Old habits die hard. New ones do, too.
This week, after making myself a cup of coffee that included a creamer and a packet of sugar, I put the lid on it and decided to mix it by shaking it.
“Decided” is a strong word because my action was a force of habit associated with something else, and because of it I ended up with hot coffee all over my pants. Smooth move, Steuck.
At first I couldn’t figure out why I mixed my coffee by shaking it. It’s something I’ve never done before, as I know the consequences of shaking something that isn’t meant to be shaken. Sure, it had a lid, and thank god it did as it kept most of my coffee in the cup, but the lid had a big hole designed for coffee to go through slowly and into my caffeine-addicted mouth. Not my white, less caffeinated pants.
Because it happened at work, I had to explain myself. Coming up with an explanation for something you’re not quite sure why you did in the first place can be amusing. “I know I shook my coffee for a reason, but I’m not sure what that reason is?”
My first and only theory was because I had a Bloody Mary the night before, and maybe I had shaken that like a martini. Nope. It was stirred. And I certainly hope a once-a-week Bloody Mary indulgence isn’t causing me to do things I normally wouldn’t do. If so, then maybe I’m putting a little too much vodka in my drink and not enough Bloody Mary mix.
Thankfully that’s not the case, as one of my co-workers, Ann, was able to determine. “Does Declan take formula?” she asked.
Declan, my 3-month-old son, does take formula occasionally. And to make formula, I put a couple of scoops of the stuff in a bottle of water, put the nipple on it and then, you guessed it, shake.
I’m not a light shaker either. I make sure the formula completely mixes with the water, because if I was a baby I wouldn’t want to drink half-mixed formula-water. It better be as close to my mother’s milk as it possibly can. Declan can’t shake it himself, much less hold the bottle on his own, so it’s up to his parents to do it right.
So when I made my coffee that morning, I was in baby mode. Hopefully I’ll never make that mistake again, but knowing me, I’ll probably associate some baby-mode habit with something non-baby in my life. My fear is I’ll “talk baby” to someone I’m interviewing for a story, leading him or her to wonder what the big oaf is doing.
The big oaf just doesn’t know how to shake new habits. Or his coffee.