Lessons in Conquering Addiction and Smart Investing

Anthony would agree, this cartoon was written about me.

Anthony had the most angelic set of kinky golden curls I’d ever laid eyes on. All it took was one compliment on them and his magenta blush and I was in, set for life. We quickly developed a special relationship: I was a junkie and Anthony was my dealer.

I was addicted to organic, fair-trade coffee, and he brewed the best espresso on the Upper West Side.

“Girl, you know I love you, but if I were a real bartender, I would have cut you off weeks ago. Do you have any idea how much you spend here?” I appreciated his concern, but I was in a hurry for class and he was taking his sweet time topping off my latte and counting my change.

“Ant, just gimme the cup and I won’t tell Madge about those ‘missing’ double-fudge brownies in your handbag.”

The quarter and penny slapped against the stack of “Perks” cards sitting in my wallet. In addition to Anthony’s cafe of employment, I held Coffee Club cards from Whole Foods, a local deli, and another small NYC gourmet coffee chain. Each were one stamp away from my free cup. None were a first-time membership.

I quickly did the math. Ant was right to be embarrassed for me — I was spending, on average, $12 a day for coffee. When I measured my monthly caffeine expenditure against my monthly college student income, I understood why I no longer had a shoe fund. It was time to seek help.

This little machine may have cost me some credit card debt, but it was going to save me thousands in the longrun

Luckily for me, this economic epiphany coincided with a home-sale at Bloomingdale’s. Rather than quit the bean cold-turkey, I decided to reinvest my coffee stocks.

I bounced home from the Lexington Avenue department store with a french press, a DeLonghi espresso machine with built-in milk frother, a pound of course-ground medium roast, and a can of Lavazza espresso. I was out about $250, but had enough supplies to get me through 3 months of caffeine consumption. Despite accumulating some credit card debt, in the long haul, I was scheduled to come out ahead.

I knew Anthony was going to miss me, but Gary, the shoe guy at Saks, was glad to finally have me back.

The Useless Things We Do for Love…or Lust

It was a long morning of meetings and by mid-afternoon, I was in need of a pick-me-up. I ran out of the office building and trekked half a mile to a teashop that steeps me in exquisite, antioxidant-rich, caffeinated refreshment.

“I’ll take a samurai chai mate, very slightly sweetened with German rock crystal sugar, please,” I said to the burly, blond-haired, sweet-faced guy behind the counter. With his bulk — he was somewhere between a body-builder and a swimmer — he embodied the proverbial elephant in the China shop.

Buying $40 worth of tea and bending over backwards are the least inconvienient things I'd done to get closer to a boy

We chatted while he rummaged through the canisters of tea leaves, carefully pulling together my requested blend. He was cute (think a blond Josh Hartnett), and we shared mutual tastes for morning cups of hearty black teas and afternoons helped by crisp green teas. We were both envisioning our future shared kitchen cabinet chock-full o’ tea. As he measured and poured my cup, he insisted that he teach me about matcha — he was about to have a cup and wanted to share it with me.

15 minutes later I was walking back to work with my mate chai in one hand and $40 worth of green tea in my purse. If only this was the stupidest thing I’ve ever done for a boy…

Joining the jazz band in middle school, joining the film club in high school, adding a Philosophy major to my Economics major in college, learning to ride a bike, traveling to Brooklyn, eating a steak when I’m a vegetarian — there are few inconvenient things I haven’t done while attempting to get closer to a good-looking fella. These things have frequently resulted in personal injury (bike crashes) and always cost me time (Thursday afternoons for film “discussions”) and money (a new amp for my electric violin) but rarely achieved their goal — get the guy.

I became a joint major in Economics and Philosophy to win over Jacob. The West Coast-raised upper-classman and I loved talking about biking/hiking trails and Plato to such a degree that our French professor proclaimed we went together “like peanut butter and chocolate.” Alas, Jacob was allergic to peanuts… and eventually, to me.

I don’t know if my tea purchase will result in a date or go the route of Jacob and my Econ-Philo major.  In the very least, my matcha consumption will increase my metabolism and reduce my risk of cancer. It seems that for once, an act made in the name of lust might finally prove fruitful.

Unlike my attempt at learning to ride a bike, buying green tea to impress a boy will prove good for my health