Getting Off The Starbucks Well Maybe
Day Four Of Caffeine No More And Starbucks Is Still Open - Don't Get Me Started!
As a test of my own will and to see what all the fuss is about being decaffeinated, I decided that I needed to give myself a break from the grande Americano I have had just about every morning since the world began (or so it seems). And so I made the bold decision to pass my usual Starbucks by (with all my happy baristas waiting to welcome me like Norm from Cheers) and just go to work. I thought, well now, I'm not one of those people who are addicted to coffee, I can stop any time I want, I just don't want to...stop <realization coming, wait for it...> (Argh, that sounds like every single person who has ever been addicted to something) I had no idea what this was going to be like at all. Day four of caffeine no more and Starbucks is still open - Don't Get Me Started!
There was nothing hugely noticeable on the first day other than the fact that I was really sluggish and had to type everything over at least twice. Hmmm, I thought, must not have gotten enough sleep last night. By the afternoon I had a slight headache which I passed off as just another stressful work related symptom. And as I ended my day I have to say I was feeling mighty good about myself.
Day two and I couldn't get out of bed. I dragged myself to the gym where I closed my eyes on the elliptical machine...yes I was literally falling asleep and doing cardio at the same time! I kept thinking, "Go faster so people will think you have your eyes closed because you're really working hard, going for the burn." And meanwhile at the same time my thoughts are drifting in a million different directions like just before you nod off at night, "Hmmm, Mr. Coffee with Joe Garagiola, I remember those commercials. Wonder why I have so many mugs, I never use them. What about Mrs. Olson what coffee did she used to sell...and who was Juan Valdez, I mean it had to be an actor, right? But did that poor actor ever get another job? Or maybe, I wonder if there really is a Juan Valdezzzzzzzzzz WAKE UP!" I knew this was going to be a very rough day for me. And so it was that this day I had to re-type things a good four hundred times. Emails went out that were so poor and tragically written that they didn't even make sense to me on a second read. It would take another three emails to the person to make some sense of the first email I'd sent. At first I was thinking that it was everyone else but then I had to admit it, it was all me, I couldn't write an intelligible sentence. 800mg of Motrin later and I still had a raging headache.
Day three and I was actually capable of lifting my head off the pillow. Wow, I smell grass, I smell France, I'll put on new underpants! The first hour or so was okay and then I hit the wall. Oh not "the wall" that runners and athletes talk about, I mean, literally I walked into a wall. I guess I had misjudged the distance or where the opening of the hole of the open door was but regardless, I was eating wall. From that moment on the day was shot for me. I couldn't really focus or make much sense of anything. The headache was really bad and I was jonesing for even a whiff of a coffee scented candle.
Today is day four and so far so good but anything could happen (and I'm sure that it will). Well, I just started this sentence three times so we could be in trouble people. The thing is that I was always one of those people who thought that it couldn't happen to them. I don't need it, I want it. We have an entire country of people saying the same thing (thus the reason for all our credit scores) but what has been amazing to me is all of the head games I've been playing with myself without realizing it. I don't drink soda or really any other kind of beverage other than water so I figured that coffee every morning (albeit three shots of espresso) was just my drink and so what? Did I know that my body was craving it? No, it was a habit, wake up, get dressed, go to Starbucks and go to work. It was just part of my routine so it just happened as if I was on automatic pilot.
Should I blame Starbucks for their crack pushing baristas that are soooo friendly, know my name and have my drink started for me before I even get out of my little red Mini Cooper? It would be easy to do, right? You always blame the pusher not the addict, right? Those baristas with their dispositions bordering on the Stepford with their happy, happy times and attitudes saying, "Scott, really I know this may be too sweet for you but do you want to just try the triple sugar cookie, mocha, white chocolate frappaloolah? I won't even charge you, okay?" And isn't that classic pusher behavior, give them "a taste" for free and then they're hooked on the junk? AHHhhh, get this Starbucks stuffed bear dressed in a monkey suit off my back! It IS the barista's fault. Okay, well we know it isn't but it would make it easier for me if I truly believed these people were all part of some insidious plan to take over the universe by getting us all addicted to a substance that made us their pawns.
Suddenly I have this image of a shirtless Charlton Heston (back when he was Moses, in shape and the studio kept us away from knowing just how nuts this guy was, I mean, is) running into the Starbucks with a half empty (yes, I see the world half empty, not half full - whatever) plastic cup (dome lid ajar being held on by the green straw - it was one of the frozen Starbucks drinks) screaming, "Starbucks is made from people!" If that really happened, I think everyone would just look at him and go back in line. And as the business man gets back in line behind the soccer Mom, we hear one of the baristas say, "Gee, I know someone who needs some more coffee!" As she gives her knowing wink amid the mist from the milk frother machine, everyone in line chortles gets their coffee and continues on with their day. Charlton is sitting at one of the outside tables at Starbucks sucking the remaining remnants from his cup. <We hear the sucking noise of plastic and very little liquid in the cup> his thoughts can almost be read, "Maybe it's made from people but I don't care, this shit is so good...mmm...mmm, just like a milkshake but with coffee. I think I'll go buy another seven hundred rifles...and a shirt."
I'm not saying I won't ever have coffee again because I'm one of the few that not only like the smell of it but the taste of it. On the whole, I'm not a big flavored up coffee drinker except for the occasional peppermint mochas (which incidentally, are to die for). But for now, for today, I won't have any coffee. I'll greet each day anew and try to convince myself that I'm so much better without the coffee. I can really feel again when I'm off the hooch, I'm not as irritable, I'm nicer to co-workers, my spouse and my cats. I'm a downright freaking ray of sunshine! And all the while I'm wondering what would happen if I fed the caffeine beast today...what if I went to just a tall instead of a grande? No, must stay away. I thought I was getting better but maybe it's not getting much better at all. I'm doomed. Day four of caffeine no more and Starbucks is still open - Don't Get Me Started!
Read more from Scott at www.somelikeitscott.com