Tuesday, October 23, 2012

My Caffiene Fueled View of the Debate



I woke up this morning to the ugly realization that I forgot to buy coffee yesterday. In my world, this is a bad, bad thing.

Luckily, I quickly remembered that I'd purchased a jar of instant coffee a few weeks before, for just such an emergency. But my relief was short lived.

Perhaps I shouldn't have chosen the store brand. Maybe Folgers in my cup would have tasted a bit more like actual coffee. Or that instant java pioneer, Nescafe.

But I didn't, and it was fairly horrible. It did the job of waking me up, with none of the pleasure.

So while taking Charlie out for his morning constitutional, we stopped by the corner convenience store cum Dunkin' Donuts counter. There we picked up a bag of French Vanilla coffee for $8.99. I'd deliberately left my wallet at home and carried a $10 bill so that I wouldn't be too tempted by things deep fried and sugar crusted. But the pumpkin muffin looked delicious.

And it wasn't a donut, after all.

But the coffee was $8.99, and the muffin was $1.49. Math doesn't lie, so it didn't come home with me.

Charlie and I headed back out the door, feeling somewhat virtuous for not buying a donut, which would actually have fit within the budget. But we were also annoyed. Charlie, because they didn't give him a Munchkin like they do at the drive through. Me, because of the overall injustice.

Once outside, I looked at the bag. Turns out it actually weighs a full pound, unlike what you find in most grocery stores. That made me feel better for about 20 seconds, but then I thought about it some more. The reality is what it is: I paid $9.00 for a pound of coffee. And not yuppie high brow coffee, or granola crunchy organic coffee, or socially conscious fare trade coffee. We are talking donut shop coffee.

Sure it's delicious to a plebeian palate like mine. But it's not exactly top shelf, despite the price.

Which brought me straight around to last night's presidential debate, with it's bickering and phony smiles and contradictions, all centering (theoretically) around foreign policy. I wanted to blame them for my first world problem. I wanted them to care about real people who just want to have a reasonably priced cup of coffee in the morning that doesn't taste like caca.

A few hours later I'm here trying to view it with a bit more objectivity. It's easier now that I'm fueled by a cup of tasty, non-instant, vanilla-scented, black-tinted, liquid gold. My caffeinated brain recognizes the ridiculous nature of my complaint, particularly when contrasted against the issues that rage in the world all around us. But I think that what I experienced is also universally true.

What most of us want is simple peace. No matter what economic position we hold within this society of riches, we yearn for having our simple desires satisfied without worries being attached to each satisfaction. We want to be able to fill up our coffee pots and our gas tanks and our bellies without worrying. We want dystopian novels and apocalyptic movies to not feel so inevitable. We want international strife to be clear cut enough to know when we should be in or out.

We want to wake up and drink a cup of real coffee and face the day without fear.

I feel sorry for both candidates. Neither one can give us what we want.

Time for another cup of Joe.


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