Tag Archives: random

Coffee, Ableism, and Randomness

If we were having coffee, lucky you, because we’re talking about ableism yet again, and how this word pervades every aspect of my life.

This time, it involved a well-meaning but obviously ignorant technician at the eyebrow threading kiosk in my local mall. I only wanted to pop in because I was starting to look like an unfortunate Hogwarts student who’d been hit between the eyes with a hair-thickening charm. If you’re at all familiar with facial hair threading, you know that part of the process involves holding your skin tightly while the technician threads so that your skin isn’t pulled or pinched as the hair is removed. It’s a simple enough task, but apparently if you’re blind, you don’t know where your own face is, so this simple task now becomes monumentally challenging.

“I need you to hold,” the technician explained, beginning to guide my hands toward my forehead. “Can you do?” And then, turning to my mother, who happened to be with me, “Can she hold?” I wanted to roll my eyes, but they were closed, which would, I think, have diminished the effect.
“It’s fine,” I assured her. “I’ve got it. I’ve done this before.”
“Oh, you do this before? That’s very good.” (It’s also very condescending, but whatever).

If I were telling you this story over coffee, you might be inclined to point out that maybe she was just making polite conversation, and I might have agreed with you if not for what followed. . I placed one hand on my forehead and the other on my eyelid, at which the technician exclaimed, “She very smart!” Really? I was touching my face. You could probably train a monkey to do that. On balance, I chose not to reply, because it’s best not to be snarky to someone who’s about to yank hair from your face. “How about I rip you so you bleed? You like?” No, not particularly, thanks.

Other things on my mind this week: Why is it that the average person will spend approximately 43 days on hold with customer service in their entire lifetime? That’s, like, almost the entirety of my summer vacation. Do you have any idea how much productivity I could fit into 43 days? I could grade roughly 5,160 papers in 43 days…I think. I could also learn to be better at math. Frankly, if hold time doesn’t show any sign of improving, I think call centers should just replace hold music with recordings of Hugh Grant reading John Keats poetry. I think that would bring my blood pressure down from “I’m almost dead” to “Oh my god get off my Island this is my happy place.”

I should probably just implant a chip in my brain that plays British male celebrities reading Romantic and Victorian poetry on loop. Then maybe I wouldn’t regularly wind myself into such a tight ball of anxiety that I break out in hives. My doctor said I should avoid stress, because stress is bad for you. Who knew? I laughed. Hard. Then I started to stress out over that in case she thought I was being rude, so, yeah, maybe she has a point.

You know what, never mind the coffee. Can we have alcohol instead?

Girl reading in bathtub with candles and wine.
Not me, but this is what my happy place looks like.

Raise Your Cup of Joe: Celebrating National Coffee Day!

Yet again, I have Twitter to thank for reminding me of the existence of arbitrary holidays: today, National Coffee Day!

As is probably glaringly obvious given my professional pursuits, coffee is my elixir—a daily blend of ritual and routine without which my physical and mental state would probably be more chaotic than it already is. I begin each day with it, rain or shine; during the work week, it’s the source of fuel that sets my gears in motion; on a Saturday morning, it’s the lazy luxury I linger over as I check e-mail, read a book, or just sit on my porch and drink in the details of the morning that all too often I find little time to appreciate in the workaday whirl. A friend once suggested to me during a year when I had difficulty deciding what my Lenten sacrifice would be, that I should give up coffee, to which I pointed out that spending 40 days in a comatose state would do little toward enabling me to experience the spiritual benefits of Lent. Besides, the purpose of Lent is penitence and spiritual growth; prompting my friends, family, coworkers, and students to contemplate murdering me because of my under-caffeinated crankiness would do little for their spiritual welfare, let alone mine. As my brother is fond of saying, Jesus suffered so we wouldn’t have to.

Coffee, at any rate, has filled every aspect of my life with its aroma; many a cup has kept me company during long, sleepless nights; it fills the cracks in my heart with comfort when I’m feeling low-spirited; some of my most memorable heart-to-hearts with my best friend have occurred over a cup of Joe; I saw immediate relationship potential in my most recent boyfriend during our first encounter at a local coffee shop (two years before we even considered dating). Any man who can defend Dunkin’ Donuts coffee over Starbucks with the fervor of political debate and logically argue his preference for mountain-grown coffee over coffee produced at lower altitudes is worthy of consideration as the potential father of my children.

Are you a coffee drinker? What role does coffee have in your daily routine? Is it a perky afternoon pick-me-up? A morning wake-up call? Do you drink so much of it that you’re in the market for an intravenous caffeine drip? Whatever, whenever, and however you take it: have yourself a cup of Joe and celebrate the full, flavorful, aromatic awesomeness that is coffee!