Thursday, September 22, 2005

The Coffee Bust

I am turning into a coffee snob. It has not wrecked my home life yet, but it has tested it. For the last 15 years at least my wife has been in charge of all our coffee needs. She has a special blend she grinds up at the grocery store. Once we found the compromise between my lusting after caffeinated sludge and her preference for tepid and barely brown hot water, we have been happy with this set up.

Then this last Spring, the Poland Spring guy who keeps me in bottled water at my shop mentioned a new promotion they had. If I agreed to buy 10 bags of Starbucks coffee in one year, I could keep this spiffy Cuinsinart coffee maker valued at over $100 for free. Knowing that nothing is free, after I figured the math, it still seemed like a good deal. So I signed up. Spending $2 to $3 bucks a day for take out coffee seemed silly when I could supply myself with coffee dialed to my taste. The savings would start in less than a year. Win, win all around. That's what I thought anyway.

The coffee maker was delivered with my first bag of Starbucks "Verona" blend. My first batch made my eyeballs do somersaults. Too strong. But isn't that coffee maker some spiffy. I left the last of the coffee sit in the carafe for 6 hours. When I poured it out, it was still warm. After several unsatisfactory batches, I figured out the ratio of coffee grinds to water. That is when I found Coffee Heaven. No compromising, no cheap beans, just quality coffee dripped to my personal satisfaction.

I got to the point where I was drinking less of the home brewed my wife was making. My usual 4 to 5 cup daily send off was replaced by an obligatory first cup to placate her and make me feel less guilty. This left a fair charge of coffee wasted every day. My wife, a smart and clever woman, eventually took notice. I mumbled something about wanting to cut the caffeine down. This worked for awhile.

And then I was busted. And busted by an accountant. Accountants do not like being lied to. At least mine did not, that's for sure. My wife handles all my accounting for my bike shop. As she is an accountant and I am not, this division in labor makes perfect sense. My excuse of wanting to cut down on caffeine was thrown right out the window when she opened the bill from Poland Spring with 3 bags of coffee in the line item category. She had known about the coffee maker and the 10 bag deal. When I started to say I was just trying to get the 10 bag committment out of the way, she pointed out that this last 3 bag purchase put me into the 16 bag range so far. She asked me if I forgot how to count or was I now retailing coffee along with bicycles.

I was faced with either coming up with another more outrageous lie or coming clean. Neither option seemed to harbor a positive outcome. The steel eyed stare in her eyes told me there was no option. I knew I had to come clean. I admitted I had been seduced by another coffee supplier. The flashy new brewer and the high-falutin blend had turned my head. I even admitted the coffee at home was nowhere close to what I was cranking out at the shop. I emptied my soul of all the pent up coffee guilt I had been accruing for the last 6 months. It was a pitiful display. Through it all, she kept those steely eyes fixed right on me. Damn! I hate it when she does that.

We are working this all out. Once I came clean and reinforced her low opinion of men and the lies they think they get away with, Life became tolerable again. It does not matter what we get caught for, just that we are caught and we know it. Women just love to catch us being stupid. One more dumb ass husband trick to be filed away in their steel trap minds for future retreival when the occaision warrants it.