Thursday, October 20, 2011

Coffee, Coffee, Buzz, Buzz, Buzz

I used to hate coffee.
Image: Karen Shaw /
As a teenager, I would adamantly tell my mother, "I'll never ever drink coffee." How could I want to drink something that I'd get addicted to? I was against drugs of all forms, even the legal ones, it just went against my youthful (idiotic) principles.

I managed to hold out for quite a long time. It wasn't until my senior year at WPI during a crunch to finish my major qualifying project that I gave in and had a cup of coffee. I clearly remember walking up to the counter at the Dunkin' Donuts in the campus center and asking for a small hazelnut coffee with cream and sugar.  I remember feeling like I was a traitor to my own beliefs. That didn't matter though, because I was so tired from staying up too late working on a Computer Networks project that I was willing to try anything to get more energy to finish up other parts of school work. I choked it down while contemplating how terrible I thought it tasted.

I caught up on my sleep after that cup of coffee and didn't buy another one for the remainder of the school year. Coffee didn't have a place in my life during college. If I was tired, I slept. I didn't think it tasted all that great either. I graduated and moved out into the real world and started my career as a software engineer. Suddenly, I couldn't just take a nap in the middle of the day if I was sleepy. Suddenly, I had to be up between 6 and 7 AM every weekday.  Suddenly, I wanted coffee. Within the first two weeks of starting my job, I went out and purchased a tiny 4-cup coffee brewer.

Coffee and I had a rather tentative relationship in the early days. I would often spill it on my shirt and my desk, burn my tongue, select a flavor that was not tasty and abuse it by adding more artificial sweetener than anyone should. Coffee and I learned to set our boundaries, so that I wouldn't be left tossing and turning as I attempted to fall asleep at night. Four years later, I have a healthy relationship with my coffee. No longer are there daily coffeetastrophes at my desk or on my shirt. No longer do I abuse it with any sweeteners, I allow it to be completely natural.

And if anyone was wondering at the title of this post, my love for coffee has grown so much that my favorite ice cream is Ben and Jerry's Coffee, Coffee, Buzz, Buzz, Buzz.