Living life like I’m an R&B singer named Usher

For those of you who lived through 2004, you might remember a little R&B diddy called “Confessions,” in which Usher admits to being less than the ideal boyfriend. I remember being so disturbed by the success of both this song and the album of the same name, which sold over 1 million copies in the first week of release. Were Americans actually condoning cheating?

Well, judgmental 15 year old Yaffa has now given way to a twenty-something version of a mini-adult, committing the same egregious act for which I repeatedly condemned as a teenager.

I should clarify, though, that my discretion is a modified version of the boy-girl conflict Usher so smoothly delineates. In place of wronging a young man, I am wronging my favorite coffee establishment.

Yes, there have been several times when I’ve ventured into Stumptown territory, and even the occasion when I frequented more independent caffeine establishments in the East Village, but since moving to Nolita, I have taken infidelity to a whole new level of coffee-based immorality.

In place of walking approximately four minutes out of my way to frequent Starbucks, I have stopped at Gimme! Coffee, a coffee shop whose very name resonates with me. And despite the constant barrage of hipsters I am forced to contend with when I arrive, I keep coming back for more. In fact, after tomorrow I will have earned my first free Gimme! Coffee drink. (Note: this implies that I have already purchased nine drinks from said coffee bar.)

I could excuse my adultery by arguing that it is a matter of convenience, as I dash off to tackle the daily challenges of New York law enforcement, but, in actuality, it’s because I secretly love Gimme’s lattes.

I admit it, Starbucks no longer gives me the same immediate adrenaline rush that it once did. I have become so desensitized to the sensation of its caffeinated glory that it takes multiple cups to have the necessary energizing effect. Gimme, however, and at least in the interim, provides me a swift and wondrous burst of energy. I strongly suspect I will in the very near future pull a Joseph Gordon Levitt and share my immediate happiness with the Mott Street passerbys:

I detail my coffee shenanigans, though, to highlight a central fear I have about long-term relationships with the opposite sex. What if I wake up one day, and I decide to exchange Mr. Starbucks for Mr. Gimme– with little to no warning to the former? What if I simply outgrow him, and he no longer thrills me the way he once did?

Some might argue that would be my cue to enlist in couples therapy, but assuming I am still buried beneath a mountain of law school debt, I doubt that will be an affordable option.

A co-worker today, when presented with my coffee/romance dilemma, argued (as all lawyers inevitably do) that I should order a new drink from Starbucks. Instead of being the venti skinny vanilla latte girl for life, I should spice it up– try a skinny hazelnut cappuccino just for kicks. Or, as she phrased it,  be “creative and innovative; make it feel new and fresh and exciting all over again.”

So tomorrow I resolve to give Starbucks another chance, and if my caffeine experiment succeeds, perhaps recover from my fear of long-term relationship ennui.


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