It’s time to admit it. I’ve been hiding it for far too long, and it’s just not a secret that I can keep anymore. It pains me to admit it, but I am a failure as a coffee drinker. Now I know what you’re thinking. So what? There are plenty of people out there who don’t drink coffee. In fact, there are people out there who are actively trying to wean themselves off of their caffeine habit. And good for them. But I am trying to be a coffee drinker, and it’s just not working.
I have never liked coffee. I drank it for a short time in high school because I thought it was cool. I had to add so much sugar and milk to my parents’ Folgers that it was unrecognizable as coffee, and nearly impossible to drink. It left your teeth feeling like they were wearing Mohair sweaters when you were done. In retrospect, I should have started selling it and given Starbucks a run for their money.
Recently, however, my husband started buying some relatively expensive coffee beans that come in awesome flavors like Dutch Chocolate and Black Nutty Fudge (am I the only one who thinks of poop every time I think of that name? Maybe it comes from living with a five year old boy.) I’ve discovered that I can drink this stuff with only a little sugar added.
When I realized this, my husband started leaving me a cup of coffee out of his pot every morning. One measly cup. Surely I could drink that much. But, alas, I’m probably the world’s worst wanna-be coffee drinker. I’ll pour my cup in the morning and put it in the microwave to reheat it. Half an hour later, I’ll remember it’s there, so I’ll hit the add minute again to warm it back up. Sometimes this happens two or three times before my husband gets home and finally drinks the coffee himself. Other days I remember it, but only get halfway through the cup before lunch time rolls around. Some people know how to nurse a beer. I can nurse a cup of coffee like no one’s business.
Still, you’re asking so what? If I’m so bad at it, why don’t I just give up? Well, first of all, I’m a stay at home mom with two young kids who have an endless reserve of energy. But that’s not the most worrying aspect of it. I’m a writer! How will anyone ever take me seriously if I don’t suffer from at least a caffeine addiction? And I worry that they’ll find out. I could just see going to a meeting with a big, fancy agent who wants to represent my work.
BFA (Big Fancy Agent)- Can I get you a cup of coffee?
Me- Oh no thanks. I don’t drink coffee.
BFA-(Painfully awkward silence while they stare at me like I have the numbers 666 tattooed backwards across my forehead to match my horns that have just popped out.) Oh I see. Well thank you for your time.
Me- But we just started.
BFA- (Walks away mumbling incoherently.)
In fact, more and more I’m thinking that’s why I haven’t found an agent yet. (Let’s ignore the fact that I’ve only queried a handful, and the first few queries I sent out were not very good.) I’m sure it’s because they’re looking for the telltale coffee stains on my letter to know that I’m a member of the club. (Again, we’ll ignore the fact that I’m emailing everything.) The point is, they know!
So I’ll keep on keeping on. I’m not ready to throw in the towel just yet. As I sit here, typing and nursing my mug of coffee that I reheated over an hour ago, and it’s still over half full, at least the glass is half full right? I’ll keep drinking, and maybe some day I’ll get to sit down and have that meeting over a cup of coffee with an agent or editor. Or maybe I’ll just order tea.