When Kittyn & I met, we were just young 'uns living and working in Sunny SoCal. I had only been married for 2 years and out of Texas for 1 at that point, so everything seemed new, exciting, challenging and/or scary to me. Adjusting to life in California had been tough fro me. Add in that I had recently gone through the WORST professional experience of my entire life (nothing has surpassed it to date), and you get a soft shelled, scared, young pup. Then I started working at the Boathouse. I was determined to go about things differently this time. I had a new job in a beautiful location, and I REALLY wanted this to be a turning point in my life. One where I took charge, showed myself to my best advantage, and really enjoyed my job.
To that end, I set about making friends with the girl that had been put in charge of showing me the ropes. Unbeknownst to me, this was an uphill battle. This poor girl had been working upwards of 70 hours a week doing her own job and what was to become my job (office manager, restaurant day manager, banquet supervisor). She had not been doing so out of the goodness of her own heart. In fact, she wanted the job. I'm not sure if she was even aware that they had been interviewing for the position because she had been working so hard to keep that place afloat.
You may have guessed that the overworked wretch in question is my own dear Kittyn, but at the time she was just the caustic, cranky, underfed girl who grudgingly showed me what might be expected of me while she chain smoked. I don't know what it was that I saw in her at the time, because she was doing her darndest to show me her worst side... it would be fair to say that she disliked me intensely... but I wanted nothing more than to be her friend.
The details of our initial bonding are fodder for another story. One that I would love for you to hear from her. What I'm trying to get to tonight, was phase II of our friendship - our shared love of Hazelnut coffee. Let me amend that - I didn't really like coffee of any kind, but I had been drinking it on occasion for the caffeine... and Hazelnut smelled good... and I REALLY wanted her to like me SO, at a time when we had trouble paying our rent, I bought us matching GIANT cups and flavored coffee. I then began to drink coffee daily.
Those familiar with foodservice equipment will already know that you cannot make partial pots of coffee in a restaurant. It's a whole pot, or nothing. So every morning, we would brew up a pot and spend waaaaay too much time preparing each cup just the way we liked it. Sometimes with things like whipped cream or ice cream or vodka. Alright fine - not really vodka. That was a one time deal. But we did spend an inordinate amount of time at the coffee maker. Especially since I needed lots of sugar, cream and anything else I could find in order to make coffee palatable.
After a while, a pattern makes itself clear... not to me, but to Kittyn. Apparently, I was physically unable to finish a cup of coffee. No matter what size we made for ourselves be it coffee cup, water glass or giant Rachel Mug, I always left around a quarter of the serving unfinished. Even after she pointed it out, I couldn't seem to finish my beverage. This was a source of amusement between us (and others) for years.
Sometime after fate forced us to part ways, I managed to teach myself to finish a cup of coffee. I began to pride myself on this 'skill'. In fact, I began to inhale coffee in a hurried manner. Once I learned to finish my coffee, I realized that I liked coffee - even unflavored coffee. Once I realized that I liked coffee, I allowed myself to purchase commercially brewed coffee, and my Starbucks habit was formed. I even began to use coffee as a reward for things like 'showing up to work on time' and 'not throttling that idiot back there'. By the time Lily Ruth started gestating, I would regularly stop at my neighborhood Starbucks on my walks with my dog as my reward for going on a walk. I usually finished my cup before I got more than a quarter mile from the store.
This continued through my pregnancy (decaf only, though) and past her birth (back up at half-caff). But in the past few weeks, I've noticed an old pattern re-emerging and I am back to leaving at least a quarter of my beverage unconsumed. Granted, these days it's not because I'm not enjoying my drink. Instead, it seems to be due to a combination of absentmindedness/split attention and the fact that I need both hands to keep my busy daughter from barreling head first into danger. Regardless of the cause, I'm taking it as a sign from the universe that I need some time with Kittyn. From the amount of coffee currently being wasted, I would say that she had better hurry up and come over here else I shall have to pack up the baby and start hitchhiking my way to England. At the very least, we should share a cup by phone - don't you think?