Hope’s Addiction

Hope says she’s going to blame me if she loses her job. The issue is over the fact that she wants Starbucks Coffee. And she wants me to go out and get it for her. Obviously, there is some kind of narcotic substance in the coffee that makes the user revert to infantile behavior if not obtained.

A little background. Hope works at Talbot’s, a small but upscale women’s clothing store. She hasn’t been doing well because of several factors including the fact that the women who work there have poles stuck up their asses so deep they would need serious medical and indeed surgical assistance to retrieve them. Hope feels that she is required to run around like a manic, hyper dynamo in order to satisfy the increasingly demanding performance standards that her superiors decree.

None of this is my problem. What is my problem is that Hope has a habit, not necessarily peculiar to her sensibility, but a problematic habit nonetheless. The habit is not Starbucks Coffee, whatever I’ve led you to believe in the first paragraph of this entry. The habit is sleeping late. Even more than the Starbucks Coffee, she is addicted to the feeling of the mattress sheets caressing the skin on her back. She is hooked on the sight of the inside of her eyelids. The horizontal is the position her body craves most. And no, that’s not a sexual reference.

Yet there is this thing called timing. Sleeping late ignores the issue of timing. The operative word in sleeping late is late. Being late means having less time. Less time means some things simply cannot be accomplished within the time frame allotted. Taking a shower, ironing her outfit, drying her hair, putting on her makeup… etc. These things are integral to Hope’s routine. They must be done. And they take a certain amount of time to accomplish. Sleeping late means there is no time to do other, auxiliary things, things not part of the ordinary routine, such as trading cash for caffeine.

Hope has a husband, however, and since he is not doing anything but sitting in front of the computer, he is the obvious resource for fetching coffee. Problem solved. What? You mean, the husband is not willing to run this errand? What excuse could he possible have?

And here is where the very fabric of society begins to shred and disintegrate in the hot, white light of blinding truth. You see, the favors we do for one another really provide the glue that keeps the relationship intact. Once the favors stop, the relationship begins to come apart through the inertial effects of everyday stress. Some think the glue is ‘love’ or some such nonsense.*

Now, I am to blame for Hope’s problems at work. The burden falls on me. I did not offer the catalyst that would allow the relationship to continue in the face of this stressor. I did not fetch the coffee. I did not obtain the drug.

Yes. But, really, what I’m actually doing is weaning her off of her sleeping late habit. I know of no bigger baby who has suckled on a larger teat. The task is a large one.

*These are hopeless romantics who dream instead of actually relating to other people for an extended length of time.

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