We are a breed with an undying ability to attract disaster. To most, disaster is an insurmountable obstacle, but with the help of caffeine, we can learn to better navigate the booby-trapped labyrinth of life. Here is an abridged guide to help you pair disaster with its caffeinated solution.
1. The Librarian
Disaster: I wake up in a panic, sweat already dripping down my face. Reaching for my wide-framed glasses resting atop a bedside anthology of underrated 18th century poetry, I know that today is the day every librarian in America dreads… a local middle school class is taking a fieldtrip to my library. Sticky digits on antique covers, pages ripping, yelling, screaming, nose picking and worst of all… playing Hide-And-Seek in the aisles of precious books that I spent all winter organizing.
Drink: Vanilla Macchiato – Calming yet caffeinated, this drink gives me enough pep to entertain an audience of perpetually distracted children as I explain the brilliance of the Dewey Decimal System and still leaves me chilled out enough to avoid a total emotional breakdown. It also doesn’t hurt that Vanilla Macchiato resembles the name of my new aged spiritual guide.
Other Disasters: Dissertation on Post-Modern Poetic Devices / Reading The Great Gatsby For The First Time At Age 35 / Competing In National Scrabble Tournament
2. The Romantic
Disaster: Oh Sappho, what strange forces of desire made me think that lunch on Monday would be the ideal time to schedule a first date? Pairing the malaise of a morning in the office with a hangover from Sunday’s bottomless brunch, I am in no state to receive suitors. But alas, it is 11:45am on Monday and even the clicking of my mouse as I avoid a last minute proposal to browse through my date’s Facebook profile for the seventeenth time creates an insufferable pounding in my skull. I could bail… but my freshman year roommate just changed his Netflix password. Is a first date is too early to ask this dreamboat for his Netflix account? Who am I kidding… he is going to take one look at me and see a tired, consumed-by-work, Netflix-less person. I bet he finds an excuse to get out of this date early. …I might as well ogle his shirtless pictures from that vacation he took to Cancun one last time.
Drink: Starbucks Refreshers Raspberry Pomegranate – When was the last time I had raspberries? What about pomegranate? And when was the last time that I had them together in a beverage that makes me feel like I just got back from a rejuv-ication? Never… until now. My lunchtime love quest can’t fail with this potent infusion of energy and quirk. My body may be a temple devoid of Netflix and nauseously grumbling at the sight of that double cheeseburger, but that won’t stop me from politely laughing about his unfunny stories. The guy may be dull, but we are only a few weeks away from beach season… so until then I’ll just download those shirtless Cancun pictures.
Other Disasters: Seven-Mile Hike For A Second Date With Cancun Guy / Post-New Year’s Resolution Workouts / No Viable Mixers For Pregaming
3. The Graduate
Disaster: When I told my parents that I was majoring in communications they acted pleased, wordlessly smiling and blinking, but I could tell that they wanted to disown me, to plead-talk in that way only they could master, “Why exactly are we paying fifty thousand dollars a year for you to get a major in… in communications?” Now, with my degree in a box in their basement and a crisp resume in my briefcase, the time has come to prove them wrong. Sure, the job description mentioned a major in accounting, but I’ve used Excel and a graphing calculator once… I think. I mean, I do have a bachelor’s degree. Okay, I’m going to be fine. As long as they don’t ask me anything about numbers, I’m going to be fine. And if I bomb the interview, I still have the new sofa my parents’ put in the den for my graduation present.
Drink: Iced Coffee – With ice running through veins, I am ready to coolly answer any question asked. Numbers? Hah! I invented numbers in my spare time, y’know when I wasn’t curating a Tumblr for my Social Presence Colloquium and Twitter bashing D-list celebrities. I am the poster child for employability. I am the iced coffee, I am an unbreakable glacier… and did I mention that I am a person who really, really, really needs this job?
Other Disasters: Kid-Sister’s Outdoors High School Graduation / Company Sponsored Picnic / Attending Any Sporting Event Between May And August.
4. The Babysitter
Disaster: The weekend was going to be a relaxing retreat to my childhood home, finishing my mom’s half-drunk bottles of stale wine and watching and rewatching every movie that was on HBO in a 48-hour period. I mistakenly started Saturday morning with a wandering stroll along the familiar streets of my hometown. I was almost home. I could feel the old springs of the couch digging into my back. I could feel the remote in my hand. I could feel the smooth burn of wine on my tongue. And that’s when disaster struck. My mom’s neighbor Mrs. Canterson was unloading her minivan of children. She looked at me, death in her eyes, and asked if I would like to make some money for a few hours of easy work. I said, “sure,” and she told me to come by at six to watch her kids while she and her husband attended a charity event. The words hit me like a blindfolded child missing a piñata and swinging a stick straight into my gut. I hadn’t babysat in almost a decade. Could I even talk to a person under the age of sixteen anymore?
Drink: Salted Caramel Mocha Frappuccino – As playful and disobedient as twenty-somethings drunkenly sneaking onto playground after midnight; the sugary, salty drink is guaranteed to let these kid know that I am a pretty chill semi-adult person. Not only does it put me on their sugar-high-frequency-wavelength, but also it looks enough like a milkshake to barter sips of this desert-in-a-cup for good behavior. If all else fails, I could load them in the minivan and take them to get their own Frappuccinos… that would help this situation, right? No? …Well what about that stale wine?
Other Disasters: First Day Student Teaching / Leading A Youth Group / Driving A Group Of Friends To Six Flags
5. The Gamer
Disaster: Despite the half bottle of NyQuil I guzzled, excitement and anticipation for the midnight release of Metal Gears of Alien Warcraft prevented me from sleeping. The big day is finally here but I, like the evil aliens from Mastalon, find myself destined for an untimely demise. Heavy-lidded and trembling with exhaustion, even the thought of standing in line for five hours is enough to make my knees buckle. But what would lieutenant Starbuck Chaos do? When the fate of earth is on the line he doesn’t stumble into his apartment and nap. No, he rallies and conquers.
Drink: Two Trenta Coffees – If I act like the second coffee is for a fictional person waiting in the car I can avoid getting side-eyed by the barista. Like Starbuck Chaos himself, the two giant coffees are a formidable, nay, unstoppable force. And sure, by the time I finally get the game in my possession and begin saving humanity, I am shaking with exhaustion and dangerously wavering between reality and delusion… but that only makes Metal Gears of Alien Warcraft better.
Other Disasters: Studying For A Final Exam In An Optional Attendance Lecture / 10pm Neighborhood Association Meetings / Unexpected Road Trips
Hopefully these tidbits can help you navigate through those unfortunate and unexpected events life manages to hack up. Just remember to keep calm, go to Starbucks and if a pedestrian bumps into you on the street, knocking a Starbucks order out of your hand… stare at the drink like it is a symbol for your dreams splattering across the sidewalk and yell to the sky. You just might get their pity, and more importantly, some cash to go back to Starbucks.