1. Morning Coffee
Like all true friends, Morning Coffee brings out your best. This warm, invigorating companion is always there for you, even when you’re cranky or haven’t brushed your hair. If you’re being honest, meeting up with Morning Coffee was the only thing that got you out of bed this morning. When you suddenly need to coach your preschooler through an emotional crisis about a band-aid, Morning Coffee doesn’t even call you out for ghosting.
2. Second Coffee
It’s been a few days since you saw Second Coffee. A visit starts to seem like a good idea after you change the baby’s diaper and swallow the cold dregs of your rediscovered cup from earlier. Yes, you resolved to stick to one cup in the morning, then boost your energy with a 15-minute Pilates practice. But that was stupid. What are you, too good for Second Coffee? You’d throw away your relationship for a YouTube fitness instructor who doesn’t know you exist? You brew another cup. Unfortunately, things between you and Second Coffee start to cool off as soon as you see each other. You stick with it to save face, but the whole interaction makes you anxious and queasy.
3. & 4. Two Cocoas
A little cloying but pleasant to spend time with now and then. Small Cocoa, although probably an unhealthy influence on your preschooler, keeps her occupied long enough for you to “like” a few Facebook photos and remind people you exist. Meanwhile, Large Cocoa seems to say, You’re doing great, Mama! The affirmation feels good even though you hate being called Mama. You get the extra marshmallows, Mama, because you bought the damn marshmallows! Maybe you should get together with the Cocoas more often. Your preschooler asks why you’re squeezing the mug so tightly. When you reach to wipe a smashed pea out of the baby’s earhole, your skin is so hot that she yelps.
5. Third Coffee
Not really your friend. Toxic.
6. Black Tea
Your steady lifelong companion, Black Tea is a reassuring presence that bathes your face in steam while it listens to your anxieties and fears and — hold on, are you talking to your Yeti mug?
7. Half-Caf Hazelnut Latte, No Foam
Remember going to cafés? You haven’t seen Half-Caf Hazelnut Latte, No Foam in over a year, but the relationship is alive in your mind. You can close your eyes and picture the two of you sitting inside a whole coffee shop full of strangers, laptop open, feeling like you were part of a community. Half-Caf Hazelnut Latte, No Foam must be missing you, too. Maybe you should send a text just to say, “Thinking of you?” No, that sounds too needy. You put on the kids’ jackets, buckle them into the car and drive past the café, just in case you catch a glimpse.
8. Night Coffee
Ignore Night Coffee’s false promises about helping with the work you still need to get done after the kids are in bed. It just wants to refresh Twitter and look up music videos from the early aughts. After Night Coffee is gone, you’ll be jittery and restless all night, lying in bed and rehashing old conversations. Night Coffee has burned you in the past.
Some people might tell you this is not a beverage. Don’t listen to them. Don’t listen to your family knocking on the door, either.
10. Organic Nighty-Night Herbal Tea with Chamomile and Licorice
Thank goodness for your sage companion (but not Sage Blackberry, which had to be thrown out after your baby drooled into the box). Clutching your most optimistic Sandra Boynton mug with two clawed hands, you stare down at your reflection in the pool of purplish liquid. The organic brew whispers to you, audibly now. I see you, it says. You are an adult with a career. Someday you will be in your house with no other members of your family present. Your book club will definitely remember to invite you when they start meeting again. You drink deeply, with gratitude. The tea tastes like garbage.