Thursday, March 18, 2010

Java Junkie

A lifetime addiction, minus the first ten years, has been a mainstay through more traumas than I care to recount or relive. My attachment to coffee began early with the intuition that this was a very important event or ceremony in each day when my Dad would sit at the breakfast table with his first cup of coffee of the day. His obvious relish of the steaming dark brew was noticeable to even a child who could barely talk. He would sit silently, before eating his food, sometimes with his eyes closed, while he sipped the very hot coffee to avoid burning his mouth. He didn't like lukewarm coffee and neither do I. Funny, the things we notice as very small children. Sometimes he would dunk a piece of bread or saltines and so do I, but never something sweet. He never put milk or sugar in his coffee and preferred the straight caffeine, and so do I. The flavor of the coffee was far too important to dilute it with distractions. I've never understood the designer coffee craze other than as a marketing gimmick. The coffee becomes a secondary flavor for drinks that I don't define as coffee.

As much as I wanted to share this early morning ritual, I wasn't allowed to drink coffee until I was ten, which naturally made it even more desirable. It gained much more importance perhaps than it was due. I think I enjoy it immensely because I observed how much he enjoyed it. I don't smoke today, because he never smoked and was adamantly against smoking. If I had observed him smoking, I have no doubt, I would have smoked also. He never drank alcoholic beverages but I have an occasional glass of wine. However, it isn't a meaningful ritual for me like a cup of coffee. He didn't like to take any medications and I have no doubt he would have not been tempted by the illegal drugs that have flooded our society. I am extremely cautious about taking medications and I can't fathom the "recreational" aspect of any drug use. My Dad preferred the health benefits of food supplements/vitamins. Every morning when I take my food supplements, I think I have become even more like my Dad.

Sometimes I wonder if my coffee habit needs attention and if I should avoid being an addictive personality that needs a crutch. It is always interesting to see the conclusions of the latest studies on coffee. Is it good or bad to drink coffee? Are the benefits worth the possible side effects? I was amused when I had minor surgery and woke up in recovery to the question, "What would you like to drink?" When I said, "Coffee, preferably an IV," they didn't seem surprised and immediately gave me a cup of coffee. Apparently, it isn't uncommon for patients to cling to coffee like a security blanket.

I think I have concluded that I could live without coffee, though I fear my quality of life would be considerably compromised. I think of Emily in the play, Our Town,  who laments,  "Good-by, good-by, world. Good-by, Grover's Corners . . . Mamma and Papa. Good-by to clocks ticking . . . and Mama's sunflowers. And food and coffee. And new-ironed dresses and hot baths . . . and sleeping and waking up. Oh, earth, you're too wonderful for anybody to realize you . . . Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?"

Therefore, I shall continue to indulge myself in one of the greatest pleasures of my day, and when my son comes to visit, the inevitable pot of coffee is ready for all to share and bond the generations.  


  1. The best coffee I've tasted was Blue Mountain coffee from Jamaica.

  2. Thanks for dropping by my blog; hope you make it a habit like your morning coffee! I have to confess, I have never (and I'm 65), ever drunk coffee. I tasted it once and didn't like it. All my siblings, and my parents drank it and were sure I would drink it when I grew older (I'm the youngest of 7), but I never did. I guess I'm just a rebel! lol

  3. RJ, that was such a wonderful posting! It led me down memory lane to my own father and his coffee drinking rituals with lots of milk and honey. I'm sure that's blasphemy to you! You captured such a terrific mood in this posting. Thanks!

  4. What a wonderful picture you painted here ~ loved this post. I recently gave up coffee because I could only drink it if it had 1/2 cup of cream and 1/2 pound of suger in it so decided it really wasn't coffee and it really wasn't healthy so now I start my day with a cup of green tea ~ straight. My husband starts his day with a cup of black coffee ~ and he savors each drop. Enjoy !

    PS ~ I am going to try to send you an email later today about rug hooking.

  5. Dear Coffee Junkie,

    Coffee is gross!

    Love, Diet Coke Junkie!

  6. Dear Diet Coke Junkie,

    I love those too. I'm an equal opportunity addict--whatever floats your boat.

    Reasonable people agree to disagree.