My mom has this song.
I guess it’s one of those “mom songs” that every family has, which is only ever known and sung by that family who have sworn to secrecy the very fact of its existence.
So my mom’s song is about coffee (actually, she has a song about tea as well – that one even has its own synchronized moves – but this is a blog post about coffee, so…)
Anyway, this song was born on one of those chilled Saturday winter mornings when the only thing lingering in the frosted air was an ABBA song (“Money, money, money” – so Christian, I know) and this one word that everyone gasped as they stumbled into the frigid kitchen with the sole purpose of ensuring that the black elixir of life was brewing.
“coffee??” *gasp* “coffee!!” *gasp* “where’s the coffee?” (all lower case, as voices cannot be fully employed at this early stage of the day)
We’re obviously not morning people. Well, with the exception of Mamma, who somehow smiles and sings and speaks above a whisper, all before the cups have even made it to the counter.
So urged on by her morning cheer, this ABBA song and this caffeinated word somehow found each other amidst the cups and spoons, and the result was this:
“Coffee coffee coffee – coffee coffee – in a mommy’s world,” sang my mother as she danced the milk bottle out of the fridge.
“Coffee coffee coffee – coffee coffee – it’s a mommy’s world,” my sister sleepily picked up the chorus.
And the song stuck.
But not only did it stick, it became a sort of prequel to the sacred plunger ritual. Soon, puffy morning faces were lighting up at the mere tune, before that pungent smell had even wafted into being. Or the real ABBA song would come on during the day, and people would absentmindedly reach for a mug. Or worse, a guest would arrive, the coffee would come out, and the family would forget where they were and break into enthusiastic strains of “Coffee coffee coffee – coffee coffee – in a mommy’s world… Ahaaaiii- aaaiii! All the things I could do – if I had a little coffee. It’s a mommy’s world…” and so on.
It’s not hard to see why this song did not remain anonymously in our family, and my friend, visiting for a week and settling into our routine, walked into our kitchen one morning loudly singing (you guessed it): “Coffee coffee coffee…” Wait – what?!
I should, at this point, insert a side note. I am not a coffee addict. In fact, I am barely a coffee drinker. I actually quite like coffee, and am not adverse to the odd cup here and there. But I savor it as a treat, rather than a panacea for the dilemma of mornings.
And because I can view the coffee situation as, I feel, an objective Medium-Cafe-Latte-Non-Addict, it leaves me somewhat worried about the effects on over-caffeinated sleep-deprived non-morning people. Some of whom I live with.
Take for example the sister who sips and sighs and croons in Celine Dion tremolo, “It’s all coming back, it’s all coming back to me now…”
Or the distressing sight of the work colleague, slumped over her desk begging the clock to strike 10:00am and thus signal the release of the coffee pot from its prison of “hang-in-there-until-10:00am-baby”.
Or the friend who is convinced that it’s coffee pulsing in his veins, rich and bitter and life-giving.
Or this overheard statement, which one would expect from a modern Shakespearean sonnet, but never from a half-asleep human who has suddenly scented coffee in the air and burst into half-sung prose:
“There’s this feeling of deep joy when I slowly press down the plunger, then pour the dark liquid into the cup and see the richness of the foam on top…”
Me? Worried? Just a little.
Am I the only one who literally hears the bags of coffee beans chuckling at their raw power over bags under tired eyes? Am I the only one who asks for tea in a coffee shop? Am I the only one who wakes up calmly and gently, rather than with a java kick in the backside? At least I know I’m not the only one who will never hear the opening music of that ABBA song quite the same way again…
So now I am looking for a counselor. One who will empathise with my uncertainty regarding caffeine-spiked karaoke. One who will walk me safely through this bean-mad world, clutching my porcelain tea cup. One who will give me a gentle debrief over a slowly-brewed coffee.
Hey, when in Rome… you may as well try a good Italian brew.
© Emma McGeorge 2015