It started when I was about 5 years old. I took a sip of Dad’s coffee (black). It was a little bitter but I was somehow okay with that. I snuck a sip of Mom’s next (milk and sugar). Oh, better for my 5-year-old palate.
Not long after this, Mom began a routine of taking us (my sisters and me) out on a few errands each week. Most of the time, if her errands brought us near, Mom would stop at this diner-style restaurant that became very special to us. It was our place. [The one we used to visit was one of three, I think, in the area. It’s no longer there. So sad. I didn’t think the place even existed anymore anywhere, but Google says otherwise! I’m thrilled to see there are still several locations not far from Mom’s. I see a little excursion in the near future…]
Sometimes, if it was still early, we’d have french toast. Sometimes, we’d sit at the counter
and have grilled cheese sandwiches. But most of the time, we had ice cream.
In all my visits to this place over the years, I’ve had a taste of a few flavors from my family members. But I asked for the same thing every single time I had ice cream there…
Coffee on a sugar cone with chocolate ‘jimmies’.
Ah, yes, this terminology may make it possible for you ascertain where in the U.S. I grew up — a fact I will neither confirm nor deny. [But if you’re coming for me, I’d appreciate a little warning.]
I hear stories from my 11-year-old son about his classmates mentioning their consumption of coffee. Which blows my mind. Jeez… kids these days. [Fuck, I’m old.] At 11, I was still stealing swigs from my Mom’s cup at best. By the end of high school, I’d buy my own coffee. But not too often. Even 17- or 18- year-olds at the time didn’t really ‘grab a coffee’.
Then I went to college. Not a big university… a small-ish college… somewhat prestigious. But I didn’t care about that. I cared about… uh… other stuff. And this is where my coffee obsession truly escalated.
In my first year, I was randomly placed [with an awful roommate… God, I hated her…] in the dorm where the campus coffeehouse was located. How cool was that? Pretty damn cool. Not only was I in that deliciously scented place pretty much every day, but I also ‘worked’ there. I use the term loosely as it was a pleasure, not work… and it was an unpaid volunteer gig.
And as I volunteered away any hope of sleeping, live music would be happening in front of me. Coffee and musicians? Like, boys with guitars? Oh, and occasional baking (both kinds)? That whole scene is the closest to heaven I’ve ever been. [Okay, I may have felt close to heaven a few other times… but those are totally different stories…]
And so my obsession continued. I’ve even been to a café called… yes, you guessed it… ‘Coffee Obsession’.
And all of this long, drawn out sandra-history was just backstory for two things…
Thing one: I’ve noticed that every time a turn a corner, drive along a big curve, or go over a bumpy bit in the road, I instinctively reach for my cupholder to make sure my coffee doesn’t spill. Even when there is no coffee cup there. Do I have a problem?
Thing two: Today, upon returning home from playing mini-golf with my kids, I walked to the door of my house holding my bag, my keys, and my big fat iced coffee. I tripped on a step and fell. And I broke my fall with a hand… and an elbow… because I had to keep the coffee upright. Do I have a problem?
[By the way, I won at mini-golf… but my son was only 2 strokes behind! That little shit is gonna kick my ass next time!]
[Oh, also, I have a 4-inch long scrape on my leg from the fall… but that is all. I didn’t even bleed. Nor did I spill a single drop of coffee. I must be a fucking superhero. Javagirl? Hot, bitter and dressed in black? That sounds like me.]