How Do You Like Your Coffee?

I like my coffee like I like my men. With little tiny faces.

I have a confession to make. I like people who drink coffee. I’m not saying I don’t like people who don’t drink coffee, but, well, yes I am, in a way. If you come to my house for dinner and I ask you, “Do you want some coffee?” just say no. Don’t say, “I don’t drink coffee,” because I’m liable to tell you to get out of my house.

I automatically like you if you’re a big coffee drinker. 

I can’t imagine a life without a coffee cup sitting in front of me. If the doctor ever tells me I have to stop drinking coffee, I’d consider an assisted suicide. 

And there are no substitutes. I know people who say, “I don’t drink coffee but I love tea!” No, not good enough. Close, but no cigar. And how about, “I don’t drink coffee, but I’ve got to have my Diet Pepsi in the morning.” Not even close, you poser.

My friend Susan in North Canton, when we were both stay-at-home moms with toddlers and nursing babies hanging off of us, was breaking free and going to an accounting seminar. We talked about it for weeks, how cool it was going to be, how she could sit at a desk wearing a sweater with no stains, perfume and two shoes that matched. How she would have had a shower and be wearing deodorant. How she was finally going to have a reason to get that purple tempera paint stain off of her hands. How she could finish a thought without being interrupted by a baby whose nose oozed green stuff, a 2-year-old who just peed in his big boys, and a 6-year-old who just learned how to fake burp. (“Look mom, mom. Mom. Look. Mom mom. Look. Look mom. Mom. Mom. Mommommommom.”) 

“Okay, let’s go over this again,” I’d say to her. “You’re sitting there, with your legs crossed and there’s nothing on your lap! Nothing! And you’re taking notes and you’ve got  your note pad, and you’ve got your coffee . . .”

“Oh, I don’t drink coffee, but I’ll have a Diet Pepsi,” she interrupted me.

WHAT! No coffee? Why bother going at all, then?”

You might as well just stay home, as far as I’m concerned.

The element of having that hot cup of coffee with you means you’ve got it together. You either left the house early enough to stop and get a coffee at 7-11, or you got up early enough to make coffee. You have milk in the house. You have a clean cup, well, clean enough anyway. You’ve made the beds and opened the blinds because you’re standing in the window with the sun streaming in and your house looks good and the paperboy is pedaling by, and you’re – you’re – why, you’re in the Folgers commercial!

That’s what it comes down to. If you’ve got a cup of coffee, you can be in the commercial for good stuff. You’re living the dream. No coffee, no dream. You’re just another sorry housewife with a can of pop.

I think I get this philosophy from my mother, who made strong coffee and drank it from morning to night. It was thick enough to be classified as a viscous liquid and, loaded with half and half, it turned the color of a gun.

We said it was because she was German, but really it was because she was awesome. She could smoke a cigarette, eat runny eggs and drink black coffee at the same time. 

And I’m passing this along to my daughter. She and I have a Starbucks obsessive relationship in which we’re both the enablers and both the addicts. We go to Starbucks if she played well at her bassoon lesson, if she had an orthodontist appointment, if she had a bad day at school, if she had a good day at school, if she went to school. We can’t walk through the mall without a Starbucks cup in our hands. And at our neighborhood Starbucks, the cute boy who works there, knows her order by heart. 

This could be a family trait that is passed down through the females.

Right now it’s 7 a.m. on Sunday morning and I’m on my second cup of coffee, and I’m planning on heading over to Starbucks at about 9. I’ll be instant friends with everyone in line with me.