I’m thinking about starting to take my coffee black.
Over time I’ve slowly upped from coffee-mate to milk to half-n-half to cream, and although it’s been fun, it’s time to for the cream to go. But coffee with low fat milk or non-fat coffee-mate just doesn’t taste very good to me any longer. I know it’s just a matter of adjusting back down the scale and getting used to the low-test stuff. And since I have to do that anyway, I’m thinking about going to black coffee. But somehow this calls my identity into question. Over the years, a thousand waitresses have asked me how I take my coffee, and I’ve answered “milk, no sugar”. And in my life, I have had over 30,000 cups of coffee, each with milk and only milk; and each one pinned another small nail into my identity.
I seem to have some stereotypes associated with coffee drinkers. A person who takes cream and sugar is a person who is somehow not as adult as someone who doesn’t need sugar. They do not recognize that the coffee gods exist and risk their wraith at every turn. A person who takes their coffee black is somehow more mature. They are a serious coffee drinker; they have streamlined their coffee process down to the most efficient intake system there can be. They worship at the alter of the coffee gods and are proud of it. But somebody who only takes cream in their coffee; that person has achieved a balanced relationship with the coffee gods. They are young at heart, no matter what their age. They take the extra time to make the common things special and stop to smell the roses.
So now I face the chasm made up of my own stereotypes and must decide if I will put on the mien of a stream lined black coffee drinker. Maybe I should look on the bright side and see this as a good way to simplify my life. Maybe a combination of positive affirmations (‘I am a black coffee drinker’) and empty cupboard syndrome will make this transition easier. I’m not sure if my stereotypes or my identity will change when I take the plunge and start drinking my coffee black. I hope it’s my stereotypes, because otherwise I will need to go out and purchase an alter to the coffee gods, and everybody knows how expensive those are.