I’m not auditioning for a flight attendant job. Neither am I offering you a hot drink or a warm place to sit. Nope, I’m calling attention to three things I don’t do correctly…at least according to my wife and daughter. I should be more specific, my wife and daughter aren’t in total agreement as to the grievous nature of my crimes against all things hot and proper. Having gone public with times when my wife and I have different views, I am not expecting a lot of sympathy.
Let’s start with coffee. I drink a lot of coffee. I don’t like iced coffee, but I don’t like really hot coffee either. I like my coffee somewhere, actually anywhere between no-longer-hot and lukewarm. That’s one of the reasons I add milk to my coffee. When I drank black coffee, I put an ice cube in the cup. My wife likes her coffee hot. She also likes her coffee fresh. I don’t care about fresh. On any given Saturday, my wife drinks a cup or two of fresh coffee between 4:00 am and 6:00 am. I drink the rest of the pot between 6:00 am and when it runs dry. If it hasn’t run dry by 10:00 am, my wife will offer to brew a new pot. If I don’t want much more coffee, I’ll just schlup the dregs into my cup and call it a day.
I’ve explained to her how my college roommate and I brewed a fresh pot every Sunday. On Monday through Friday, we added water and instant coffee to the percolator and heated it back up to a nice easy boil. Once, when we were studying for exams, we “brewed” an extra pot on Friday night. A friend stopped in:
“Mmmm, do I smell coffee?”
“Yep, we just made a fresh pot – want some?”
So, you would think she would understand that fresh is relative and six hours is a very young age for a pot of coffee in my book.
I also like tea. I know my followers well enough to make a list of the ones who are going to be squirming in their seats in a minute. Please understand, I will never make you a cup of tea. While my daughter learned how to handle bad/old coffee in Art School, she learned how to make tea from her mother. They are lined up against me on this one. Maybe the fastest way to get past this is to use bullets:
- I drink Lipton tea. I sometimes drink one of the thousands of specialty teas my wife keeps in stock, but Lipton, with its patented flow-through bag is good tea in my book.
- I make tea with water from a hot water dispenser which aims to deliver 190° water at the lift of a lever. 190° is more than hot enough for tea. My wife and daughter use a kettle.
- I let the tea steep from the time I pour the hot water in until I get downstairs to my comfy-chair. I dispose of the tea bag before sitting. Roughly speaking, that’s about 35 seconds.
- I drink tea anywhere between the kinda-sorta 190° and the point at which it freezes. No milk, no sugar.
Yes, yes, I know…
As for seat heaters, my wife and my daughter are joined at the hip in opposition to my thoughts on the proper use of heated seats. I think the purpose of the seat heater is to take the chill off the seat. Your body is perfectly capable of keeping your butt warm after that point. On a cold day, i.e. outside temperature below 32° f (0° c), I turn the seat heater on high for about two minutes. Then I step it down to low for another 30 seconds and then I turn it off. I expect my passengers to observe a similar pattern.
I wait until we’re about 5-7 minutes into our journey, past the point where the main heater has begun to really warm the car, before I say something subtle like: “you know, your seat heater is still on high.”
I get looks.
I get feedback: “Yes. I know. Leave it alone.”
When I took my daughter to the hospital for surgery, I stepped the seat heater down for her after about five minutes. I figured that she wasn’t familiar with the control.
When I brought her home the next day, I let her have total control of the seat heater.
This past weekend, my daughter and I went to breakfast, and then onto a woodworking show. She kept the seat heater on ¾ of the way to breakfast (about 20 minutes). Then, after breakfast, she put it back on! I explained that seat heaters are only used first thing in the morning or when leaving work in the afternoon.
And, she put her arm out to block any attempt of mine to reach the control.