Today’s prompt tasked me to write about my childhood favorite food, but my big-girl favorite food is much more interesting. Coffee! I love coffee. No, seriously. I run my life on coffee. This may seem off-topic for me, but honestly, so much of this blog is written while drinking coffee. It’s not just the caffeine. Please don’t think that I’m some kind of caffeine addict. I have a ridiculously busy life, so caffeine is definitely part of it, but I think my relationship with coffee is at least equally an emotional thing. It’s comfort food for me.
My coffee experience started in middle school. My mom always used to buy herself a coffee before she picked me up from the rink. There’s this café in my town (actually the town that I skate and work in, but that’s really “my town” more than my actual hometown is) where they always offer at least four flavors of coffee on any given day. It’s self-serve, so you can mix flavors if you want to. I used to get in the car each morning and smell the day’s flavor(s). I loved the smell, so eventually, I graduated to taking small, careful sips. At first, I was shocked and disappointed that coffee didn’t taste at all like I thought it would, but that didn’t stop me from trying it again and again until I actually started to enjoy it. I think I was in high school when I finally started buying my own full cups. It’s funny, but now I drink far more coffee than my mother does.
I think coffee probably first took on a symbolic significance for me in college. I used to study in the campus coffee shop between classes, so maybe that’s when it started. Being a ginormous nerd, as I’m sure you all know pretty well by now, I greatly enjoyed those study hours as much as I did the accompanying large sugar cookie-flavored coffee. For your reference, I like flavored coffee and am perfectly happy to have it either hot or iced, but for the most part, I stick to straight-up coffee rather than lattes and stuff like that. One friend used to joke that I was the only person in our group who drank coffee for the coffee and not for the sugar and caramel syrup on top. (On that note, getting coffee with a friend is something I love doing, and it’s quite meaningful to me. “Let’s get coffee and talk” isn’t something I offer to just anyone.) I drank a lot of coffee in class, doing homework, writing my thesis, and later on while at work/doing work. Eventually, I started to equate a cup of coffee with doing good and productive work. Additionally, I went through a phase – which is not completely over, I might add – in which I watched basically every cop show known to man, and it always seems to me like the detective always does his or her best work with a cup of coffee in hand. I guess I hoped it would follow logically that I would make equally great leaps of inspiration if I drank my coffee while I worked, too. Or maybe that’s just my desire to be Kate Beckett. It’s probably that second option, to be honest. Regardless, drinking coffee while working now permanently feels cool, productive, and even scholarly to me. Sometimes, on the weekend, I’ll buy coffee on my way home from the rink in the morning but save it for later if I plan of catching up or work or blogging, because coffee and being intellectual seem to go together, at least in my own mind. As far as habits go, it’s not a bad one to have, and it tastes pretty good, too. Except for the stuff my dad buys. That’s absolute crap!
*Ironically, I was drinking not coffee but hot chocolate while I wrote this.*