Perking Up

In “Anecdotal Tales”, stories will be told. Some will be fun, some will not. Some will be great, some will be less so. Some stories are true, some are merely possible. This is one of them.

(Much of this is inspired by a YouTube video, which can be found here.) 

Perking Up

Coffee makes for better lives.  On a practical level, it is a caffeinated drink capable of waking people up; helping them to face what might be an arduous day.  It is warm, comforting; its distinct aroma wafting towards the person and coaxing them onward.  While all this is helpful and valuable, those little dark beans go one step further.  Coffee brings people together.

Simple human interaction is only improved when coffee is brought into the picture.  Employers long ago learned that coffee is a way to keep their staff content.  Meetings operate with the assumption that there will be coffee.  Business men have a list of accessories that they should carry with them; umbrellas, briefcases, business cards, and a coffee cup.  Is there a greater affront in the office world than finishing up the last of the coffee pot and, heaven forbid, not brewing more?  A common yet appreciated show of gratitude is often expressed through buying one’s coworker a cup o’ Joe or a gift card to their local java joint.

Coffee is a safe suggestion.  People who are curious about job openings ask the folks hiring to coffee.  When folks want a break from their cubicle lives, they go in groups to get coffee.  (Should the occasional scone or doughnut happen to follow them back to the office; well, that’s just a force that cannot be denied.)  In a society that shirks and looks down at smoke breaks, coffee breaks continue to be something that anyone can tag along for.  Even those that do not drink coffee can help themselves to tea.  Or, if they are brave enough, an individual might just risk ridicule and order a hot chocolate.

Coffee gets things going, and not just in the ways of alertness.  Teenagers get one of their first views of adulthood when they are allowed to have their own coffee.  Associates become friends when cups are sipped together.  “Catch up over coffee sometime” is an oft-repeated invite.  Running buddies can reward themselves for sweating through early morning laps in the cold with a shared trip to a nearby coffee shop.  Asking someone to a fancy dinner or out to dancing one night might come across as daunting, but there is something simple and earnest about a guy asking a gal out for coffee.

The roasted drink will not start a relationship all by itself, but it certainly helps.  During the awkward first date, coffee is there to be a supportive prop.  The frustrating lulls in conversation can be tamed by letting one person aimlessly stir with a small sliver of wood.  Suitors that desperately want to reach out and take the hand of that special someone can instead occupy themselves with being warmed by the hot drink.  Holding hands, interlocking fingers; this all might happen a little further down the road.  In the meantime, they can be shuffle the sleeve up and down on the cup; their nervousness betrayed only through the drink they hold.

When coffee goes from being an excuse to meet and becomes an expression of affection; that is when things really get interesting.  The mark of an attentive significant other is that “they know how I like my coffee”.  Many are those that can recite another’s sentence-long coffee order and bring it back to their loved one, confident that they have remembered properly.  There may not be enough food or time to cook breakfast for that special someone, but making (or lacking the proper skills or supplies, going out and buying) coffee is a nice way to take care of that loved one who likes to sleep in a little bit longer than their mate. 

As the relationship grows and changes, coffee comes along to help out.  Late night discussions, whether they be serious “where is this going” talks or hilarious trips down memory lane with the help of photos, are made longer and more enjoyable when there is coffee to keep attentiveness up.  One can hardly be expected to help their boyfriend study if they have not brought enough caffeine.  The hard times, the emergencies, the traumas; all are made a little more endurable when a loved one and coffee are present.  The yearning for that smoky creation is needed as long talks of wedding plans are made.  It must be accepted that coffee and newborn children are meant to go together like pajamas and duckies.

Time passes, bonds are made stronger, and coffee comes along for the ride.  Parents sip their coffee, trying to keep warm as their child runs around in the rain.  And when the moment of victory comes, their child kicking the winning goal, parents get so excited that a few drops of coffee spilled from their cup are nothing compared with their need to clap and cheer on their little champ.  The family car should have as many cup-holders as possible, but they are absolute necessities for the two adult-sized seats in the front.  (A family road trip where there is no place for parents to put their coffee is no vacation for anyone.)  As the night gets late and the teenager’s curfew has long since passed, it is coffee that will keep the diligent parent up and awake; ready to dole out punishment for their child’s school-night tardiness.

As the years go by and the world changes, the need for coffee remains present.  Old men go to coffee shops and order their coffee black.  They do not need complications in their life like syrups or milk.  They just want coffee.  They are done worrying about being employed.  Their kids are all raised.  Life should be simple in the twilight years and it is only natural that their coffee be straightforward as well.  A sad fate awaits those who try to complicate a man’s coffee, but it is nothing compared to the protectiveness a family man will have for his first granddaughter.

Sand drops through the hourglass, keeping time with the coffee that drips into the pot.  The two go along together, sending people on their way.  Life goes much the same as it has before. Folks can dress it up, but coffee plays much the same role it did a generation ago.  Coffee means companionship.  Coffee means showing you care.  Coffee means being there when the world seems lacking in warmth.  Coffee represents that constant; the one that will be right alongside you when a little encouragement goes a long way.  Coffee is a nice thing to have around, a welcome staple in countless homes.  In the end, it is all just a cup that might scald you if it is not accompanied with tenderness and love.

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About anecdotaltales
He's a simple enough fellow. He likes movies, comics, radio shows from the 40's, and books. He likes to write and wishes his cat wouldn't shed on his laptop.

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