In the same way that serious drug addicts will never forget their first hit, I will never forget my first cup of coffee. It represented, for 16 year-old me, the surest and easiest way to look, seem and act mature. Packaged right in the styrofoam cup in my hand was a quick and easy way to develop yellowed teeth, insomnia and so many other adult problems that I have since acquired. And if I were smart, I would have swatted that cup of black coffee out of my own hands and run for the hills with the fervor and determination of the von Trapp family at the end of The Sound of Music.
However, I, unlike the von Trapps, did not realize the enemy I was up against. And six years later, I have come to possess all of the denial and dependence of a true, full-fledged addict.
I know coffee doesn’t rank high on the list of dangerous substances in the world, but in my life it has a control over me which I can’t explain entirely. I’m like one of those remote-controlled airplanes that my 65 year-old dad insists on buying during the holidays, and in this metaphor coffee is my dad, controlling everywhere I go and inevitably crashing me into ceilings and into my 10 year-old cousin.
I blame Lorelai Gilmore, my high school cafeteria and the invention of the Keurig for my addiction spiraling out of control. I blame Lorelai Gilmore for making me think that one cup of coffee would give me the clever repartee of Amy Sherman Palladino. While I have since developed a Lorelai Gilmore-sized caffeine addiction, I’m still working on perfecting the easy yet mesmerizing cadence of a Lorelai monologue.
I would like to thank my high school for never offering coffee in our cafeteria. Something about the government not allowing it in my public school only made me want it more. As if any authority telling you not to do something will make you want to do it less. I resisted “the man” by carrying around a large metal thermos of coffee to give off the impression that I was some 16 year-old businesswoman who had been through the ringer and had had to break through her share of glass ceilings on her way to go to sixth period gym class.
Lastly, I would be nowhere without the Keurig company, who somehow knew that an invention that makes it easier to make individual-portioned cups of coffee would turn me into the caffeine-crazed, have-I-had-four-cups-or-five-today, certified monster that I am now. As I write this it’s 2:06 a.m. and I’m coming down from the caffeine high from my last cup of coffee, which I finished consuming approximately four hours ago. Keep an eye out for my upcoming sequel to Coffee and Me: A Love Story, entitled Sleep and Me: A Violent Thrasher Murder Mystery. Given my rate of caffeine intake and the resulting insomnia, I may be done with the sequel before I even publish this.