Sunday, May 30, 2010
The Root Of The Evil.
Hi, my name is Abby, and I am a coffee addict. No, seriously. FOR REAL. I love coffee in much the same way that someone addicted to hardcore drugs "loves" their drug of choice. Which is to say, it goes beyond just "love" into "Need", with a capital N. For me there has never been a moment in which I have thought, "Gee, a cup of coffee sure would be nice." What I am thinking is, "For the love of all that is good and holy, I need coffee now, NOWNOWNOWNOW, or I will cease to exist. I will stop breathing if I do not have coffee this instant. I will possibly pick up that dining room chair and smash it into the wall if I do not have caffeine NOW." And I am not picky about what I drink, there is no coffee snobbery here. I shop at the local ghetto supermarket, where everything is off-brand, and my coffee canister simply says "COFFEE" on it. It is to coffee what White Rain is to shampoo. Hell, it's actually even lower on the ladder than that because I'm not entirely sure my coffee even has a brand name. It's just "COFFEE". I set up my coffee pot while I am making dinner, carefully filling it up with water as high as I can get away with filling it up. Right to the 12 cup mark, if not a smidge more. I lovingly place the filter in it's proper place and measure out the ground coffee with my special coffee measuring spoon, maybe whispering sweet nothings to it as I do this. In the morning I stumble out of bed and down the hallway to the kitchen, not even pausing to wipe the sleep from my eyes or to pee first. It is as if I only have two settings before the hour of 10am: 1. Find coffee. 2. Drink coffee, quickly. Repeat about seven times.
But recently I have made a startling discovery: My Need for coffee is not an isolated condition. Oh, no, it's not. It is fueled by what I like to call the Freedom Itch. This itch has come to define my evenings, and begins around 7:30pm when I place Charlie in his crib and shut the door. "One down, one to go," I tell myself. "What will I do with my free time tonight? Watch a movie? Finish folding the eight loads of laundry sitting downstairs? Maybe organize the drawers in the kitchen? Hmmm." Phase two starts when I tuck Ella into her bed, turn off the light, and shut her door. I almost always get that tingly feeling that you get when you wake up and realize you have something REALLY fun planned for the day. "WHAT should I DO with all of this free time tonight?!?!" my brain screams. "God, there is just SO MUCH time to do anything I want to do! I'm gonna watch three movies! Fold laundry! Bake muffins for tomorrow's breakfast! Give myself a proper pedicure! Read a whole book! Catch up on that scarf I'm knitting! Wait, I don't knit! But I COULD! I can do anything I want to do, because I have SO MUCH FREE TIME TONIGHT!". All of this is going through my head while excitedly pacing the floor with a little skip in my step, looking for something to do. I am now officially drunk on the endless possibilities that come with kid-free time. Cut to two hours later: I have successfully folded half a load of laundry, watched about ten minutes of a single tv show, and gotten about 1/3 of the way through my fancy pedicure, left with bare toenails that haven't even been clipped. It is, after all, only a couple of hours that I have on my hands in the evenings. But at the onset of the Freedom Itch, it feels like so much more, like I could do 749 things between the hours of 8 and 11. The next phase in this process is called So Help Me God, I WILL Enjoy Every Minute of Peaceful Quiet. This causes one to force their eyelids to stay open well past a reasonable bed time, all in the name of not wasting a moment of this adults-only evening. Eyes half open, I usually stumble to bed around 11 or 11:30, crash hard into my bed, and wake up in a puddle of drool to the alarm blaring in my ear at 5:15am. This is the phase called the Freedom Hangover. I took the freedom too far, stayed up too late while simultaneously not really doing anything except wasting time imagining how I was going to spend said time. Not unlike the occasions when you have one too many drinks the night before and waking up foggy-headed and kicking yourself for not having any self control. This is where my Need comes in. I need my coffee to help me force my eyes open, I need my coffee to help me remember how to even turn on a lamp or know what year it is. Or to remember my name. So I spend the entire hour before the kids wake up coming back to life myself, and there is not really any time to get anything done in that hour because I am not even functioning on a human level at this point. Lather, rinse, repeat. Spend all day caring for my babies, doing housework, and making meals. Refuel my Need around 3pm just to make it to dinner time, at which point I feel that familiar giddiness coming on. Just two more hours until bedtime! I'm gonna organize my cookbook and also catch up on an entire season of that tv show! At the same time! While also finishing that pedicure from last night! Kids in bed, I head downstairs and get exactly one thing done by the time it is 10pm, make myself stay up to suck every drop of peace and freedom out of this night, and crash at midnight.
Now if you'll excuse me, it is 9am and I have only had four cups of coffee. I need to go start working on number five.