I knew it was going to be a good day when I got off the bus and was confronted by a huge sign that said FREE COFFEE AND DOUGHNUTS INSIDE! Free coffee? I thought. Why, that’s my favorite kind! No matter that I had already consumed about half a pot of coffee at home — I had every intention of taking advantage of this little gift from the Caffeine Gods. In fact, I spend a portion of most days wishing that someone would randomly offer me some free coffee, or that I would happen onto a magically unmanned pot of freshly-brewed coffee.
Now, I’ve had so much coffee that I feel kind of dizzy.
You would think that someone who loves coffee as much as I do would develop that weird coffee snobbery thing that some coffee lovers get. I know a guy that loves coffee, but constantly talks crap about what brands suck and what brands he thinks are superior. Not me. I’m an equal-opportunity coffee drinker. I’ll drink 79¢ coffee from the gas station, $5.00 coffee from the trendy coffee shop — it’s all the same to me. The only thing that really matters is that the purveyor of hot, caffeinated beverages makes non-dairy creamer available to me. You know, that wonderfully beige-colored, malty powder that coffee snobs disdain the way that wine snobs mock people who put ice cubes in their wine. I love watching the pile of powder melt into the coffee; the edges of the mound crumble as it revolves in the center of the mug. I try to avoid stirring until the whole, enormous pile is totally dissolved. Watching it is part of the ritual. It builds the anticipation. It’s like a zen thing.
The first time my husband saw how much creamer I use, he was astonished. He wasn’t the first. My coffee drinking habits perplex and amuse most people. The conversation typically goes like this…
Me: Yay! You have non dairy creamer! I love this stuff!
Them: Really? I like half and half.
Me: Half and half is alright, but this stuff is awesome! It makes your coffee all thick and malty. Mmmm. You mind if I use a lot? I like to use a ton.
Them: Oh. Wow. You weren’t kidding. You do realize that stuff probably causes cancer? Or something.
Me: Heh-heh. It’s just Methyl-disodium-propylene-sorbate-A. Oh, and powdered lead.
Them: (long pause)… You gonna drink that or just stare at it?
Wasn’t it Confucius who said, “The less stuff you’re a snob about, the more stuff you enjoy?” That includes powdered lead.