Ahhh, coffee. How do I love thee?
It often amazes me that just a couple of short years ago, I was not a coffee drinker. Oh, I'd have a cappuccino or latte occasionally, if I was at a nice restaurant without two kids pulling on my arm saying "C'mon! Let's GO mommy! I'm BORRRDD!" but I didn't drink it daily, I never made a pot of coffee unless I was hosting a party and I was quite content to sip my English Breakfast tea for my teeny-tiny hit of morning caffeine.
Then I decided to try a "fad" diet. *Warning: Everything they say about fad diets is true.* The diet suggested black coffee as a breakfast beverage, because the caffeine can often kick-start your metabolism, and mine needed a serious hoofus in the doofus.
So, I dove in with a black coffee plus one fake sweetener each morning, and I'm not gonna lie — it was awful. I hated it and grimaced with every sip. Each day I forced myself to drink that brew until suddenly, after two weeks, it hit me — I was no longer making puke-faces when I drank the coffee. I was actually beginning to enjoy it, especially when I switched to a different diet that allowed me to add cream! Apparently the "Two-weeks-to-develop-a-habit" rule is also true, because I've never looked back.
Learning of my mid-life venture into legalized addiction, my brother gave me a single-cup coffee maker he had that was not getting used. In retrospect, I liken that moment to a pothead installing heat lamps and a hydroponic greenhouse in their home. I could have coffee — any flavour or style I wanted — at ANY time!
I was hooked.
We are now on our second Tassimo, and quite frankly, we could run out of milk at home and I'd happily give our kids juice for one meal, but run out of T-disks? Not gonna happen around here. I even went to the grocery store in my pajamas once to avoid that catastrophe.
I have a friend who only drinks decaf. To this I say — why bother? Yes, I do enjoy the taste of coffee, but what I enjoy most is the lovely buzz it gives me. The way that it takes me from resembling a three-toed sloth schlumpfing into the kitchen every morning, while giving my family the barely-open evil eye if they dare to look at, speak to or breathe on me — to a reasonably sane woman who actually manages to get my daughter to school on time four mornings out of five while answering 382 of her 497 questions in a non-shouty voice. I love how it makes my eyelids feel perky enough to stay open without physical assistance. I love how ten minutes after I suck the last drop from my cup, I can conquer the world!
Don't get me wrong, I drink only three cups a day, and I'm sure all of you hard-core coffee addicts think that calling my intake level an "addiction" is cute, but I'm addicted in the sense that I feel awful without coffee. I crave it constantly and would happily drink double what I do, if my love of sleep didn't consume me more than my love of coffee.
Now, it gets better, because in addition to the wake-up energy boost coffee gives me — it has also given me a community.
That's right. In a social media world where tweets, comments and statuses go unheeded as a sport, I've come to the realization that anything I post about coffee elicits far more responses than any of my other tweet topics. We are a band of brothers, us coffee drinkers.
So cheers to you, coffee, for waking me up every day, for keeping me motivated throughout the day, for extending my day when I need it, for connecting me to other members of your fan club and for occasionally nursing me through the realization that I can't stay awake past midnight and drink two glasses of wine anymore. I'm not sure what I'd do without you, but nor am I interested in finding out.