I’ve always been a gizmo/gadget kinda gal. I’m not ashamed to admit I like them; and am always willing to make room for another one. I’m not necessarily the first in line to buy the ‘newest’ thingamabob on the market, but it’s pretty damn close.
So it’s been sort of surprising, to all who know me, that I’ve been so resistant to buying one of those one-cup coffee makers. You know the ones I mean. You fill the cylinder (or whatever it’s called) with water whenever it’s empty, insert one of those already-filled-with-pre-measured-coffee doodahs in the appropriate place and presto — a steaming, freshly-brewed cup of your favourite java in mere seconds.
It’s not like I don’t know they exist. All my friends have them. And years ago, when there was only one kind on the market — at least here in Canada — an early-adopter business partner of mine bought one and raved about it. Like me, she’s single and loved the fact she could have a cup of coffee without having to make a pot — the balance of which usually gets tossed down the sink. And there’s no muss, no fuss. No filters to throw away, no coffee grinds all over the sink, nothing to wash out when you’re done, except your cup.
She couldn’t convince me.
Neither could anyone else, even when they demonstrated and served me the most delicious little cup of espresso, which required absolutely no skill on anyone’s part.
“No”, I’d insist. “I don’t need one. I love going to Starbucks first thing in the morning. I bring my computer and spend hours there, writing. I like the buzz of human energy.” Which was true. I was telling the truth. And that would be that, until someone else tried to sell me on the idea of buying one.
Why am I telling you this?
Because I just came across this recent WordPress Daily Post: “Our days are organized around numerous small actions we repeat over and over. What’s your favourite daily ritual?” And you won’t believe what it’s become.
Well, not exactly. I know what you’re thinking. I finally caved in and bought one.
That would be the wrong guess. But you’re close.
A very good friend bought one for me. As a gift. I had no idea. My doorman called me one morning and said there was a delivery man downstairs with a parcel for me. I was perplexed, to say the least, but I said it was okay to send him upstairs. I assumed it was an envelope I needed to sign for. So ask me how shocked I was when I opened my door to see him standing there, with a huge box on the floor next to him. The dialogue went something like this:
Me: What’s this?
Him: I don’t know.
Me: I didn’t order anything.
Him: It has your name on it.
Me: It must be a mistake.
Him: How can it be a mistake? It has your name on it.
Me: I don’t want it.
Him: But it has your name on it.
Me: It must be a mistake. I didn’t order anything. Don’t you think I’d know if I ordered something this big?
Him: So you want me to take it away?
Me: Yes. Please.
Him: It’s for you. It says so right here (pointing to the name and address).
Me: But I didn’t order anything.
Him: Let me open it first and show you what it is.
Him: Do you have a knife or something I can cut the tape with? (upon reflection he may have been thinking about slitting my throat — or his own).
Me: (sigh). Just a minute.
Him: Thanks. (He cut the tape, opened the box, and revealed the contents. A Cuisinart one-cup coffee maker).
Me: I didn’t order that.
Him: (sigh). Well it has your name on it.
Me: (big, long, drawn-out, dramatic sigh). Well I didn’t buy it. I don’t want it. Send it back please. It’s a mistake. Somebody ordered one of these and didn’t get it.
Him: But it has your name on it, not somebody else’s. This is you, right??????? How’d they get your name if you didn’t order it?
Me: How should I know? But it’s not my problem. I didn’t order it.
Him: Just a minute, here’s the waybill. Why don’t you just check it out before I take it away? I’m here already.
Me: OK. (He still had the knife. I was thinking I should cooperate or he might stab me with it).
Me: (after staring at the invoice for at least 5 minutes, confused — it wasn’t actually a waybill, it was an invoice). Oh, I’ll be damned. What’d she do that for?
Me: A friend of mine bought this for me. I didn’t know. She didn’t tell me, she just bought it.
Him: (looking confused) Isn’t that nice?
Me: Hmmmm … what’d she do that for?
Him: (hopefully) So I can go now?
Me: Yeah, I suppose so.
Him: And I’m leaving the box with you?
Me: Yeah, I suppose so.
And, handing me my knife, in a flash he was gone, disappearing down the hall toward the elevators, before I could change my mind.
As soon as I’d dragged the box into the living room I called my friend. “What’d you do that for?” I asked as soon as she’d answered the phone. She had no idea what I was talking about, because she’d mailed me a card that would have explained everything — expecting the card would arrive before the gift. Which, clearly, it hadn’t.
By now I was over my shock and thanked her. It was such a lovely, generous gesture.
Knowing I have no patience for reading instructions and no talent with gizmos, she insisted on giving me a tutorial. She refused to get off the phone until I removed said coffee maker from the box and the styrofoam and the cardboard and the plastic wrap; and she went through it all with me, button by button, piece by piece, step by step.
All this before 10 a.m. It’s a lot for someone like me, who needs time to come to terms with the world in the morning. A strong cup of coffee would have been very welcome, except I didn’t care for the ‘flavours’ included. So that would have to wait, unfortunately. I settled for tea and re-arranged my counter (one of my least favourite things to do), to make room for my gift.
Looking back at it now, the whole ‘event’ had a John Cleese feeling to it.
Now you know what my favourite daily ritual is.
There is nothing, in my opinion anyway, so wonderfully indulgent as enjoying a large mug of my favourite Starbucks brew while I’m still in my jammies. While my hair isn’t even combed. Before I’ve even had a shower. Just me, the newspaper and my coffee. Nothing else. And now that the weather is finally improving, I can indulge out on my balcony. While I’m still in my jammies.
How’d I ever live without one?