucks (or as I like to call it "Tenbucks" because thats about what it costs)

I too am a die hard coffee drinker... Spend a few years in AA meetings and drink coffee made by biker guys named "Nads" will cure you from yuppie coffee addictions in a heartbeat.

"Hey Nads. Could you get me a double half-caff with a twist... VENTI?"

"Go F yourself"

"alrighty then... black would suffice"

JLR said...
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JLR said...

ben: neither can I, which is why most days I drink it at work. During the school year, I drink Folger's, or whatever is cheapest at the store. I wish I had an espresso machine so that I could make mochas at home. Or better yet, someone to make them for me.

steve: Ten bucks! That's classic. As is your Nads story. I can picture it very clearly in my head.
And BA? As in, Bachelor of Arts? If so, clearly you did not get your BA in history, or you would not be able to afford daily starbucks trips (I speak from experience).
Hey, Bachelor of Arts? That's you! You're not married, and you're in a band. Get it? Hahaha. I am so funny .
I'm just sad.

{ok, I thought my previous post had a typo, so I deleted it, but now I don't think it did, so I'm just reposting it.}
(still haven't had coffee yet today)

Kim Plaintive said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Lia said...

If you're really a coff-e-holic, please do yourself and the rest of us a favor and invest in some 99 cent instant coffee, for emergency use only. I can't believe the free coffee at work is that good.

JLR said...

No, it's not. But I put half-and-half in it, so it's all ok. I can choke down anything if there's enough half-and-half in it. Except for starbucks regular coffee. Ick.

Oh, excuse me, starbucks c.o.d.

I'm sure everyone will be very happy for me when I tell you that yesterday, I bought one of those "pod" coffee makers. That makes me think of the invasion of the body snatcher, but whatever. So now I have coffee at home again. Yippee!

Amstaff Mom said...

Great post, JLR. I wonder what the people at Starbucks would think if you started calling them "Short" instead of "Tall". It's more approrpiate, don't you think? I don't stop by very often, as I'm more of a hot tea drinker, and why spend 1.40 on their Tazo tea, when I can make the exact same cup of Tazo at home? eh? They're taking advantage of my before-hot-tea state of mind. Now known as BHT, which sounds like some sort of hormone or pesticide. If I try to drink their "COD" regular instead of half decaf/half regular, I get the shakes. Literally. How much caffeine does that stuff contain when half of a "short" cup makes your hands shake violently? scary.

Jayleigh said...

Hilarious post! I found you from Amstaff Mom's site.

A couple of things: Since starting to drink coffee black a few years ago, I have absolutely NOT had a single mocha or anything of the sort. I drink my coffee black. When my twin comes here to visit and goes to Starbucks, I vehemently order "a regular old cup of black coffee with a shot of water please, because you folks make it too strong and it doesn't really taste that good." My sister then shuns me. Oh well.

But lately, I have gotten hooked on the white chocolate mocha-latte at Tenbucks. Ohhhhhhhh myyyyy. This thing in wonderful. And there is a plethora of good coffee shoppes near here, even if they aren't Starbucks.

I love your site format. Great blog.

JLR said...

Thanks for stopping by, Jayleigh! I also love those white chocolate mochas. Thank goodness they're pricey, because calorie-wise, they are way up there. But so, so good.

My twin frequently shuns me as well! But not for my tenbucks ordering. But for just about everything else I do in public.