I'm a fortunate person. I can have an occasional drink, I've been known to puff on a cigar with Mark after mowing the lawn, and I'm not at all tempted by drugs or gambling. Lent is even tricky for me, because while at times during my life I've religiously drank a diet coke, or eaten pretzels everyday, it's not a big deal to give it up.
At this point in my life, there's just one thing. Only one thing, really. But it's big. And, it's two-fold. First off, it's coffee. Not just any coffee, but good coffee. Fresh ground from whole beans, gold-filtered, and in a thermal pot. I'm spoiled. Every. Single. Morning.
The second part of it is a little more ridiculous. I love Coffee Mate. Love, Love, Love it. I spend more on Coffee Mate in a week than on milk. In fact, I buy it by the half gallon and often travel with it if I'm bound to wake up in a place where the French Vanilla Coffee Mate has gone dry. No other flavor nor brand will do.
No exaggeration, it's quite the addiction. I've even talked to a friend priest of ours if something so enjoyable and necessary to my day would be something that I should be giving up for Lent one of these years. He thought about it for a minute, explained that he himself had been in the same predicament, when a wise priest had told him that giving up something like that up would have such a effect on the functionality of the person (i.e. me) that it would put others in the near occasion of sin. Of course, it was kinda a joke, but for the time being, I'm off the hook.
Last weekend we traveled back to our hometown to visit our families, and along with the dogs, children, and other required packing, the Coffee Mate sat in the front seat with me. At the end of the weekend while we were packing to head north, little Paulie was sick, and while I normally would never let such a travesty befall, I forgot the Coffee Mate in the midst of distraction.
For the last three days I've been choking down my closest alternative: half and half with sugar. I'm trying. Trying! To enjoy it as much as my French Vanilla, but it's still falling a distant second. The truth is that Coffee Mate is not only high in calories, it also has trans fat and is totally non-dairy. It's made from soybean oil, sugar, and trans fat. I know it's not healthy, but like most addiction, I just don't care. Today is be my third day on my organic half and half and unbleached organic sugar in my coffee. Bleh!
I want this to work. I'll let you know if an intervention is necessary.