Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thank you, Juan Valdez

Coffee is a wonderful thing. It wakes you up. It increases your energy. It tastes delicious. It is, in the immortal words of my friend Jason, whom I used to work with many years ago in Toronto, "sweet elixir of life*."

It makes 5 a.m. seem a little bit sunnier, a little more bearable. I usually drink three cups between the time I get up and the time I arrive at work. (Thanks for the travel cup, Mum!)

I found out yesterday, however, just how important coffee is. I found out that unbeknownst to me, it is a big part of what makes me me -- part of the essential core of my being and what defines me as a person. At least according to Rachel.

We were driving home from daycare yesterday evening and she was telling me all about a project that she's doing at school. She said that each student in the class had to pick a 'character' from their family and describe them. (Great, my eight-year-old thinks I'm a character.) They had to list four things about their character that described them.

Here are the words and phrases that Rae feels describe me best:
  • dirty blonde
  • nice
  • generous
  • three cups of coffee
Three cups of coffee. Not that I'm tall, or that I'm fun, or that I bake amazing cinnamon buns, but 'three cups of coffee.' I did get 'nice' and 'generous', which is better than the perhaps more accurate 'grouchy' and 'nagging.'

And really, I should be grateful that the last bullet point she chose wasn't 'three glasses of merlot.'

*from the opening line of a poem Jason wrote me about coffee on a sheet of lined paper in bright green ink. I still have it somewhere. I miss him. We once went Christmas shopping together at the Eaton Centre inebriated (on public transportation, of course), and someday I really must tell you about Jason and the birth control pills, it's a good story.


  1. Please tell me that "dirty blonde" is some sort of reference to your hair (which is clearly blonde-blonde) and not your character.

    Three cups of coffee, eh? I guess that's a defining character trait.

  2. Jen - Yes, 'dirty blonde' is a reference to my hair. L'Oreal has a much nicer name for the colour, but Rae heard that term somewhere, and all my insisting that my hair is really dark blonde has fallen on deaf ears.

  3. :-D I do believe my kids would say something quite similar. That steaming cup of java is part of my rituals and my social habits. Quite the compliment, implying you are warm and taking time to yourself or to share at least 3 times a day - or that's my take on it.

  4. All right, I want the story of Jason and the birth control pills.

    - Jazz

  5. that's your new gangster name. alison "three cups of coffee" last name.

    love it.


  6. I love this. You are obviously being a great role model to your kids - and they are noticing it. Keep up the good work!

  7. ha! I think they have these project to weed out the really bad parents.

    I had one of those in Grade One. "Even when you lose your temper."

  8. Pam - I *like* your take on it. It's going to be my take on it from now on. :)

    Jazz - OK, will do. I hope I haven't built it up too much.

    Meanie - I *always* wanted a gangster name.

    Finola - Thanks. Not sure how a caffeine dependency is good, but I guess the fact that I'm nice and generous is OK in the role model arena.

    Nat - I never thought of that! Of course! If the words come back as "mean, angry, yells a lot, makes us eat liver" then the CAS is called. Brilliant.

  9. I want to hear about Jason and the pills! Sounds totally gansta :).