I never warmed up to coffee. In my family, that’s like saying I’m iffy on newborn kittens or lukewarm on inheriting large amounts of money from distant relatives. When I was a kid, I loved the smell that wafted from my Daddy’s cracked stoneware mug and wrapped around me like an aromatic hug on cold mornings. I would put my little hands around the sides of the cup to warm my fingers. But I’d sooner drink kitty litter laced pine sap.
When I grew up I married Bill. That man goes through coffee like Rosie goes through Republicans. He would be perfectly comfortable installing a coffee-lick in the kitchen. So, with a sense of maturity and in the spirit of togetherness and shared experiences, I agreed to share a coffee moment with him. He poured a gallon of black, noxious liquid into his cup. I put a drop of coffee in mine. And added sugar. I kept adding sugar until the mixture in the cup reached the consistency of, say, low tide in your average quicksand bog. I braved a taste. Equally as appealing.
“It’s an acquired taste,” he said, licking a coffee dribble from the side of his mug.
“I’ve acquired things before,” I answered, wedging a spoon into my cup. “Cast off clothes from older sisters, stray dogs from the neighbors, expensive jewelry from. . .never mind that one. But I haven’t yet acquired a taste for bitter liquids that require a possum’s weight in sugar to make them fit for consumption.”
We shared a moment of silence.
“Starbucks?” he asked.
“Sure! Can I have a cookie?”
Coffee may be for grown-ups, but chocolate chips are forever.