Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Negotiating Integrity

I'm sitting in a torture chamber as I write this blog post. Cleverly disguised as a neighborhood coffee house, this is a den of iniquity for me right now.  The tantalizing smell of coffee brewing wafts around me like a favorite hat that is swooped from my head by a gust of wind.   It is swirling around me, tantalizingly close and always inches out of reach.   

I'm on a cleanse. This is day 16 of a 21-day cleanse, as a matter of fact.  I've had a couple of blips along the way but no coffee. I don't drink coffee on a daily basis, saving it for those days when I need that extra pick-me-up or for a weekend coffee date with my husband.  And I've been doing fine with a daily cup of Yerba mate tea, which has it's own smidge of naturally occurring caffeine, in place of the latte I so dearly love, for lo these past sweet sixteen.  I was caught totally off guard this morning, then, when the urge for one great coffee buzz flattened me like Wile E. Coyote running himself over with a steamroller.   

"Just one cup," I thought. "One small cup will give me the energy to get some work done." I haven't felt a real sense of accomplishment since I started this cleanse.  "It will be organic," I reasoned. "I can maintain my integrity and my pledge to reduce my toxic load, if it's a cold brewed, shade grown, Fair Trade, organic coffee. It will be nothing less than a heroic, selfless act of Eco-commerce." I will do whatever it takes to negotiate with Mr. Will & Ms. Integrity and get myself out of this caffeine and sugar deprived stupor. 

This is what I do. I'm an excellent negotiator, if I say so myself, even if the bulk of my professional experience is among Me, Myself and I. We can be a tough crowd, so it's a testament to my skill to note just how often I'm able to get us all to come to terms. 

We all three got into the car and drove to Organix, the local organic food store, to see what we could work out.  I noticed immediately that the store is out of my favorite tea.  This didn't bode well for Me.  "Do you have any organic coffee?" I heard Myself ask. 

"There's a nice organic cold brew in the refrigerator," the clerk said, as he handed a bottle to Me who could barely contain her joy. I saw Myself reflected in the glass of the refrigerator glass, and I could see she was pissed. "You're not going to give up so easily, are you?" she hissed. I shrugged. "Perhaps it's meant to be," I said.  I put a single bottle in my cart. "It's got a real bottle cap, so we can't open it until we get home to a bottle opener," I said to reassure Myself. "Maybe this will all have blown over by then."

Back at home, I had just enough time to put away the groceries before it was time to head out to this writing meetup. I made Me put the cold brew into the fridge. She relented only because I pointed out, "this is a brew to savor, not to be slammed down in a rush." I saw Myself giving Me a celebratory thumbs up, which deflated Me. "Besides," I said, "we don't need it. Our next stop is a coffeehouse.  With all organic coffee!"  

We all got back into the car. "Blackberry tea, please!" I heard Myself blurt out at the counter, before anyone else could speak. I glanced at Me who fell into a petulant pout.  I took the tea to our usual table and set us up to write. "Isn't this nice?" I said. "We worked it all out and we're still friends."

The mere suggestion of a compromise riled Me.  I heard her scheming, "okay, fine, not today, but the cold brew is definitely on for breakfast tomorrow. It's organic, there's no need to rush tomorrow, plenty of time to savor it..."  I heard Myself sigh. 

All this dissension is making it hard for me to my concentrate on writing.    Maybe it will be better tomorrow, after that coffee.....

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