Tag Archives: Starbucks

Different Cups of Coffee

10 Aug


c2a98633-8524-45d7-9844-0aedd3daff88Today I found myself falling back in love with my husband. This is no small feat considering we’ve been together since 1985, married over thirty years with four children, during which time I’ve learned many things, one being that I’m absolutely capable of murder.

As most married couples, we have our certain routines. Please don’t tell anyone, but we eat breakfast at McDonald’s. Often. And there is an exact procedure that we follow with our breakfast ritual: Before leaving the house, I order my Venti Decaf Skinny Mocha from Starbucks using the app on my phone so I don’t have to wait in line (one of the greatest inventions ever created.) Then I drop Rene off at McDonald’s and head over to Anna’s Bakery where I order him a sesame bagel (double toasted), a muffin for me (pumpkin or blueberry oatmeal) and a crème-filled chocolate donut for Isa if she’s with us. We then meet up at McDonald’s where Rene has ordered scrambled eggs and his beloved McDonald’s coffee. We grab a window table and after greeting the locals, we eat our breakfast and talk.

Most times we talk about our work, our students—our family and friends. We often run into people we know (it’s astounding how many people my husband knows in our community) and have a quick chat with them. Sometimes, during our conversations we get angry with each other, usually when the topic is our children; he wants to push them and I want to defend them. Mostly, we talk and laugh. Throughout the years we’ve had some deep, philosophical discussions under the glare of those fluorescent lights.

Today was really no different than usual, except that as René spoke about his latest trip back home to Oaxaca, and how much he appreciates his life there and well as the life we’ve created together here, I realized how deep my love is for my husband. I’m so very lucky to be married to a man who is so different than I—in language, culture and background. Over the years, he’s exposed me to a world I never would have known or appreciated if I had married someone like me. And I guess I’ve done the same for him. The reality is that although we sip our coffee from two different cups, we’re drinking the same thing.

The other night, René pulled out some love letters I’d written to him when he’d gone back to Oaxaca after we first began dating in 1985. The words written by that young girl were so full of love and promise. At twenty-three, she didn’t know if he was coming back to her, but it didn’t matter. She loved him and she wasn’t afraid to tell him.

She must’ve been a pretty persuasive writer because he ended up coming back. And it’s been a pretty good life so far. We’ll see how it goes over the next thirty years.

You can find us having coffee at McDonald’s.

Coffee, Anyone?

26 Apr


It’s Coffee Week. Now, up until about six months ago, I could’ve cared less whether it was Coffee Week or not (now, Chocolate Week—that’s a week I could care deeply about.)

When it came to coffee, I didn’t get the whole “need that morning cup” routine that my husband performed on a daily basis. I rarely drank the bitter stuff. Maybe I’d swig half a cup down (as long as it had lots of cream and sugar) along with a huge slice (or two) of lemon Poppy seed cake with cream-cheese frosting.  (FYI, coffee actually works quite well as a thinning agent when trying to shovel huge carb-laden bites of greasy fat molecules into one’s mouth as quickly as possible.)

Then last July I got sick of my body being fat and I stopped eating so much crap. I went on a high protein diet (whoops, I mean I went on a high protein life-style change) and started exercising. To date, I have lost almost forty pounds. This is good news for me, as I’ve probably extended my life by at least five years. This is even better news for Starbucks because now they are getting a daily $4.05 from me by selling me a Grande Decaf Skinny Mocha every afternoon at around one o’clock so that I don’t go crazy and go back to eating lemon poppy seed cake with cream-cheese frosting.

Yikes, I just did the math right now—all this coffee buying adds up to about $120 every single month. And since I’ve just extended my life by five years, that’s another $7200 Starbucks has coming!

Because when one is addicted to sugar as I am, one needs to replace this sugar with something that makes one’s body and mind think that one is consuming sugar when one really isn’t. In reality, I could fix myself a cup of decaf at home, add some fake sugar and some sugar free chocolate sauce and it would pretty much taste the same. Actually, I have done this, and it does taste the same. But it’s just not the same experience.

Because I guess what I really love is the ritual that a coffee house offers. I love that when I go into my local Starbucks, I feel as if I’m walking into a special club that offers warm lighting, hip music, and a lovely glass case of delectable treats that usually I only look at unless I’m PMS-ing, in which case I treat myself to a warm cinnamon bun or a chocolate croissant. I like that the person working behind the counter acts especially happy to see me (I realize this is not always true, and that it’s just good training on Starbuck’s part in order to make every customer feel special, but I like to pretend that the barista really does look forward to seeing my smiling face every afternoon.)

I love carrying my coffee in its pristine white paper cup, which for some unknown reason makes the coffee taste better to me (I know, a completely ridiculous notion as well as super bad for the environment) then getting in my sun-warmed car in the parking lot and slurping that sweet, sugar-free mocha liquid out of a little hole in the lid like I’m a baby sucking on a bottle.

Weird, I know (and a pretty gross visual), but we all have our issues to work on.

Jerry Seinfeld sums it up nicely on NPR: http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2013/04/26/179049781/so-jerry-seinfeld-called-us-to-talk-about-coffee

So call me sometime—we’ll go get coffee….

And Happy Coffee Week–or what’s left of it.