Lord help me, I love buying take away coffee. Oh but the guilt! I guess it doesn't really help that of the two religions I can choose from, both of them give high praise for austerity. But I can't help myself, I get a paycheck and I just want to spend, spend, spend. I'm not one for clothes shopping, unless the mood strikes me. I did just splurge, (and I mean SPLURGE) on a pair of Steve Madden boots. The last time I did that was a Michael Kor's trench coat two years ago, so I allow myself. It's the little things that get me down and make me wonder why I really need to buy them.
My biggest vice has to be take-away coffee. I'm a sucker for brewed Hazelnut, but what I love most are the cups. The crisp clean white of a Starbucks grande, the industrial styrofoam of Dunkin' Donuts and not having to lug it around and wash it when you get home. Probably my weirdest obsession, when it comes to take away coffee, are the lids. Most of my coffee buying decisions are made based on what type of lid it comes with. If it's a peel back plastic lid, I find the strength to pass. No matter the count, grade or age of your 100% arabica beans, I won't be enjoying my coffee while I'm cutting my lips on the perforated edge and scalding them simultaneously while not enough air is getting between the inside and outside of the cup to allow for proper flow. But trust me, my knees go weak for a raised mouthpiece, Starbucks, Dunkin', 7-11 and even McDonald's have my number on that one. It's a shame, I have such love for Cafe Bacio, on 70th and 3rd. Not only do they have brewed Hazelnut, their cups are chic, their lids are raised, but the milk, oh the skim milk! It's foamed! This cute little nook of a cafe resides right in the middle of my commute so if I did buy my coffee it would only be in the morning and it would be cold by the time I get to work.
What I've been doing lately is washing my coffee tumbler at home, carrying it to work, then drinking the variably passable brew they have in the staff kitchen. I add a little skim milk, half a splenda, and I can survive the morning. But these past couple of lunches I've found myself wandering into Dunkin' Donuts moving from a medium Hazelnut, to a medium Hazelnut and a donut, to a large Hazelnut and a donut! Even as I'm writing this I can't wait to get back on my lunch break tomorrow and pick up another coffee, and even a donut! This has to stop!
But do I want it to stop? Starbucks said it best, "take comfort in rituals." And it's a ritual all right. I've convinced myself that happiness and serenity (and a caffeine kick) come while holding a paper cup, with a hot liquid, a mouth molded top and handing over $3 for it.
I try to limit my buying, opting for brewing at home, work coffee, or even free gym coffee, but I feel that I've started and I can't stop! It was the same for a while with yogurt parfaits, and I'm scared manicures and pedicures might be next. But for now, it's just happiness in a cup, with a lid, skim and half a splenda.