When I was in high school I started working at a Tim Horton’s coffee shop. I worked there for 6 years. And I never drank coffee. Ever.
I couldn’t stand the stuff. My dad is a coffee drinker – although I think he preferred instant back then, and my mom is a life-long tea drinker. But neither were for me. In fact, the smell of the coffee at Tim’s gave me terrible heartburn. I didn’t even know that was possible but it happened. Often.
In school, kids would stroll into class with their morning brew in their refill mugs and I would think “WTF? Why are they drinking that ghastly stuff?” Especially because, y’know, we were kids. So, I went through all these years of my life not drinking coffee.
Then one year, in my very early twenties, I went to Montreal with a few friends for my birthday weekend. Two of them had a sporting event, which I watched the first day and was so exhaustingly bored that I wanted to punch myself in the face just to stay awake, that I decided on day two to stay behind in the hotel and hang out by myself for the day. I had some adventures on my own, which, back then was totally unlike me. I hated doing things alone. I needed someone with me at.all.times. (Thankfully I have grown out of that and love having my independent adventures. I wish I could go back to that hotel in Montreal and LIVE IT UP!)
On a stroll around the hotel on my own I came across one of the cleaning ladies’carts. It had an InStyle magazine on it, which, undoubtedly was left behind by one of the other guests after checkout. So, being the badass that I was I snatched the magazine off the cart and kept on my merry way.
Back in my hotel room I devoured the entire magazine, reading each and every article. Actress Minnie Driver was the cover girl and there was a huge fashion spread with Minnie as the model, accompanied by a big article on her. At one part in the interview she talked about getting up in the morning and sitting on her porch in her robe, reading the paper, taking in the scenery, while having her morning coffee.
This is the magazine I ripped off from a cleaning cart.
What? Is this what adults do? Is that what I’m supposed to do? Be a grown up and read the paper* and drink coffee and wear a robe?? (*In my defense, I totally read the newspapers when I worked at Tim’s. They were free reads while on our breaks in our tiny little break room. And it was race to do the Lexicon first on Saturday!)
For some reason, that little article on Minnie has stuck with me all of these years since (and more than likely I probably still have the magazine in a box of other magazines or a desk drawer somewhere around my house). And so, as the years have passed I have made my attempts to become a grown up and drink coffee in the mornings. For a very long time I failed miserably.
And then one day it happened. I had a cup of coffee. Like a real grown up. Maybe it’s because my taste buds have changed since I’ve gotten older – or since I started drinking wine), but I no longer cringed at the smell or the taste of a good brew. I actually look forward to a small mug of joe in the mornings. And, although I could never drink it black, I can enjoy a cup with just a little unsweetened almond milk or blended with a spoonful of coconut oil when I’m doing a Whole 30 program (aka eliminating sugar and all processed foods in all forms, etc.).
Summer is my favorite time – when I can sit outside in the sunshine while reading a book and taking in the scenery. And I love weekend mornings when I can get up and put on a small pot and relax on the couch before getting my day started. Drinking a little coffee in the morning makes me feel like I’m finally adulting. (And thank goodness for Starbucks and whip for when I want to be a kid pretending to adult.)
I’m still working on the robe, though. I have a few but I like my PJ pants and fleece socks and Banana Republic dresses to sleep in and lounge around the house in. I’m not Mrs. Roper!
Isn’t it funny how one little thing can change your perspective? Something as small as a cup of friggin’ coffee in the mornings.
The other night I finished what was, I think, my 23rd John Grisham book. And although I’d picked up three more of his on the weekend, I couldn’t wait to delve into Drew Barrymore’s Wildflower.
As you may know, I love Drew Barrymore. She is my all-time favorite actress; since the first time I saw her in E.T., I fell in love with her – with her spirit and her spunkiness, and I have since followed her career. The ups and downs. The stints in institutions and rehabs, the bad movies, the badass moves. I have followed the 90’s wild child and doted on her for years.
The original wild child and my not-yet-met best friend (Drew flashing David Letterman in the mid-90’s)
And so, I have been waiting since I received this book for my birthday in October to read it but, 1. I had shit-tons of studying to do to prepare my nutrition exam and 2. I’m kind of addicted to John Grisham’s storytelling and am always anticipating completing one of his books so that I can immediately begin another. This time, though, I forfeited Grisham to finally read Drew’s book.
And I am so glad I did. I started reading it Friday night, and now, Sunday, I am almost through it. This book is not an autobiography, although it is autobiographical in a sense. It is a telling of some of Drew’s personal stories and memories. It’s lovely. And this book has made me miss writing.
This afternoon I was reading one of the “chapters” titled Flossy. Flossy was Drew’s rescue dog which she had for nearly 20 years. I remember reading about when Drew first adopted Flossy. I remember hearing about her in interview and seeing her in the background in magazine spreads featuring Drew. And this story told the lifeline of this dog, this sweet companion to Drew, a lost soul longing for a friend who would be her lifelong mate and confidant. And this story told of the demise of Flossy and Drew’s beautiful tribute to her once she passed (sorry, no spoilers! You’ll have to read the book.), and there I am, sitting in the gorgeous long-awaited sunshine, bawling my eyes out at the telling of the loss of this life love. With tears streaming down my face and wiping my snotty nose on my arm, I was so completely moved by this memory.
Although I am a little bias because I still believe Ms. Barrymore and I should be best friends (squad goals), I will admit that she is not the best writer in the world. I even found a few grammatical errors *gasp*, but she’s a good writer. And she’s a great storyteller; one that can clearly move me to tears – or laughter.
And so, being inspired by these stories, these little collections, I am committing myself back to my writing. I am going to begin telling chapters of my life, albeit through this little blog, and I will share with you tales of my adventures, my reflections, my wisdom, my stupidity, and tales of just…my life.
I am not going to commit to writing every day or every week because life – work, teaching, mating, adventures – comes first. And I like to live my adventures before sharing them.
But stay tuned….the first one will be right up.
#1 – I love this photo of me and my friend Jesse. It’s one of my favorite photos. Ever. It was taken a few years ago at one of our infamous Wicker parties. Whoever took the pic caught us in a moment of honest laughter. I still have no idea what was so funny but the angle of the photo caught the length of my foot-long nose beautifully.
Me and Jesse Whoreface
#2 – This was taken 2 years ago at my BFF Stephanie’s wedding. We have a friendship that has lasted many years. I had not planned on kissing her on the cheek. Photo turned out great. I love this girl.
Steph and me
#3 – This photo is great because I was living out a fantasy of (FINALLY) getting to see the New Kids on the Block in concert. That’s right, I said New Kids on the Block. My friends and I drove 16 hours straight from Nova Scotia to Montreal to see this concert. We had tshirts made up and ended up being interviewed to discuss our trek to Montreal. It was such a fun road trip AND my ass looks pretty spectacular in those jeans.
Angie Whoreface, Melissa, ME, Jaime (aka Fellow Asshole)
Back in the summer of 1991 when I was a mere 8th grader, I fell in love with a song of the summer….I’ll Be There by The Escape Club.
The song was probably the saddest I’d heard….I think it’s still the saddest today, right up there with Pull Me Through by Jim Cuddy. It’s a terribly heart-breaking song and it and the movie “Don’t Tell Mom The Babysitter’s Dead” are the two things that remind me of that summer…if nothing else, I have those two memories.
Back in that summer, long before iTunes and downloading music, I would sit in my room Sunday mornings and listen to the weekly countdown with my stereo ready so that I could record the songs I liked. I had a little notepad which I would write the name of the song and the artist(s) and then I would either color-code or number the tape (yes, tape, not CD, not MP3) with the corresponding song list. I was very cool.
But I loved that song. I fell in love with The Escape Club. The song resonated with me deeply at the time as a neighborhood kid had died after being hit by a car while riding his bike. He’s just graduated. To me, at that time, this song was meant for him. I cried every time I heard it. I have thought about the song here and there but hadn’t heard it in so many years (although I still have all of those mixed tapes, I need to find a decent tape deck that will play songs smoothly without dragging or unwinding them). Then one day a week or so ago it sorta just popped into my head. Not necessarily the song or the melody but the memory of it. And yesterday I downloaded it. As soon as it started those feelings came welling back up. Those sad, heartbreaking feelings of loneliness and loss and devastation were right there on the surface and before I knew it there were tears in my eyes.
It’s funny how our minds and our hearts work like that. A song I haven’t listened to in close to 20 years still has the same emotional impact on me as it did back in 1991.
And I guess it seemed sort of fitting that I played that song on a morning when I woke to news that another young musical talent has left this world. RIP Cory Monteith. You helped change the world’s views on school choirs and glee clubs.
. I have been proud to be a Gleek.