A long time ago I drank a lot of coffee. Well, a long LONG time ago I didn’t drink any coffee. But then I started, got out of control, and sometimes drank six cups a day. I wasn’t even a nurse or grad student. I was just someone who worked in retail and socialized at coffee shops and stayed up too late.
I gave it up, and then slowly started again. My average coffee consumption is one large cup, occasionally two, per day. Except when I was pregnant the first time, when coffee made me nauseated so I drank tea. (When I was pregnant the second time there was no way on this earth I would get from home to daycare to work to daycare to home without coffee, so that’s why Eli is crazy, because he was cooked in a caffeinated, stressed-out soup.)
One or two cups of coffee a day doesn’t feel like an addiction. A habit, yes. A nice, friendly habit. Something you do because it’s pleasant and you enjoy it, not because you have to.
As Saint Aardvark is fond of saying, “That turns out not to be the case.”
Over the weekend, our house had The Barfs. Really it was only Arlo who barfed, but we were watching ourselves and Eli closely because DOOMPANICNOROVIRUS has been in the news for months now and part of me was excited because we could get the Norovirus over with already and get on with our lives, but part of me–most of me–was NOT excited because I hate barf. Barf is not my speciality. And before you say “it’s not anyone’s specialty, you lunatic,” let me add, there are people for whom it is no big deal. I have met those people. I am in awe of them. Though many of them freak out at the thought of green snot in a child’s nose, so: parenting. It’s a buffet of things you may or may not hate!
True to our history with The Barfs, Eli didn’t get sick, SA waited until last, Arlo improved drastically within 24 hours and within that same 24 hours, I started to feel queasy. This is my thing. Two years ago it had me frantically googling queasy NOT PREGNANT Gastroenteritis NOT FLU cancer but now I know, it’s just how I get stomach viruses. I feel like I might barf for some period of time (the longest was two weeks. TWO WEEKS OF FEELING QUEASY NOT PREGNANT) and then one day I wake up and don’t feel that way anymore.
So on Sunday, that queasy, might-barf feeling in my throat, I cancelled all the plans because of course this was the weekend we had all the plans, drank a pot of ginger tea, got into bed, held all my calls, read stuff, and napped. And lo! Rest cures the wicked and on Monday I felt much better, which was handy because Arlo still felt bad and SA was on his last legs.
Yet! Yesterday I decided to not drink my morning cup of coffee, because when I have my queasy-times, a cup of coffee generally sets them off again. I had some weak tea and a lot of water. I got through the whole day yesterday without coffee, which to me said “Hey, maybe you could give up coffee! Or not? Your choice!”
This morning I woke up with a headache that felt like Tom Waits in a metal shed recording a new album based on the moral collapse of North America.
“Oh no, oh hell, oh what have I got now, is it ‘flu it can’t be ‘flu I got the shot, oh oh oh” I thought, or attempted to think. I came downstairs, drank a big cup of coffee and somewhere halfway through that cup of coffee felt quite suddenly as though I could conquer small countries if only the prime minister would give me the go-ahead and some money to hire an army and I had the inclination to conquer small countries. Not only that, but I could go for a run, come back, make healthy food, force the kids to eat it, write a novel, publish that novel, go on a book tour, get a master’s degree in country-conquering
you get the idea. I went into the kitchen, dancing, singing, “coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee COFFFEEEEE!” and so I think it’s safe to say that no amount of coffee is a safe amount and I am clearly an addict. And that I should probably never try cocaine.