1. You now have a reason to get out of bed in the morning.
Yes, I’m sure there are a number of mighty fine reasons to actually pull back the covers and face the day (the chance to see a loved-one’s face, the opportunity to make more money to buy things you don’t really need, maybe even happy-ass birds chirping outside the window.) Maybe you are one of those slightly-twisted people who can leap from dead slumber to full activity using nothing but natural energy. Perhaps you are able to release all your worries and anxieties in a nocturnal manner and the chance at a new day has you humming a tune from a Julie Andrews movie during her perky phase. (“The hills are alive with the sound of heart palpitations!”) And it could be that you are simply a masochist, relishing the pain of being a productive member of society before noon.
I am not any of those people.
When dawn breaks, I lay there in devastated horror, repeatedly slamming my fist on the snooze button until it finally snaps off or the house catches on fire. I don’t want to move, ever. The only thing that gets even a minimal amount of enthusiasm out of me is the promise of heated caffeine. Once my addled brain is able to focus on this brewed bait, I can be dressed and racing down the hall in seven seconds. (Woeful be the relative who gets in my way. I will take you down and not think twice about it.)
2. You learn to be consistent with routines.
If you are a serious coffee drinker, you understand what I mean when I say that there is only way one to properly prepare your particular cup of heaven. Things must be done in a certain order. (My requirements: sugar first, only one packet, at the bottom of the cup, followed by the actual coffee, and then the creamer. The liquid, must-be-refrigerated kind of creamer. Don’t even speak to me of that evil, powdered variety.)
And I highly suggest that, if you happen to be in the same vicinity as me in the morning despite having heard the horror stories about my pre-java behavior (“Girl, I know there are bodies buried somewhere. Swear!”), you shouldn’t try to make a cup of coffee for me if you can’t follow my blueprint. One sip and I will know instantly if you have deviated in any way. I don’t care how much you stir. And if you screw it up, I probably will not be speaking to you the rest of the morning or maybe forever. Don’t take it personally, as it’s just part of the circle of life, and you should adjust your day accordingly.
3. You are better equipped to handle rush hour traffic.
Caffeine and sugar can get you through a lot of things, but those two delightful ingredients are especially effective on the nation’s roadways. They give you the energy to cut off other cars with minimal concern, race around corners on two wheels, and fly through intersections even though the light has been red for two minutes. Go, speed racer, go.
4. Your work performance will improve dramatically.
It is truly remarkable what you can accomplish when your body is vibrating. Since you can’t sit still, you will have no choice but to finalize spreadsheets and produce stunning presentations full of colorful graphs and enthusiastic words. Be careful, however, that you don’t become too invested in your email and lose track of time. You don’t want to miss that first coffee break with that all-important booster shot, or your life could change for the worse in the blink of a quivering eyelid. (Not that you can actually blink right now, sitting there all bug-eyed and hyper, but let’s not digress.)
5. You can amaze others with your ability to speak rapidly.
This is really fun. Now that your capacity for speech delivery is three times faster than the national human average, you can terrorize your co-workers with the inane gush of verbiage you can spew. For extra laughs, be sure to corner a workmate who doesn’t drink coffee and therefore doesn’t understand why you are talking like that. Watch their eyes widen in fear as you reach maximum speed, sounding like a Mynah bird on crack. I guarantee you at least one of them will drop to their knees in fervent prayer. (They also might try to stab you with a pencil, so never turn your back on them.)
6. You can lose weight.
When consumed continuously, you can survive for weeks on nothing but coffee and air. Hurray! Of course, there’s the pesky side effect of grinding your teeth so loudly that the Seismological Institute will issue an earthquake warning, but at least you can finally wear those jeans that you haven’t touched since college. (“Nothing comes between me and my Calvins. Love, Brooke.” Two points if you get the reference. Three points if you don’t care.)
7. You can impress people by purchasing expensive beverages.
Nothing says “I have arrived” like walking through the door holding a concoction from Starbucks that costs more than a year’s tuition at the state university. Be sure you hold the cup in a way so that everyone can see all the special instructions scribbled on the side, confirming you are indeed one of “those people” who take twenty minutes to order while the rest of the line is in tears. (“Why is he allowed to live? WHY!”)
8. You can make excellent, life-long friends.
Coffee drinkers stick together. They will have your back for eternity. This level of support will prove critical during times of caffeine emergency. Sitting on your kitchen floor in sheer traumatized panic after discovering that you did NOT have a backup bag of coffee beans stashed behind the toaster? No worries. Just hit “2” on your cell phone and Velma Lou will have two tons of freshly-roasted jewels air-lifted to your house within ten minutes. (“Honey, I could sense an imbalance in the world as soon as I woke up, so I hoped in my pickup truck and checked the police scanner. Sure enough, I got an alert that you were bean-less, and that just won’t do.”)
9. You get to go on a lot of exciting bathroom tours.
Lots of coffee equals lots of peeing. It’s just a fact of nature. If you are truly dedicated to your consumption craft, you learn to instinctively determine where all comfort facilities are located in any given environment. And during these sudden relief runs, you will get to experience the entire spectrum of recycling stations, from the high-end (the exquisite lavatory at the posh sushi restaurant where the toilet actually does a biometric body scan and pings when your bladder is empty) to the very low-end (squatting over a bucket behind Grannie Mae’s Bait Shack because you made a wrong turn and there’s not enough time to get back to civilization).
10. You can now get an amazing number of things done around the house.
As evening approaches, you will be too wired to actually sit down and watch TV or calmly talk to your children. It’s just not possible. So put that energy to use. Tackle the projects that tired people would avoid because they don’t appreciate chemical dependency. Re-tile the bathroom. Clean out the gutters. Build that second story you’ve always talked about. And don’t worry if your frenzied activities take you deep into the night and you realize that you may not get any sleep. It’s all good.
Because in just a few more hours, you can put on another pot of coffee, and the world will once again be your stimulant-enhanced oyster…
Originally published in “The Sound and the Fury” on 04/05/10 and “Bonnywood Manor” on 12/14/15. Some changes made. Note #1: I no longer do the sugar thing with my coffee, which somewhat negates the proper preparation of my brew. Now it’s just nectar with creamer, and it’s fairly safe to make me a mug, should you be contemplating the risk. Note #2: Previously, I got a bit of flack over the photo for this piece, with some folks not pleased that I would be spotlighting those landfill-destined K-cups. I now use the “Fulton St.” brand, an environmentally-friendly line that features clever cups where, post-use, you simply break a little tab and the little bag o’ coffee pops out so you can throw it in the trash and then recycle the plastic cup. If only we could get rid of Trump that way…
Categories: 10 Reasons Why