Okay, I admit it: I am a coffee freak. I have been drinking coffee since the 9th grade, and haven't stopped since. I like (love) all kinds of coffee: dark, light, espresso, mochas, cappucinnos, you name it. I'm fairly certain coffee is the only reason I ever graduated from any institution or completed any difficult task. Ask me to live without it, and I'd ask you if you wanted a swift punch to the kidney. Seriously. Coffee keeps me alive. There was even one point in my life when I could drink coffee before bed and still sleep like nobody's business. Though I've toned down my habit a lot over the years, coffee still remains my breakfast of champions.
But before you begin to think I have problems (at least in relation to caffeine), please know that I do have some limits when it comes to coffee. A few examples:
1. Once while camping, we ran out of pots and ended up brewing coffee in the same pot we used to boil hot dogs in the night before. Somehow I didn't think meat-flavored coffee would be palatable (just ask Allison). So I skipped the caffeine until I returned to civilization.
2. When I used to fix books for a living, my coffee cup was always full. You try spending 8 hours with nothing but glue and paper backs and see how long you can keep your eyes open without the aid of legal stimulants. It's not easy. The one time I tried, I glued my fingers together and my paintbrush to my desk. Anyway, one day I placed a full, perfectly blended cup of coffee on my desk, only to discover a couple of minutes later that a freaking horse fly landed in it. Gag. I promptly dumped that sucker down the drain.
3. I'm pretty open-minded about different coffee types, except for instant coffee. Why? Because it's a poser, a liar, a weak imitation of what coffee should be. I don't care what you put in it, you can't hide the taste of cheating.
4. I'm one of those annoying people at Starbucks that will order the "grande-sugar-free-vanilla-latte-with-soy" with the practiced air of a true coffee addict. But I will never drink Starbucks coffee black. NEVER. I would like to keep my stomach lining intact, thanks.
These examples aside, I used to think myself a pretty hardcore coffee drinker; one who would drink under the most severe instances... But a visit with my dad proved to me just how far I have left to go.
While visiting my family last weekend, I put on a fresh pot of coffee while catching up with my dad, the man who introduced coffee into my life in the first place. Now my dad will drink coffee under any circumstance - I've even seen him drink Starbucks "dark roast", which resembles tar more than coffee, and which would dissolve the esophagus of a lesser person. But he does it like he's drinking water. It's amazing! Anyway, after pouring myself a mug, I turned my back on it for just a few moments.
Then I heard my dad said, "I think something just landed in your cup."
I peered in the mug, and was horrified to find that the "something" was actually two gnats. A wave of disgust and regret overcame my caffeine-stimulated senses. "Oh, gross! There goes a perfect cup of coffee."
My dad shook his head, "What? Just dig them out and drink it. It's fine!"
I shot him a grossed out look, "Ew... no thanks."
"Oh, c'mon Brittany. I do it all the time." And with that, my dad reached into my cup, scooped out the gnats, smiled and said, "Good as new."
I don't know what look was on my face, but it wasn't a pleasant one. Would I really stoop this low to save a cup of coffee from being wasted? Never! Hadn't I already had coffee at Kneaded Pleasures that morning? Well, yes, but... Would I let my tough dad persuade me to join the leagues of the truly hardcore coffee enthusiasts? Actually...
I seriously considered it.
My hesitation has led me to believe that I have fallen, no JUMPED, off the wagon of socially acceptable coffee addiction into the realm of "seriously, she has a problem" addiction. You will soon see me drinking the black tar coffee that has congealed at the bottom of Starbuck's coffee pots. I will give up sleeping entirely. I'll eat espresso beans for dinner. I might even begin drinking instant coffee.
Whoa, whoa now. Let's not go crazy here. Nothing is happening to me, really. I'm being overly dramatic, which is quite typical of me. Still... maybe I should consider giving up coffee?