Sunday, August 10, 2008

My Dog Is My Coffee Buddy

My wife Jami and I had a fairly brief courtship before marrying, so we weren't able to find out everything couples usually do before tying the noose. For eighteen years now, we've had fun finding out these little things about each other. One day, early on, I found out something very important - the hard way.

On my way home from work, I thought I'd surprise Jay by bringing her a cup of coffee from Dunkin Donuts. I even got a blueberry muffin to go along with it knowing what a delicious combination that can be. I raced home, eager to please my mate with this loving gesture, walked in the door, and joyfully announced, "Honey. I brought you a little surprise."

"What's this?" she asked.

"I got you a coffee and a muffin."

What followed left me in near-total dismay: "Oh, thanks for the muffin, Sweety. But I don't drink coffee."

I froze for a moment as she plucked her gift bag from my fingers and pranced away muffin in hand. For several minutes I ambled aimlessly in circles fending off shock. What have I done? Have I chosen as a partner-for-life someone who doesn't partake of one of its greatest joys? I was looking forward to many years of blissful coffee-drinking moments with her. Now what? What else is there?

Needing to compose myself, I left her coffee on the kitchen table and went into the office to gather my thoughts. After the shock came the disillusionment: She's left-handed, has brown eyes, and doesn't drink coffee. Surely, any divorce court in the land could see just how cruel this is. Maybe it wasn't too late for an annulment. She's even poisoned my daughter against me with this coffee thing. Alycia wants nothing to do with it. Hates the taste of it. Another coffee soul mate - lost for all time.

Then I thought better of things. Looking on the bright side: Jay loves watching golf with me on television every Sunday. How many husbands can say that? She enjoys watching baseball, too. Another good thing. I guess it's not so bad, after all. A year or so of marriage counseling should clear things right up.

Feeling a little better, I went back into the kitchen to get the coffee I left for Jay and put it in the microwave to heat up. (This was a two-coffee moment for me.) As I approached the kitchen, I heard the distinct sound of a slurping dog. Hmm. The dog's water dish was not in the kitchen. Wonder what it could be. What I saw next was unnerving. I entered the kitchen to the sight of a canine caffeine addict in the making. Our precocious young dog, Riley, had propped himself onto a chair and was voraciously drinking the coffee I left on the table!

To this day, whenever I leave my coffee unattended, I can be sure Riley will be right there to avail himself of the fruits of my absentmindedness.

I've given up yelling at Riley for just following his instincts, strange though they are. In fact, I may have inadvertently happened upon that precious, missing commodity in my social life: someone to drink coffee with.

Now whenever I'm in the mood for both coffee and a little company, I know better than to turn to my own wife and daughter and simply look to my dog and say, "C'mon Riley. It looks like it's you and me today. One extra cream, no sugar. Right?"

1 comment:

  1. A great image of comradery and shared enjoyment with the fall back mammal properly known as “man’s best friend.”

    How long did you woo your wife before the wedding ceremony? Ours was short as well. My parents were mortified by my choice due to my husband’s lack of passion and accomplishment with music.

    I’ve found for myself that expectations for the future-- especially when others are concerned-- are generally different than what reality dishes up. Although it’s great to have a lovely outlook, one must be flexible with accepting reality just as you were with taking your dog as your coffee companion.