On Stress Drinking, or the Benefits of Emotional Support Coffee

I went on vacation with my family. And my husband’s parents. To their timeshare in Virginia, which was quite nice, but I’m an introvert and being stuck with two additional people for a week was emotionally, intellectually, and psychosomatically exhausting.

Some eat away the pain. I have coffee. A latte in a paper cup. I don’t even drink all of it. It’s just something to cling to as the world spins. My senior year in college was spent gripping cups of cappuccino and cans of Pringles as I sobbed my way through research and writing. It was a low point, but coffee was there for me.

No judging.

I regularly drink coffee. A nice dark roast in my French press is my normal drinking coffee. A Starbucks confection makes for a nice treat on a shopping trip or to start/cap off a day out. But a plain latte to-go, be it from Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, or wherever… There’s just something about holding a thin paper cup filled with hot coffee that’s topped with a questionably flimsy lid.
It’s my emotional support beverage. Here’s why:

  • It’s hot and soothing to the hands. Mmm, warm and toasty!
  • It’s tasty! Sometimes. There’s an art to mixing hot espresso and hot coffee that, sadly, is difficult for most mass market food operations.
  • It provides something to focus on aside from the people, places, and things going on around me. A nice distraction when I can’t hide in the good ol’ introvert hamster ball.
  • It’s relaxing. I’m one of those weird people who can take a nap after guzzling half a pot of coffee instead of climbing the walls.
  • Throwing away the cup gives me something to do.
  • Having to pee as a result of drinking coffee gives me something to do and a reason to get away from everyone. And a scant moment of privacy. Did you know that, while on vacation, bathroom doors are capable of closing and locking, and that young children will not open them while you sit on the bowl? AMAZING!
  • The caffeine in that lovely cup of joe will open those bronchioles in your lungs and help you out if someone near you open a container of sulfur dioxide-preserved fruit or a balsamic vinaigrette.
  • It keeps my mouth shut when someone says something ignorant, mis- or mal-informed, inappropriate, or just plain stupid. I have what I guess could be called “honesty Tourette” and generally lack the filter that would restrain verbal comments or visual cues that would convey my thoughts of “Christ, you are an asshole” or “What the fuck is wrong with you?” or simply [facepalm].

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