When I was growing up, my mother was very particular about how to drink coffee or tea. Tea was to be poured into a China tea cup, of which I still have many, and coffee was consumed from a demitasse cup. In neither case would one ever use a mug -- ever. In fact, I don't believe we had any mugs in our house. We were taught to be very particular about using our spoon. It should not be heard, if possible, and never, ever tapped against the side of the cup. No slurping, please, and no pouring the tea or coffee into the saucer. If one was in a restaurant, and the tea or coffee was served with liquid spilled into the saucer, we were to ask for a new cup -- never, under any circumstances, put a paper napkin on the saucer to mop it up. In our home, my mother didn't own paper napkins, only the finest linen serviettes. We had tea serviettes and dinner serviettes, and each of us had our own serviette ring. I still have mine. It's a little red elephant.
After all my mother's instruction, I was disappointed the other day to find that I will never be a coffee walker. You know those folks -- you see them everywhere, perhaps you are one. They can juggle a cell phone, a tote bag, a knapsack, a water bottle, perhaps a small child-- and in Vancouver always an umbrella -- and with wonderful dexterity they can also enjoy a cup of coffee, all without breaking a stride. How do they do it? How did we become a nation of coffee walkers? Tim Horton's, Blenz, ... Barstucks we take our coffee everywhere. I tried it on the weekend. I bought a cup of coffee at Blenz, $3.85 for a small coffee. Yikes. But as I walked through the mall, I realized that I didn't have the hand/eye coordination required to walk and drink at the same time. After a few steps, I had to sit down. It was embarrassing. I felt as though people were looking at me.
"Look at that woman; she has to sit down to drink her coffee."
"Well, that's just sad."
I am old enough to remember when people actually went places without their water, their telephones and their huge containers of coffee. Unfortunately, I'll never be a coffee walker. It's just sad.