Table for Two: The Importance of Being Caffeinated

I’ve been drinking coffee since I was six years old. Yes, I know it seems a little young and probably contributed to my (lack of) height. True love knows no age.

Every Sunday after church my family would go out to breakfast, and I would always take on the task of preparing my mom’s coffee. I would shake the Sweet’N Low packets in a bunch, making sure all of the synthetic sugar crystals slid to the bottom before ripping them open and unleashing my own personal blizzard into the cup. Then, I’d carefully tear the tops off of two half and half containers and slowly pour both into the inky darkness. I loved watching how the creamer made patterns in the drink. After a quick stir, my mom would then fill one of the thimble-sized half and half containers with a tiny bit of coffee– my own personal cup to enjoy alongside my kid’s French toast sticks. It was one of the many ways my mother showed her love.

Hot drinks and relationships go hand in hand. A recent study showed that people who were seen holding a cup of coffee were considered more trustworthy and welcoming. In the same vein, people holding a warm drink viewed strangers they passed in a more positive light, too. With this win-win situation, no wonder the coffee date has become so popular. Those cafes are simply begging for people to get cozy: the dark wood furnishings create a sense of comfort, the slightly noisy atmosphere forces people closer in order to hear each other, and that dim lighting and alterna-indie-folk-rock soundtrack makes anyone feel more romantic.

It may be unfair but my date’s stance on coffee means an awful lot to how long I think the relationship’s going to last. My first major boyfriend in college despised coffee so much that he tried to convince me to quit my habit. He’d order us both root beers when we’d go out to dinner, and would refuse to kiss me if I had recently had a cup and hadn’t brushed my teeth directly afterward. Am I crazy for thinking this was crazy? No? Okay, good. Needless to say, this boy didn’t make the cut. My next boyfriend claimed he loved coffee, that he had a cup every day, that he loved that whole coffeehouse scene. But did we ever go out to coffee? No. Did we ever go out anywhere? No. Readers, never trust liars, especially when lattes are on the line.

I was starting to lose hope, thinking that I would either have to compromise my addiction and settle for Coca-Cola to get me through my early classes, or be okay with being alone, accepting that Seattle’s Best was the best a caffeine cat like myself could ever ask for. That was until I met my current boyfriend, Mike. I could go on and on about how smart, attractive, and charming he is, because it’s true. However, this is not the focus of my article. The important thing to know about this relationship is that it is full of coffee. Mike and I have, what I like to call, coffee compatibility. We both have the same level of dependency, needing it to function in the morning and not shying away from it at noon or night either. The first night I stayed over at his place, I tossed and turned at the nightmare of there not being a Mr. Coffee hard at work when I woke up. I’m basically the Krakken without caffeine in the morning, and since Mike is no Davy Jones, I didn’t think that would be the best side of me for him to see. However, as I noted earlier, I snagged a smart one. Not only was I woken up to a steaming hot beverage in bed, Mike didn’t just serve me Folgers or Maxwell house, no, no. He treated me to a very large cup of espresso, unaware that Americanos had become my new favorite. And unlike those fancy schmancy chain coffee shops, not only was I able to enjoy my drink in the comfort of my own pajamas, it wasn’t served in a little mug or post-consumer-recycled cardboard cup. My boy doesn’t mess around; he gave me a pint of espresso. I was amazed at how spot on he was with my likes without even asking me. As he handed the drink to me he said if I didn’t like something I should tell him, and he’d fix it. He wanted to make sure I was getting only things that I liked.

Yeah. It’s safe to say he’s doing fine with that.

While I’ve centered this post around warm drinks and such, the message goes beyond coffee, hot chocolate, London Fogs, or otherwise. It’s about finding someone who understands and appreciates your likes and dislikes, and tries his or her hardest to treat you well based on these personal quirks. They don’t even have to be the same preferences; Mike is fascinated by space while it completely terrifies me. However, if he told me that he wanted to build a spaceship in the backyard, I’d stand by him because I know it’d make him happy. I’d just make sure this rocket was equipped with a Keurig before liftoff.

Johanna Caruthers just graduated with an English degree from McDaniel College. She is terrified about post-grad life, but is looking into becoming a professional body glitter tester.

Originally posted on Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

One Response to “Table for Two: The Importance of Being Caffeinated”

  1. Mari

    July 30th, 2012

    This was so cute! Loved this take on coffee and relationships.

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