Thursday, February 10, 2011
I've mentioned it a couple of times here and there on this blog . . . but I'm not a morning person. When I have to get up at 6:30 a.m. to get ready for work, that's pretty much all that I can manage to do. I hit the alarm, jump in the shower, get dressed, and leave the house to catch the subway into Manhattan. That's it. That right there is the extent to which I can muster up the energy to do anything in the morning.
I know to many of you this is no big deal. Go to bed earlier, you say. Or, just suck it up and do what you have to do. We all have to deal with this!
But, here's the rub: unlike most of you, I can't rely on caffeinated beverages to get me going in the morning.
And it's not due to health reasons, or cultural taboos, or a hatred for artificial stimulants. No, it's all because caffeinated drinks taste GOD AWFUL to me. I've been told it's an acquired taste, but apparently I'm in that very small subset that will never, ever enjoy the taste of coffee and/or tea.
The problem is, I sooooo wish I could! Coffee in particular smells heavenly in the morning. The aroma is so damn enticing, in fact, that occasionally I forget how crappy it tastes and give it a shot -- only to end up feeling sick to my stomach!
Keep in mind that I refuse to drink anything where I have to dump loads of sugar and milk into it just to make it better. If all it took was a single teaspoon of sugar, or small droplet of cream, to make coffee more palatable, then I might be a certified coffee aficionado today.
But, no. In order to get coffee tasting somewhat decent to me I have to literally use 4 packets of sugar, and around a quarter cup of milk. No thank you. That's definitely not worth it. Similarly, unsweetened tea tastes like nothing but the pot metal the water was boiled in. I never could understand the draw of that.
So, as you can see, I'm hopeless. There I am unable to do much in the morning but the most mundane tasks. I imagine what it would be like if I had something to pep me up in the dawn hours. I speak to my writer friends, and they tell me that they write for an hour or two before heading out to work. Oh how I wish! That would greatly solve my evening time-management issues. Or how 99% of all people who run do so in the morning. That is so not me! And yet, I could benefit greatly from getting my workouts done before I shower in the morning, rather than when I get home from work. Again, this is biting in to what precious little evening time I have free after work.
So, what can I do? I'm removed from the benefits of a caffeinated culture, yet expected to function and operate as well as anyone else in the morning hours. It just doesn't happen. The gears inside my head don't truly start turning until late morning. Until then, I'm just one or two steps above vegetable soup!
Now, there's one last thing I forgot to mention. Because, after all, I can just hear the majority of you asking why I don't just force myself to drink the coffee despite the horrible death-like taste. Well, unfortunately I have another little quirk to reveal: caffeine doesn't actually have an effect on me. If anything, it actually makes me MORE sleepy. Yes, it's true!
Back in college, I took this way intensive summer language learning program on campus, which required that we spend 4 hours straight each morning in the same classroom jamming Chinese vocab, characters, and conversation drills into our brains until lunch time. I'm talking 4 hours of highly critical thinking here, where your brain needs to be at it highest alertness to process and retain anything. So, yes, I forced myself to drink two cups of coffee before class for three days straight. The verdict? I was even more tired! I think the coffee dehydrated me or something. It certainly didn't pep me up and make me a more alert student. I felt like such crap.
What a waste! Not only does the stuff taste awful, but it doesn't even do what it's supposed to do. Tea is even more useless. Thinking back to my soda-drinking days, it all makes sense now. It makes sense that I used to be able to drink a full can of soda before bed and sleep like a baby. I mean, WHO DOES THAT?
So, I envy you people. You who are so hopelessly addicted to your drug beverage of choice in the mornings. At least you have something that's guaranteed to wake you up and put you in a better mood for the rest of the day. Me? All I have is water. Maybe the occasional orange juice. To be honest, I *do* have generally higher levels of energy than most people my age due to my healthy lifestyle and lack of kids (yay!) . . . but I lose out on so much productivity because I just cannot do squat before 11:00 am most days.
Can anyone else spare some sympathy here?
No, you can't. All you can do is mock me, standing there with that double cappuccino-espresso-latte deluxe or whatever you call those monstrous beverages you cradle to your desk each morning. Is it funny that I don't even know the lingo? Honestly, I'm clueless to what all these terms mean. I'm like the stranger looking in, forever immune to that wonderful elixir culled from the hallowed bastions of the Donuts which Dunk, or the Stars that Buck.
But, at least, now you know. Now you know why I'm not a morning person.
Coincidentally, my wife cannot stand coffee, either. Although she will drink tea on occasion, hailing from a former British colony as she does and all. But we don't even own a coffee maker or basic pot in the house.
I know -- the HORROR!
So, are you a big time caffeine head? What is your poison of choice? Please tell me, so that I may hate you even more!