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Defining Coffee Syndrome

The Coffee Syndrome: these are things that never live up to your expectations. Remember when you were little and you could smell that delicious aroma? Then the day came when you finally were allowed your first taste. You had to be old enough for your developing body to handle the well-known side effects of this dangerous adult beverage when administered to juveniles: stunting of growth, hyperactivity and blackening of the knees. Finally you slurped your first cup. Ewwww! Not quite what you expected. Up until now, your exposure had been coffee-flavored ice cream and those little hard candies. You would spend the rest of your life chasing that flavor, often with sweeteners, ad nauseam, or flavoring, including everything from hazelnut to chocolate or, in a last gasp, more milk.This is a syndrome that has its origins in youth, developing as we get older. Christmas is right up there. When you were too little to really take it all in, Christmas imprinted itself on your brain as, in the words of the song, “the most wonderful time of the year.” This happened when we were so small that, in my case, my parents could fool me into thinking that Santa decorated the tree on Christmas Eve, as if he didn’t already have enough to do. I never caught on that they were the same decorations every year. So I had this magical sense of an impending cornucopia about to deposit all those things that only the avarice of a small child could imagine. I am not sure what the age of disappointment was, in retrospect. I am guessing it was about 10. I can still remember how it felt after opening all my presents. Somehow it did not feel the same anymore. I looked around to see if I had missed any. This was it? In following years I tried a new tactic to rekindle the excitement. Instead of a lot of presents I would ask for one big present, like a bicycle. I actually pushed this through and on Christmas morning, after taking the ribbon off the English racing bike, I casually glanced around. This was it? Only one present? Well, that backfired.Then there is that first marriage. It looks so great. No more painful partings. No more expensive dates required just to get some time together. You will be together all the time! After a while, you discover the flaw in your plan. It seems that now you are together all the time. Second marriages are usually more tuned in to reality.Well, I guess we are all looking forward to the elections. Won’t it be great? Just think: new, dynamic leadership. I can hardly wait! Bill Abrams resides, and cherishes all things nearly new, in Pine Plains.

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