Tea drinkers are notoriously fanatical about their brew. I am no exception. I believe it is fairly common for those with OCD to suffer from insomnia, as do I. Hence, some form of caffeine becomes essential for the OCD insomniac to function during waking hours, especially the insomniac with a boring office job. My choice is tea, obviously, and I enjoy all the hues – white, green, black. I am quite caffeine sensitive, so I have to start slowly at the beginning of the week with no more than two cups of weak green tea. If I let it steep a bit too long I will be jittery. I have to save the strong stuff for Thursdays and Fridays. Yes, tea is an obsession in itself.
Case in point. I have an electric kettle that I use at work to heat the water for my precious decoction. The highlight of my workday is taking out my tea things, opening my tea box and taking in the aroma, and, after it steeps, holding the almost-too-hot cup in my hands. So imagine my dismay the day that I knocked the cord attached to the base off my desk and into the garbage can directly below. I wanted to scream in horror. Should I throw the whole thing in the garbage or try to salvage it? I wanted to throw it out, but my frugal side prevented me from doing so. I used a plastic bag to pull it out of the can and place it off to one side of my desktop. Anyone who remembers reading my account of sanitizing the telephone will realize that a lengthy procedure awaited me. Cleaning a long twisting cord eight, nine, maybe ten times, is no easy process. Indeed, it did take several hours to spray and dry, spray and dry, so it was good that this happened early in the day.
Clumsy as I am, this was not the worst incident. The cord in the can thing happened a couple of times, but then the day came when I unintentionally jerked the cord and the entire base was pulled into the garbage can. Again, the germophobe’s moment of debate. Salvage or shun? Could I deal with sanitizing the cord and the base, top and bottom? It only took a few seconds to decide that it was too much to take. It would have to stay in the garbage. So I was left with a useless kettle (it was detachable from the base) and no way to heat my water. (If you could see the office microwave you would understand my decision to use a kettle.)
A mild panic set in fueled by my desire and extreme need for a tea pick-me-up. It is a long day, indeed, without a cup of tea. Thankfully, there is a store close by my office that sells small appliances. I knew that I could go there on my lunch hour, but I was desperate, so I made the decision to do the mad dash on my break. I jumped in my car, drove with purpose to the store, ran in, actually had a difficult time deciding which one to choose (while looking at the time), and dashed back. I didn’t quite make it in fifteen minutes, but no one seemed to notice.
What a relief! I could have my tea and not drag through the day. I was out thirty-five bucks, but so goes the life of a germophobe.