Archive for March, 2014

My parents drank coffee. When I was really young, from the chug-glump-chug-glump of the percolator. In the eighties, that graduated to the drip-hiss-drip-hiss of Mr. Coffee.

My brothers and sisters drink coffee. You couldn’t keep the glass urns full enough for my brother Paul when he worked the counter at my father’s store. If the cup languished too long, he’d just pop it into the micro and, 45 seconds later, continue the ritual.

My husband drinks coffee. He advanced the system, introducing me to Krupps and steam-frothers and whole beans.

Through it all, I resisted. I was ‘The Baby’, The Caboose.’ Coffee was for grownups. And, somewhere along the way, I read that it increased your blood pressure.

So here I am at 47, during one of the longest, grayest, snowiest, arctic-est winters in history for ALL of us. Which brings me to my discovery.

About a month ago, my husband brought home a new flavored bean: Chocolate Rum. They smelled damn good. Damn. Good.

I don’t know what made me do it.

It could have been that I was alone in the house.

Or that I am middle-aged and feel my dreams drifting, floating, threatening to break away and soar beyond my grasp.

Or that I was just cold and it was hot.

Whatever the reason, I found some of that chocolate rum coffee in the carafe. He’d left it there, my husband, filling his ‘to-go’ mug as full as it would go and trotting off to work.

I sniffed it.

I poured the tiniest bit in a mug and tasted it black. I’d always heard, if you’re gonna drink coffee, drink it black.

It was warm.

It was good.

I filled the mug and discovered caffeine.

* * *

Flash forward the month. I’ve been off-again, on-again with this whole coffee culture. On one hand, it feels great to ‘belong’ to this thing that everybody else seems to belong to. And I did some Internet research; looks like coffee can help with memory, Alzheimer’s, prostate cancer, and more.

On the other hand, if I drink it on an empty stomach, I feel jittery and my thoughts start firing in all directions. I feel like I can write the bestseller, sing the Grammy-winner, and work out until I’m as skinny as I long to be — all before the close of day. And, if I drink two or more cups, I notice a big crash afterwards — crankiness ensues.

So I ask — at 47 — is this new discovery a coup or a curse?

The jury’s still out for this former Catholic schoolboy.

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