Coffee and the Absence Thereof


Cups of coffee I have per day: 2

Cups of coffee I have per day when my husband isn’t here to make it: 0

On a scale of 1 to 10, how bad those days are: 9.5

Our coffee machine is a diva.

Don’t be jealous. Our very same, 12-cup Cuisinart has starred in several movies and TV shows, including Two and a Half Men. I couldn’t tell you the other shows, but I’m sure my husband could.

Here we are, watching a TV show. Is the villain going to pay someone to kill the hero? Is the soccer mom going to get a parking ticket? Is the kid going to steal a Twinkie from the cookie jar?

I wouldn’t know. And I might never know.

My husband: Oh my gosh!

Me: What?!?!

TV: I’ve never loved you, you robot zombie, because you cheated on me with…

My husband: There it is!

Me: What?!?!?!

TV: You didn’t! Why did you withhold that vital piece of information? It was a clue that would have helped us solve the…

My husband: Wait for it… OK, behind the… there it is…

Me: Shhhh!

My husband: Our coffee machine!

TV: Scrolling credits.

My husband is obsessed with our coffee machine. I procure the whole beans (Sumatra or Verona), then he grinds them, puts them in the filter, fills up the water, makes… enough for both of us, and voila!

Except when he doesn’t.

I kind of only notice when he doesn’t. Unfortunately, my kids do, too.

See, he has this science-y job where he sometimes makes coffee at 4:30 in the morning, then disappears in a flash of smoke cute car, leaving me with… cold coffee. Because our coffee machine is such a diva that she only works for two hours a day. She doesn’t even get out of bed for a one-cupper. And by 6:45, when normal humans are emerging from beds across the world, she has switched to “off”, and there is no drink-able coffee.

Or my husband travels to cool places that usually have better weather than here, and he calls to wake us up with some kind of bongo drum and conga line in the background, and I realize that this is yet another day when good coffee will not be brewed in our household.

These are not good days.

My BFF running partner asks what you might also be wondering: Why don’t you make it yourself?

To which I reply: It doesn’t taste good.

BFF: Haven’t you ever watched him make it?

Me: Yes, and he does tricky things and is probably lying about the measurements so I will have to stay married to him forever.

But really, because it is a day where the coffee was not made for me, these responses come out sounding more like: Mmph. Errg.

My children see no red lights and hear no dripping noises and walk around me in wide, avoidant circles, giving me lots of space.

This is because I am like a woman who has been body-snatched on Non-Coffee-Days (NCD).

I usually only drink coffee once the kiddos have left for the bus. Then I pour some, drink it and go running. Or pour some, drink it and sit at the computer to work. Or pour some, then pour some more.

Because I am on automatic pilot on many days, if I miss the coffee part of my routine, I sometimes forget that I haven’t had any. This is very bad.

The low-grade headache starts when I am working. Then I keep doing things and try not to notice.

Then I do more things and pick up groceries and interview people and try to be nice to neighbors and dumb stuff like that.

And then the whole world starts annoying me.

Maybe I even try to make coffee, and it’s really bad, and it reinforces my feelings of the world being pretty darn annoying.

By the time the kids get home from school, I look like a normal person on the outside, but inside, my brain has been snatched.

Sometimes on those days, they ask very nicely, “Ummmm… Mommy? When is Daddy going to be home?” They Skype with my husband at work or on the road and hold up the empty coffee pot with fear in their eyes.

Then my husband is home, and the Cuisinart 12-cupper gets order restored in a jiffy.

I like to think that I keep the house in order, but my husband and the coffee machine beg to differ.


10 thoughts on “Coffee and the Absence Thereof

  1. Melissa says:

    Oh dear! This had me laughing! I can see him precisely measuring the coffee in his science-y way. I can see the actual look on his face and that slightly anal retentive way that it all must be done. I, for some unknown reason, can see the expression on your son’s face as he shows the empty pot to you husband while you daughter looks on from a safe distance and I’m laughing. Maybe you need a second pot with a timer set for just for you….just a suggestion.

  2. Elizabeth says:

    I’m glad to hear other households have this problem. I have a 12 cup drip coffee machine in my writing room (a Cuisinart cousin of your husband’s machine) so I can feed my caffeine addiction. My husband has an espresso machine, his beloved Sylvia, in the kitchen for his morning espresso. Sylvia joined our family four years ago and I have yet to successfully get her to give even a drop of decent espresso. I don’t think she likes me. Our children know that a happy family begins their day with a good jolt.

  3. crubin says:

    Looks like you need some Starbucks gift cards!

  4. So funny – my OH makes me coffee every morning:)

  5. […] I’d like to thank Anne at Writing by the Numbers who awarded me with the Kreativ Blogger award.  It’s lovely to be appreciated and know someone actually reads my posts:)  Anne blogs about writing, running and her opinions on life in general including coffee […]

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