For the majority of my life, I was definitely not what you would call a “coffee drinker.” Coffee tolerater? Maybe. My relationship with coffee was mostly defined by super sweet, mostly whipped cream concoctions topped with a tiny dollop of coffee and best described as “dessert.” I had many issues with coffee, which I was fond of outlining for people:
1) Coffee makes your breath smell like coffee all day no matter what you do. NO MATTER WHAT.
2) Coffee makes your pee smell like coffee and that’s gross.
3) Coffee doesn’t actually TASTE good.
And there you have it. I was repulsed by smelling coffee WHERE COFFEE SHOULD NOT BE SMELLED. Oh and also, I didn’t like the taste.
I attempted to convert myself to a “coffee drinker” upon my first job after college. In my mind, coffee drinking and “adult living” were synonymous, and I needed to just GET OVER my aversion to coffee smelling pee and just DRINK IT ALREADY, GOD. So, every morning for the entirety of a 12 week training program (for my job, not for coffee drinking, although that would be hilarious), I dutifully drank a single cup of the prepared coffee (adding a ridiculous amount of sugar and cream – I’m not crazy), hoping that I would actively addict myself to the caffeine and become someone who could credibly begin her day by saying some variety of, “Oh my God. Don’t even TALK to me until I’ve had my coffee.” Or could ride up the elevator in her office building, initiating small talk with someone by saying, “Thank God for coffee” or just “Coffee, huh?” and share a knowing nod. This did not happen. All my careful plans to addict myself to the hot cup of bitterness fell apart when I left training and simply forgot about the whole “coffee” part of my day.
My building in Nashville is conveniently located above a Panera Bread, which primarily means that I start every day with the deliciousness that is a bagel and cream cheese (breakfast of champions, OBVIOUSLY). Being the non-coffee drinker that I was, I would usually order a large diet coke, which I would proceed to refill 7-8 times throughout the day. However, after a particularly late-ish night (hint: alcohol was probably involved), I decided to try a cup of coffee. I chose the least offensive-seeming of my options – hazelnut – filled the bottom fourth with milk and 2 splendas, and started my day, cup of coffee in hand (LIKE A GROWN UP!) About 2 hours later, I was positively bouncing around my office, commenting to people, “I have so much energy! How did I get all this energy? I don’t understand! Was it the coffee? Is this what coffee does to people? This is great! I get its purpose now!” GUYS! I don’t think I had ever had that much caffeine in one sitting, and being the caffeine-lover that I am, I LOVED it! I was super awake early in the morning! I had all this extra energy! Coffee pee was totally worth that! And with that one cup, my white whale – a coffee habit – was obtained. Now, every work-day morning, I get a bagel and cream cheese WITH a cup of coffee. I have officially entered grown-updom. It’s great! My three negatives still apply, no amount of teeth brushing, mouthwash swishing, or gum chewing can ever definitively eliminate the taste, and my pee now smells weirdly like coffee for the first half of every day. And no. I don’t actually “like” the taste of coffee (I’m still adding a fourth of cup of milk and two splendas to every cup. Plus, I started adding some cinnamon to the mix as well). But ya’ll? The energy uptick? Totally worth it!
I now enter the elevator, cupping my coffee LIKE A REAL GROWN UP, and make knowing comments to other office-dwellers like, “I don’t know what I would do without this cup ‘o joe” (note – I have never said that.) Operation: Get Myself Addicted to Coffee – Successful.