When I was little, I used to steal my Grandma’s coffee. I loved the way it tasted—warm and a little bitter, but most importantly, I felt like a grown up. My mommy had some in her cup every morning, my grammy would have some too & I wanted to be just like them when I grew up. So whenever I was over, I would steal the sips out of my Grandma’s mug when I thought she wasn’t looking, but she knew it was me. Who else? My sister was 2 1/2 tops, at this point, and she had other things to do. The coffee was mine for the taking. But instead of scolding me for taking her coffee, my Grandma poured me a small cup of my own, and said it was “okay to have a little.”
I did not stop stealing sips of her coffee until I eventually could have my own cups. I stole some from my mother too. My mom didn’t want me to start drinking coffee for health reasons (fair) but I wanted desperately to be seen as older than I was. I was mature enough for coffee Mom! I could handle it! I was done growing! All of my arguments were made. My mom eventually started letting me drink coffee every day with her when I was in the 6th grade. It was big doings because I had to wake up an hour earlier than everyone for the middle school bus. I got to have coffee with Mom & I felt like my life was going to happen. Maybe I’d even get asked on a date! That could happen to coffee drinkers, my 12 year old self pondered while sipping her watered down coffee.
Slowly 2 of my sisters started to join in as they too had to get up earlier and earlier. Our days were getting more packed, and somewhere along the way, the coffee time in the morning became scarcer and scarcer. Coffee in the mornings were purely for purpose instead of socializing. Days and schedules were discussed. Things were in motion. The cups we had were on-the-go.
Coffee in college brought back some more aspect of socializing. I had study groups in small Starbucks, and I had some groups where we would stop to grab each other coffee before class if it was on the way–it became a point of discussion. “Oh man, my night was so busy studying xyz…pass the coffee!” In academia, business, pretty much any aspect of life– being overtired becomes glamorous at some point, so you better have a signature drink to match. After college, I entered into the working world where coffee was again an on-the-go experience. I frequented drive-thrus, mobil-ordered ahead, got my apps. I justified my coffee addiction as “cheaper than cigarettes” but not any more beneficial to my health. I substituted meals for coffee, and felt like I didn’t have time to enjoy any of it because I had other things that were more important.
When I met Ryan, I was not in a good place. I had been on a road of anger directed at everyone and everything. I felt really lonely, but instead of admitting that, I lashed out and grew distant, or overshared as a test of people’s loyalty. I didn’t know how to be a good friend. Ryan & I met under funny circumstances, and not in our best state of mind thanks to another liquid. We hit it off and ended up going on dates, tip-toeing around the topic for 1 month before he asked me to be his girlfriend with a mouthful of Sour-patch kids. He was introverted like myself, but his sense of humor made me double over. I remembered thinking “I love laughing with him” after a date where he had made me dinner, and couldn’t get the wine bottle to open.
Falling in love with Ryan reminded me about my first stolen sips of coffee. His whole persona was like a cup made just for me–warm, inviting and grown up. He did not want to play games with me, he wanted a real relationship. He wanted to make me laugh and hear about my day, or tell me about his–but most importantly to me, he wanted to be as persistent as a cup of coffee. My everyday choice, my forever go-to.
Ryan makes my coffee for me in the morning. Not every day, but about 3 times or so a week, he brings me a cup of coffee that somehow tastes better because he made it. He puts in a dash of cinnamon, and some sugar, but it’s all about the timing. It’s a small way that he shows me love every single day. When I taste the coffee he made for me, I sit and think about the day ahead, or ask him what’s going to be happening in his world for the day. When my coffee is still hot, the day seems to have that much more potential to it. After he leaves for work, while my coffee is still warm, I usually call my Mom or my Grandma. I feel better after checking on both of them, to make sure that they too got a cup of warm coffee & love that day, because that’s what coffee means to me.
Here’s a picture of Ryan:
He’s usually behind the camera, but I made him pose for a shot. He’s wearing a soft grey t-shirt, some blue shorts from an unknown time & some Vans as well.
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