Busy. Fast. Anxious. Nervous. Impatient. Are all words that have been used to describe me in a tailspin. It might not be totally apparent in writing, but I wear the “type A” personality traits like Flavor Flav wears his ridiculously over-sized clocks. Too bad I cannot add some bling to the intangible yet in your face quirks that consume me. I have grown to love my Mr. Hyde. It could be worse. I could be cruel or abusive, but (thankfully) my Mr. Hyde is not as dark as his fictional brother. Rather mine has manifested itself as severe organization, order, and circular thoughts around big decisions and changes. So why I am writing about this today?
This morning in class in the middle of talking about “Why China Matters,” I felt intense heart palpitations. My immediate reaction was: Holy smokes I am having a heart attack!! I froze for a moment in the middle of my explanation of something relating to China’s economy (I cannot remember the details now as I was thinking in the moment I am having a heart attack and these students have no idea!!). I muscled through the explanation, set the students on an internet scavenger hunt for more evidence and walked quietly to the back of the class to keel over and die from my heart attack. Alas, the heart attack did not overtake me and relieved I started to frantically scan through my morning with my mind’s eye. What could possibly have contributed to this sensation. Keeping an eye on the clock and the class it hit me: My Coffee! I had made myself a double shot of espresso in a latte this morning before bounding to the car and class. I had overdosed on my caffeine and my heart was WIRED.
The irony of all of this is the coffee machine that made this almost lethal cup. Rewind two months and we find me standing in Crate&Barrel salivating over the Nespresso Machines. David was out with friends and I took the opportunity to “just go and see” these expensive and highly desirable home brewers. It was then that my anxiety went into a tailspin. As my eyes took in the stainless steel and plastic, I became desperate to have one of these machines knowing nonetheless how David disapproved of my coffee fix. I spent one hour in the store talking with a very knowledgeable sales associate. I chewed her ear off for a whole hour telling her about how much I wanted the machine, that I was newlywed, that my husband didn’t approve, that I really wanted it, that I needed to know the return policy, that I wanted to become a Nespresso member, that I had a coupon, that I was unsure what David would say, that is would be a huge investment, that the coffee it made tasted so good, etc. etc. etc. At the time, the salesperson seemed so understanding but now I question how much she wanted to shake me and scream buy it or not it doesn’t really matter this much! After over an hour of hemming and hawing about it, I bought the machine.
I secreted the Nespresso into the trunk of my car just like all guilty wives and headed home. The Nespresso stayed in the trunk for two days. The guilt and anxiety over my fast and impatient decision weighed down on me. Whenever David and I spoke, I could swear he knew my dirty secret that in the garage tucked in the trunk was the coffee machine. I sometimes laughed too loudly at his jokes as a result of being on edge or responded to him too quickly or jumped when he came in from an errand. I obsessively asked him what he thought about me buying a Nespresso machine to his absolute annoyance. Why keep asking him, he would say, if I already knew the answer. I returned the Nespresso on the fourth day. But, three days later I confessed my wild adventure into neurosis and much to my surprise David was not totally opposed. He did think I was being a little ridiculous with the whole stowing it away like drugs in the garage bit, but later that day we went back to a different Crate&Barrel (I couldn’t bear being seen by the same saleswoman) and purchased a cheaper model. My original machine had had all the bells and whistles which compounded my guilt.
Today, in the back of the room, while I was frantic about my heart attack and then relieved to know I had just overdone it on the coffee, I laughed out loud as I recalled how the coffee machine made it into my house and how I had yet again “over done it” on the dramatics! Clearly, I need some help learning to slow down. Perhaps the coffee machine was a poor investment after all…..nah!