There’s no moral outrage when you say, “I grandma-creamed my coffee.” I wonder why the double standard. If I were to say I lesbian-creamed or Pakistani-creamed my coffee, heads would turn. They would turn, tilt an instant like a puppy, then go red and begin to rebuke me with all the sudden moral panic they could summon, which would probably be a lot given the fact I was being racist or sexist, or at the very least boorish, which is also barely forgivable.

But why does protection fall away once you’re a grandma? Even God forgets about grandmas in 1 Timothy, when Paul writes, “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith, and in purity.” Maybe Paul is only tacitly admonishing Tim not to be sexist or ageist because Tim is soft-spoken and the community understands that if he does say something stupid like grandma-cream he most certainly is only being naive, and a subtle or private correction later will suffice. Or maybe Paul doesn’t have to mention it because Tim likes his coffee black.

Academics and theologians prefer coffee while athletes and their trainers enjoy the expediency of Gatorade and other, more simple sports drink mixtures.

I have historically grandma-creamed church coffee. The taste is too strange without a heavy dose of dairy. Plus, I grew up among farmers, so topping off my cup with some heavy teet squeeze was a show of support and good faith. But lately I have grown nostalgic for the appalling flavor of straight-up, black* church coffee. Perhaps because my taste buds favor bitterness now that I am older and more bitter.

How do they manage the microwaved flavor? It always seems as though church coffee has spent five minutes on high in a microwave, perhaps several times throughout the morning. Could it be the huge stainless steel urns add this flavor, compress heat and time in the same way a microwave does? Those pods always fascinated me. From the outside they seem as simple as a Gatorade cooler, but opened up they are a steaming mess of parts (only two or three, actually) which are impossible to clean. This complexity is certainly one reason why academics and theologians prefer coffee while athletes and their trainers enjoy the expediency of Gatorade and other, more simple sports drink mixtures.

As alluded to earlier, I have no idea how a microwave works. Although I am pretty certain with a coffee inside the machine works on varying degrees of nostalgia. For instance, if I want my coffee slightly churched, I heat a full cup on high for forty seconds. If I want to sweat through a Sunday school class, I heat a half cup for forty-five seconds. If I heat a half cup on high for a full minute, and take a sip directly after the microwave beeps twice, I will see the Duinink women in their summer dresses. They are worth a burnt tongue.


*I have recently heard “naked” used to describe black coffee, probably to avoid the word “black” as it holds other, more potent meanings, like African-American. This substitution, however, only confuses me. If you say to me “I like my coffee black” and you happen to be Chinese, Anglo-Saxon, or Mexican, I don’t assume you switch races at coffee time, or even that you appropriate a preferred racial orientation like Montana’s Rachel Dolezal. Similarly, if you say to me “I like my coffee black” and are African or African-American, I don’t assume you’re telling me you only enjoy this coffee because of your race, though you are certainly allowed. Alternatively, if you say to me “I like my coffee naked” then I assume you like coffee best after sex, a shower, or a good poop.