I Should Switch to Decaf | Teen Ink

I Should Switch to Decaf MAG

July 18, 2009
By mercantile BRONZE, New Gloucester, Maine
mercantile BRONZE, New Gloucester, Maine
3 articles 0 photos 47 comments

I want to like coffee for you.

I hate coffee. I hate the taste, I hate the smell, I hate the way people get artificially addicted to it, like it's a trend. People joke about needing coffee to function. It's stupid until you see them without coffee – then it's ugly.

But for you, I'm going to try. I've obviously tasted coffee, but I've never sat down and just drunk it. I'm going to. I'm going to brave the nasty smell and bitter taste and silly stereotypes. Just for you! I'm not sure why. I barely know you. In fact, I've never actually met you. We're meeting for coffee. I've never met someone for coffee. It's so normal and casual. It's so wild and strange. Everyone meets people for coffee. It's nothing extraordinary. Nobody meets people for a chai or an iced tea or something silly like that. Just coffee. So that's what I'm going to do for you. It's new. It's exciting.

Let's not start this off with illusions or lies. I'm not sure what to think of coffee. A lot of people like it, but a lot of people like smoking or heroin. It doesn't make those things healthy. Maybe a lot of people like you, too, but I'm not sure what to think of you either. Are you too bitter, too strong? Are you unhealthy? I want you to be healthy. I want you to be sweet, even if it's bittersweet. I want to like you. Maybe I do. Maybe it's just coffee I'm not sure of. Maybe it's me I'm not sure of. All my thoughts and feelings are mixed up with the past and the present and the smell of coffee in my mind. Please don't hate me.

In a way, this scares me, this meeting for coffee. In a way, coffee weirds me out. I don't want to be one of those people who needs tons of flavors and sweeteners with their coffee. I don't want people to look at me with my coffee and laugh and say, “You want a little coffee with your cream and sugar?” Of course there should be some sweetness. Life needs flavor. It needs cream and sugar. But the point of drinking coffee is to drink coffee. It shouldn't be all hidden, like you're ashamed. If you like coffee and you want to drink it, then go for it! Don't water it down. I don't want to feel like a wuss, like a coffee fraud. I don't want people to look at me and think, Oh, look at that stupid girl drinking coffee just to impress that boy. How pathetic. That's just a sad, ridiculous situation to be caught in.

I'm an honest person. So that's why I'm telling you from the start that I'm not sure about coffee. That's why I'm telling you I'll try it just for you. That's why I want to like coffee for you. So, here we go.

I look down at my lap in the car. I check my reflection in the side mirror. My hair looks decent, but is it good enough? Should I really be wearing this outfit? Is there time to turn around? No. It'll have to do. Funny how much better it looked in the safety of my room, away from this pressure, the pressure of going out for coffee. I'm nervous. I shift my feet and rhythmically move my legs, as I have a habit of doing.

I wonder for a moment if you have nervous habits, or any habits. Do you talk with your hands like me? Are you as clumsy as me? Oh, God, I'm going to spill the coffee on myself. I can see it coming. I take a deep breath so I won't forget. Sometimes I panic and forget to breathe. Honestly.

I can almost smell the coffee already. I wonder if you'll like me, if you'll be impressed by me. Will you find me boring? I think about the way my grammar mysteriously becomes awful when I talk to you, and I wonder if I'm going to embarrass myself.

Now I'm scared to talk at all. Will I be too bitter, too strong? And there's definitely no time to turn back? No, it's just coffee. What if I hate it? Will you hate me? It's just coffee. Hot, steaming, bittersweet coffee. There's no turning back.

I arrive, barely on time, where I promised to meet you. To meet you for coffee. I get out of the car with a sense of growing up, of being incredibly old and yet monumentally young. I'm a silly girl, meeting a boy for coffee for the first time. If I don't like it, I could be stranded here, in Vineland, New Jersey.

I go inside, trying to put some confidence in my step. I'm telling my legs, “Be strong. Don't be clumsy or shy. Be strong. Strong like coffee!”

I see you, I recognize you from your photos, and you recognize me. You know it's me. You come over to say hi. You're smiling, my heart's racing and I'm nervous, I'm scared, oh, I'm so alone, but, God, it's so good to see you smile, to finally see you at all, to hear your voice, to meet you for coffee. I smile back and I know it's going to be all right.

We're two writers, two nervous, silly, like-minded people, pushing our way through a common ritual, meeting for coffee. We shake by with all the wrong verbs and stutter in and out of vibrant, dramatic adjectives. We're putting color in black and white and we're adding flavor with sideways glances. We're accustomed to this, to the frightening mix of hormones, caffeine, and words. We're just young and the same. It's just another conversation – Hi, how are you? Good, you? Good. Wonderful. Cream and sugar. We look around us like tourists, like we've never seen a coffee shop. I decide to be natural and confident. I decide to be strong.

So I look you in the eyes, even though I never look people in the eyes, even though I have self-esteem problems and I'm nervous and I think you'll hate me, even though I wear glasses and I'm terribly self-conscious. I look right into your eyes and say the line I've been writing, rearranging, editing, and rehearsing in my mind the whole way here.

“Let's get some coffee.”



Similar Articles

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

This article has 199 comments.


on Mar. 5 2010 at 5:49 pm
mercantile BRONZE, New Gloucester, Maine
3 articles 0 photos 47 comments
thanks :) men are like coffee...hot, addicting...and generally bad for your health

on Mar. 5 2010 at 12:58 pm
Dutchess BRONZE, Leland, North Carolina
1 article 0 photos 9 comments

Favorite Quote:
The least deviation from truth is multiplied later a thousand fold.
~Alexander Hamilton

OMG! i love how you corresponded the relationship between coffee an meeting this guy. i like the relationship between your nervousness about trying the coffee along with the nervousness about meeting this new person.

on Feb. 27 2010 at 2:08 pm
mercantile BRONZE, New Gloucester, Maine
3 articles 0 photos 47 comments
thanks :)

coffee is definitely crazy

carcar91 said...
on Feb. 26 2010 at 12:48 pm
i hate coffee, but i do use it sometimes to wake up, but it does throw me through the roof!

love this article!..:D

on Feb. 21 2010 at 11:12 am
mercantile BRONZE, New Gloucester, Maine
3 articles 0 photos 47 comments
Haha, I have no idea where the title came from and now I cannot change it, but I'm glad somebody likes it. Thank you.

on Feb. 21 2010 at 11:11 am
mercantile BRONZE, New Gloucester, Maine
3 articles 0 photos 47 comments
Thank you!

And of course, I do know some people like coffee. :)

on Feb. 17 2010 at 9:26 am
TheBerkeleyBear BRONZE, Los Altos, California
3 articles 0 photos 19 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Never put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow."

After reading this, I saw the title and laughed. Nice piece. I wish I could write like this.

on Feb. 16 2010 at 3:31 pm
katiethefabulous BRONZE, Brooklyn, New York
4 articles 0 photos 7 comments
Hey, I love coffee! ;)

But really, nice piece.

on Feb. 14 2010 at 4:18 pm
PaRaNoRmAl627 GOLD, Mountainside, New Jersey
15 articles 0 photos 297 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Do what you want. If it's something you'll regret in the morning, sleep late."

haha perfect. a caffeinated car chase. i'd read it :p

on Feb. 13 2010 at 4:31 pm
mercantile BRONZE, New Gloucester, Maine
3 articles 0 photos 47 comments
thank you i will definitely take a look

on Feb. 13 2010 at 4:30 pm
mercantile BRONZE, New Gloucester, Maine
3 articles 0 photos 47 comments
thank you. and hurrah for tea people...or at least chai. haha

on Feb. 13 2010 at 4:29 pm
mercantile BRONZE, New Gloucester, Maine
3 articles 0 photos 47 comments
thank you! and yes, people who cannot function without coffee sometimes worry me...but then i think about all the silly things i cannot live without.

on Feb. 13 2010 at 4:28 pm
mercantile BRONZE, New Gloucester, Maine
3 articles 0 photos 47 comments
thank you :) maybe i should write a follow-up...but she wouldn't like coffee so i'd have to add something else to make it exciting. maybe a coffee-related car chase. thoughts? haha

on Feb. 13 2010 at 4:27 pm
mercantile BRONZE, New Gloucester, Maine
3 articles 0 photos 47 comments
oddly i am not one for tea or cocoa. i am all about the cold beverages.

on Feb. 13 2010 at 9:25 am
PaRaNoRmAl627 GOLD, Mountainside, New Jersey
15 articles 0 photos 297 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Do what you want. If it's something you'll regret in the morning, sleep late."

I love how this was written, and how you used the characteristics of coffee to describe your feelings. It was really clever. But I wish I'd seen her reaction to the coffee :p

on Feb. 12 2010 at 9:22 pm
DallysGrrl PLATINUM, Middlesex, New Jersey
20 articles 0 photos 199 comments
Great job!!!! Awesome!!!! its really great great great!!!! I luv how u mixed the coffee in with how u felt and how u wanted 2 look. its really imaginative. Awesome. Heyy, I would b very happy if u or ny1 checked out my 2 short stories. I luv comments, and i would luv 2 hear from such a good writer!!!! Thnx.

on Feb. 12 2010 at 9:25 am
AliceGoesBam08, Columbia Heights, Minnesota
0 articles 0 photos 2 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Words have the power to both destroy and heal. When words are both true and kind, they can change our world." Buddhist Quote

I loved the was this was written, your narrator was very realistic and though we didn't get too much information about her, we did get a good grasp of her character. I loved this story - I can't describe how adorable and lovely this story of yours was. Thank you.

P.S - Ha ha, more of a tea person myself :)

on Feb. 11 2010 at 7:45 pm
turn_it_up(: SILVER, Overland Park, Kansas
8 articles 0 photos 13 comments
this was amazing! (: great job! some people just are accustomed to coffee, and like you said, it is sometimes silly to think you can't function without it. (:

Kayamae said...
on Feb. 11 2010 at 9:51 am
yes it is particularly in the morning and after dinner... lol wonderful story though conveyed the anxiety quite well and i should reccomend tea if you don't like coffee, its good for all those times inbetween coffee and cocoa

on Feb. 10 2010 at 12:52 pm
mercantile BRONZE, New Gloucester, Maine
3 articles 0 photos 47 comments
my apologies kayamae. i'm sure coffee is lovely sometimes.