I love the look of a tall glass of black coffee with ice in it just as the heavy cream begins to swirl and slip to the bottom of the glass. I always think I need a photo of it, because this time is the most beautiful. Unfortunately, I am hypersensitive to caffeine and it affects me in an unappealing way sometimes. It’s funny how I can drink a fully caffeinated latte every morning for a while and then suddenly one day I become a snappy bitchy harpy. I don’t even notice it at first. I think everyone is being so annoying for some reason, but by about 10:00 AM I recognize the symptoms of caffeine and I realize it’s me. Or my caffeine overload. Is is a cumulative thing? Something that just builds in my system until it explodes? Whatever. It’s not pretty. This is what happened to me on the day before yesterday.
I was partway through my Friday morning at school, usually an easy day as it’s a short one. For some reason the kids were annoying me no end. Ivan asked if he should do the assignment that I just gave or should he work on his Anne Frank biography notes. I (swear this is true) rolled my eyes and said, “Your notes should already be done. We’ve been doing them all together every day we’ve been reading the story.” I know I sounded like a thirteen year old. But please!! I was right, just didn’t need to be so churlish with him. Of course he hadn’t been doing them – he seldom does anything at the right time, so why should this time be any different?
My day continued kind of like that until I got home at about 5:30 and discovered that my son had left the heater on all day and the house was at least 85 degrees. That day probably cost about a hundred dollars! (Fortunately) he wasn’t home as I came in yelling my head off. I opened all the windows and left the house. Stomped off in my Prius to I didn’t know where. Just away from the oppressively hot house. But not before I stopped my yard guy (who does a nice job) to tell him to quit pruning my camellias and Japanese Maples and sago palm with his hedge clipper. He’s shattering the ends of the branches which is ruining them. So yeah. I hope he doesn’t quit.
I drove off, unable to think of where to go because I was dressed in my school t-shirt (it was spirit Friday), which isn’t suitable for any restaurant other than a fast-food drive through, only I don’t go to those, so a restaurant was out. I decided to drive out to the bird refuge where I could walk it off without offending anyone else. It takes fifteen minutes to drive there, and when I arrived I saw where the rain clouds had been busy. The sky was so exquisite that it made up for the complete lack of birds there. It was too cold to walk much, so I just sat in my car and breathed slowly. I walked out to the closest viewing station and just took it in. I came back to myself and decided it’s time for a hiatus from caffeine. Getting annoyed with things is a common enough thing, but being mean about it is unnecessary.
I won’t say this ended there and then. When I stopped at the grocery store on the way home, I wanted to buy a loaf of bread and eat the whole thing with lots of butter, but for me gluten avoidance is working well, so I didn’t do it. I did fall prey to some sugar however, and didn’t beat myself up one bit about it. It was just the cost of doing business that day and that’s that.
Today my latte was half-caff, and tomorrow I’ll try easing off to decaf. Maybe I’ll even break off my relationship with coffee. For a while. Or maybe not. I will definitely alter my relationship with caffeine.