Wednesday, October 7, 2009


Back in the day, when my ex-boyfriend worked at Starbucks, he used to try to badger me into drinking coffee. "It's the best," he promised, and I would scrunch up my nose and sock him in the arm and say, verbatim: "Ew." He would wax poetic about coffee in the morning, coffee with a cigarette, coffee as poop-enabling device. Apparently, coffee was, like, two weeks away from curing lupus and starting a band.

But I resisted. Lord, I resisted! I avoided coffee in all forms, my most-hated being mocha ice cream. ("Blech," went my highly-involved reasoning.) To me, coffee was the bringer of sour breath, upset stomachs and crazy shakiness. Plus, it made wide-eyed insomniacs out of most of us. And for the longest time after our breakup, any reminder of the ex was enough to send me into a shaky, insomniac state, regardless of my beverage choice. Since he worked at a coffee shop, and loved to tell me about it ("No, seriously, you can taste the difference between the Kenyan and the Guatemalan. You can. Look, if you're not even going to try....just try it!"), it was, understandably, a reminder.

That was then, this is now. The ex is long-past, and coffee has found a new place in my heart. I am, and always have been, a Diet Coke girl. The bubbles! The crispness! The portability (seriously, try throwing a piping-hot mug of coffee into your rucksack and see how things shake out)! But coffee, especially as a mid-afternoon pick-me-up, is good things. Plus, while there is no such thing as the Coke Zero shop, there is the coffee shop. Barring a bar, it's a good place to chill. For hours.

True, drink too much and you'll be shaky and cracked-out, plus sweaty and foul-breathed. Delightful! But striking the right balance between sleepy-eyed doyenne and super-charged speedy gonzales transforms a person from so-so to ready for anything. Including, it must be said, multiple trips to the bathroom. Still, coffee makes the world go 'round: it's right up there with tea, beer and, ahem, Coca-Cola as one of the world's favourite drinks. And with recent industry improvements facilitated by Fair Trade, coffee isn't as bad for your conscience as it used to be.

It has to be said, however, that I stand my revulsion towards mocha ice cream. That is some gnarly stuff. I can't explain it: chocolate? Good! Coffee? Pretty good, I guess. Ice cream? Yeah, I'll have some! So why is combining the three so gross to me? Perhaps it lies in the sugar + caffeine + sugar^caffeine = OHMYGOD WHY IS MY EYE TWITCHING?! that can sometimes happen. Maybe.

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