Friday, March 27, 2009
The Coffee Pot Game
My father started it. He used to say, "you can get a lot done while the coffee is perking". So being my father's daughter, I have played this silly little game for about the past 36 years or so. It's kind of like that old game, Beat the Clock, but it's beat the coffee pot. Here's how it goes. I get up at 5:30 and the first thing I do is make the coffee. Now, this is often a challenge because most nights I go to bed with dishes still in the sink or junk still laying around on the counter. So just to get to the coffee pot is often a feat in itself! But once I press the button, its like somebody says, ready, set go. I have timed it and it takes just about 16 minutes to get the finished pot. Now, my husband is one of those people that stands around with his empty but well seasoned coffee cup in his hand, waiting for the last drip to drop. Pacing, looking, dawdling, waiting. Not racing, not playing the game. He will occasionally pull out the pot just a little bit to check the progress. When I catch him doing this, it really burns me up, and I usually chastise him with something like, wait till its done, or its not done yet, or something obvious and lame like that. But I digress, that is usually a weekend event because the four days a week that I work, I am up at 5:30 and quite frankly, he's not. Well, not until lately when he started working an hour and a half north, but he usually waits till my little ritual is done. So the game is mine, alone. So back to the button, its pushed, and the countdown starts. Usually, I start with the dishwasher, because typically, I have filled it and washed the dishes to some extent, but there are always others laying around. So I empty the dishwasher and put the dishes away, but, okay, here's another confession, I have this counting thing, so I have to tap each glass before I take it out and count them, I know it's nutty, but I can't stop. So first I count them, then I take them out and put them on a towel on the counter, and make sure they are totally dry, then I count them on the counter, and then put them in the cabinet and count them as they go in. Now if I could stop this obsession, I would probably cut at least two minutes out of my race performance, but it is just not possible. Okay, so now that all the clean dishes have been counted and put away, I attack the dirty ones laying around, wash them out, rinse and put in the dishwaser . . . okay, I count them too. Then slam the dishwahser, wipe down the counter. Coffee is still perking. I still have quite a bit of time to go. If I can perfect this, I could probably try out for the Amazing Race! Next is packing up my lunch for work, and breakfast because I go in so early, so I have to pour out my cereal, get some fruit, cut it up if it is strawberries for instance, then put either a leftover in a container or make up a salad, throw in some fruit, get that all done, put in a bag. Coffee is still not done. Next tackle is the kitchen table, I go through the mail, sort it out, keep checking the coffee pot, checking the clock, okay, I am way ahead of the pot now. Next is my medicine, I put it out on the counter, get a coffee mug out, put the medicine next to the coffee mug. That's done. My father would be so proud of me. Keep the eye on the prize they say. Well that prize is the first cup of freshly brewed coffee, one pink sweet and lo and one coffee mate dollop of french vanilla (I know, the french vanilla kind of makes the sweet and lo seem ridiculous, doesn't it!). Anyway, during all this craziness, that's my goal, and the strong aroma of that wonderfully flavorful coffee, the first cup from the freshly brewed pot, the first splash after the last drip . . . . ok, I am salvating, let me get back to the race. So I am done with my lunch preparations, emptied the dishwasher, reloaded, counted, cleaned off the table, thrown out the junk mail, and I still have time. I check the clock again, hmmmm, just a little over a minute. What can I do? What can I do, I have to be productive, or the game isn't the same, oh yea, I can run downstairs and find the movie I rented from Netflix and package it up, and check my email again. Okay, done, ten seconds to go, just enough time to climb the stairs, and watch the last drip, you know that last drip that signals the pot is done, and the first savory, delicious, rewarding, cup is ready, just for me, just because I have used my time so wisely, my reward, my steps quicken, I am almost skipping, I reach the top of the stairs just to pass my husband as he walks out to the garage, unlit cigarette in one hand, coffee cup in the other, full coffee cup, fresh coffee, first cup, my cup, "Good Morning" he nods as he saunters out to savor that coffee/cigarette combo. For today at least, I know the agony of defeat!