Saturday, September 27, 2008

The New Member of the Coffee-Club

For the record, I had never tried coffee in my life until a couple of months ago. Coffee was to me like Christmas lights are to a happy Jewish kid: it's there, others do it, but it's just not what you do. Years of coffee-brunch and post-dinner cappuccino refusals had me boasting (a little too quickly) about this non-coffee-drinking-phenomenon of mine, as if coffee were heroin and only I had the long-standing willpower to refrain. Of course I did not believe this. But I marveled at the expressions and comments people made-- the "wow," "really?" and "HOW??" -- as I passed on my share. It just never interested me.I went down to Costa Rica with my family this past January, 08. It was more like a "weekend at Bernies" than a vacation, and perhaps I was slightly off among the various set-backs of losing my passport, getting searched for five apples that I hoarded into the country from NYC, losing power from a rare storm for the majority of our stay, going on a three hour hike through a torrential downpour where my poor mother’s bum knee couldn't handle the slippery rocky and almost killed herself, and staying at an all-inclusive where the plumbing happened not to work, whereby the grounds smelled of feces and the toilets were left rotting for the bugs to fester on; water was scarce and there was no place to wash hands or alternative procedures available. But what was available was: a hot cup of coffee.

Someone had a gas-burning stove and I guess when the going gets tough, you get a pot of the brew. A Costa Rican man offered me a cup. I remember me taking it, feeling half-disrespectful if I didn’t and half-searching for the Spanish words that I couldn’t for the life of me think of. Like a baby putting anything in his hands up to his mouth, I slowly couldn’t help but sip. My eyes widened a little. I looked around me. Was my family watching?? “I don’t drink coffee!” I claimed, thwarting a preempted comment that I thought one of them would make. I kept sipping. It wasn’t all THAT bad. I used to cringe at the scent of it. Well, it really wasn’t all that bad, I kept repeating. I brought the paper cup to my mouth once more. I quivered. In an Oz-like voice, my mouth said to me, “You have presented a new sensation to me. This is a potent flavor. Do you like this.” I do. I DO! Oh no… do I? What will this do to my non-coffee-drinking reputation?!?!

I admit that I often linked coffee-drinking with my own twisted view that only lethargic, stimulant-seeking addicts depended on every morning… I did not want to become one of THOSE! I willed myself not to. I wonder if THEY even exist.

Well.. I haven't "needed a cup of coffee" in the morning and I hope not to ever get to that point, as needing anything food-related (just to get by) isn't something that appeals to me.

On the other hand, I wanted to officially welcome myself as a new member of the coffee-drinking-club. And so what better way to do this, I thought, than to enter into Starbucks... See my next post for the full story.

2 comments:

dc said...

NooooOOOOOOoooooOOOOOO!!!!

Marissa Beck said...

DC I welcome any thoughts on this supposed touchy subject, given your strong, articulate opinion.

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