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Coffee controversy may just be ‘grounds’ for divorce

Coffee controversy may just be ‘grounds’ for divorce

By: By CHRIS MENEES Messenger Staff Reporter

Coffee controversy may just be ‘grounds’ for divorce | Just a Thought, Chris Menees, coffee
I love personal relationship books with titles like “What Men Won’t Tell You but Women Need to Know.”
Surely to goodness no one could fit all of it into just one book. I envision a numbered set, like encyclopedias, complete with regular revisions to allow for changes to the rules.
Honestly, after 16 years of wedded bliss to the same man, I still learn something new every day.
Case in point: I just learned a couple of weeks ago that I’ve been making coffee completely wrong all these years.
It’s pretty irrelevant to me, since I don’t drink coffee at home in the mornings, but I like to keep the hubby happy when he enjoys his morning cup o’ joe.
The heated debate over the making of the coffee started one night when he spied me going about my nightly ritual of doing dishes, which includes cleaning the coffee maker. It’s a simple routine that basically includes dumping the used coffee grounds, wiping down the unit and washing the glass pot.
From the sound of my husband’s gasp, you’d have thought I’d sold his tools or hidden the television remote or had a hand in some other calamity.
“You’re using SOAP on the coffee pot?” he asked with a wild-eyed look.
“Is this a trick question?” I wanted to ask in response.
Instead, I gently explained that I have this crazy habit of using hot soapy water to wash the dishes, which includes removing the nasty brown stains from the coffee pot. It didn’t sound at all silly or unreasonable to me.
He then proceeded to tell me the error of my ways. It seems he learned everything he needs to know about coffee-making from his time served in the military many moons ago.
He recalled the good old days in the Army when a manly-man could have a steaming cup of pitch-black, put-hair-on-your-chest, he-man coffee from an urn that held 120 cups and was ritually cleaned just once a month. Yes, just once a month (probably whether it needed it or not).
“It was rinsed out — and that was it,” he said firmly, punctuating the thought with a dramatic hand gesture.
But there was more. They wouldn’t have dared stick a dishrag down into the precious pot either. No sirree, no wiping or scrubbing allowed in the ranks.
My first impulse was to point out that I wasn’t in the military, never had been, probably never would be. Instead, I just stood there, dumbfounded.
“If you were a coffee drinker, you’d understand,” he sighed, a hint of sadness in his voice.
I gave him a moment to gather his composure, then tried to justify my heinous crime of coffee pot-washing by explaining that I was simply following the manufacturer’s directions that came with the pot. I even offered to show him the instructions, but he’d have no part of it.
“Throw them away, Baby, you’re in the South,” he said.
Oh, great. Now the great coffee debate had escalated from being a military thing to being a Southern thang.
He was treading on dangerous ground in discussing his beloved grounds, and I think he sensed it. He knew the very next words out of his mouth could be enough to result in my telling him to make his own coffee from now on.
“It just tastes like a dishrag if you wash the pot …,” he persisted, his voice trailing off.
Mind you, I’m not a big coffee drinker. I much prefer the sweetness of an iced coffee or cappuccino and I think the person who invented chocolate-covered coffee beans is a genius.
Still, I resisted the urge to point out that I think plain black, unsugared, uncreamered coffee probably tastes a little something like dishwater anyway. After all, just look at the tar-like gunk it leaves in the filter and the squiggly stains that dot the coffee pot.
But rather than argue, I just gave up and gave in.
“You’re right, Buttercup,” I said. “From now on, I won’t wash the pot. Just think of the time it’ll save in the long run. And coffee filters? Who needs them. I’ve got an old sweaty gym sock that will be just perfect for that.”
And if he ever complains again about my coffee-making methods?
I’ll simply tell all of his coffee-drinking buddies that his extra-strong, extra-manly black brew is lovingly made each morning in my extra-girly, extra-pretty PINK coffee pot.
Staff Reporter Chris Menees may be contacted by e-mail at
Published in The Messenger on 10.12.07

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