Coffee vs. Sleep vs. Coffee

I shared this story with my Facebook friends last Friday. I am a registered nurse and work prn (that’s “as needed” for you non-medical folks). My schedule is flexible and varies week to week. Kind of like part-time but without a regular schedule. Anyway…

Last week, I worked more days than I usually do, and longer hours, too. By Thursday night, I was really hoping they wouldn’t need me Friday and would call me off because I felt I was developing a cold and wanted nothing more than to sleep sleep sleep. Not receiving the coveted, you-can-be-off-tomorrow message Thursday evening, and determined to not call in and leave my co-workers short-staffed (I’m so conscientious that way), I plodded through the house to perform my readying routine for the next work day. My scrub set, along with the required undergarments, was rolled up and placed on my dresser. My iWatch was placed on its charger on the kitchen counter next to all the things I put in my scrub pockets for work each day, as well as my car keys. I poured water into my coffee pot and scooped the precise amount of Starbucks mocha coffee grounds into the filter. Close the lid. I was ready and could relax until bedtime. Contented sigh. Friday morning comes and the first of my two iPhone alarms blasts away. I swear it was like 20 minutes after I’d closed my eyes. I get up, brush my teeth, then head to the kitchen to turn on my juice-of-life maker and get my travel mug in position to receive it. Shower, dress, makeup, briefly muss with the hair. Oy!! Well, it looks good enough, I’m tired — just let that freakin’ mega-huge cow lick show! I don’t care! Put on shoes and head back to the kitchen to pour my coffee. What?! It didn’t even brew?! I thought, I must not have put the water in it, so I commenced to filling up my plastic 2-cup measuring cup, which I use daily, with the proper amount of water and after about a third of that water was poured into the coffee maker, I realized the water had in fact already been in there. I’d just left the thing unplugged. I had precious little extra time to start from scratch, so I decided to let it brew and cut it off before it used the excess water. Making such good use of my time while my morning elixir is brewing, I go outside and feed the cats. (A group of cats is called a “clowder.” Did you know that? I learned that from Sheldon Cooper on Big Bang Theory. I learn a lot from television.) Anyway…having placed nine equal piles of dry cat food on the driveway, spaced very equally, too, by the way, I go back into the house to check the coffee process and decide it’s brewed enough for my daily cup of life juice. Turn off the pot. Pour fresh, hot coffee into my mug, give it a taste test and discover it is not right. Too strong. So, I turn the coffee maker back on and let it spit out some more juice. Hmm…that looks about right. Nope, still too strong. Allow a bit more water spittage and pour part of it into my mug. That’s good enough. Shut off the coffee maker and unplug it. Out the door and into my car. Every morning, once I’ve driven through the 6 miles of country road and turn on the main road, I start sipping my coffee and today’s cup was just not right. Now, it’s too weak. Oh well, I’m drinking this SOB’ing stuff anyway after all that extra effort. I don’t care! I work all day, all the while hoping to be sent home early. You know, the coveted you-can-go-home-now verbiage. Nope. Lunch comes. Lunch ends. Back to work and I finish at my regularly scheduled time. It’s all good. I survived and had a few good laughs with my co-workers. It was actually a pretty good day, despite my constant desire for slumber. 

During my 25-mile drive home, I contemplate: Now, do I want to try to take a nap when I get home, or do I want to make a second cup of coffee? Three o’clock is kind of late to take a nap. On the other hand, three o’clock is also kind of late to be drinking coffee, too. I mull this over while twirling my hair with my left hand as I maneuver through the bustling Friday afternoon traffic. This sleep vs. coffee vs. sleep debate would continue until I was within 5 miles of home, and my drive to/from work is 30 minutes long, with good traffic. Finally, I reached a decision. ANOTHER CUP OF COFFEE IT IS!! I might be up too late tonight, but I don’t care! 

The night before, my hubby and I had done some grocery shopping and, as luck would have it, Walmart was out of our favorite Starbucks mocha, “chocolaty and luscious” coffee. Great! Grr! But, I opted to give their vanilla-flavored ground coffee a try. What the heck is a vanilla anyway? So, after I got home from work on this sleepy, Friday, I thought it’d be a good time to try it this vanilla stuff out. If it sucked, I wouldn’t finish it, would still have ingested a little bit of caffeine to maybe help me stay awake a while longer AND I would still be able to sleep at bedtime. Sounds like a win-win to me. I fill my 2-cup measuring cup with water and pour it into coffee maker. Scoop precise amount of vanilla coffee grounds into filter. Plug in pot and turn it on. Several minutes later, I go back to the kitchen to pour my anticipated afternoon vanilla coffee treat and soon find that I have way more coffee than my very large coffee mug will hold. Yep! The coffee maker STILL had unused water in it from the morning coffee fiasco, and, apparently, I’d left a bit of brewed coffee in the pot as well. I decide that, screw it, I’m drinking it anyway. It wasn’t really bad, just a bit weak. But, then I realized that what I’d be drinking was the morning’s cold failure of brewed chocolate coffee that had been sitting in the pot all day which was now mixed with the fresh vanilla coffee. Nope. Couldn’t do it. Down the sink. Rinse. Start over. From scratch!

Ugh! Rinse out my very large coffee mug, place it in dish rack. Scoop out the freakin’ vanilla, NOT CHOCOLATE — well, NOT MOCHA — ground coffee into another cotton-picking coffee filter. Fill up the cute lil 2-cup measuring cup with the precise amount of water, just over the 2-cup mark. Pour it into the [insert any irritated adjective — I can’t think of another one and — I don’t care] coffee maker! Flip the switch. Minutes later, a nice cup of aromatic vanilla coffee is brewed. I pour it into my big mug, add my precise amount of heavy whipping cream, give it a stir, then take a test sip. It’s actually quite tasty and could, possibly, be my new coffee flavor, or at least an additional one. I’m enjoying it as I type out this heart-wrenching java saga to share it with you. I’ve only got about one-third of that coffee left in my mug so…I may be awake until 3:00 a.m. tomorrow. But, you know what? I don’t care!!

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