The True Confessions of a
Starbucks Addict

They say you can’t force an addict to quit – that users have to make the decision to stop for themselves. And that in most cases, one must hit that elusive place known as “rock bottom” before making a decision to change. Well I’m not quite there yet, but I’m getting close – I can feel it. So I’m readying my backside for that hard, hard landing.

The caffeine has got me.

Go ahead and conjure up images of Chris Rock’s Pookie, white lips and all, telling Ice T: “I tried to kick it… but that shit just be callin’ me man, it be callin’ me, man.” That’s me. And the stuff truly is calling my name - all day, er’day. I hear caffeine yelling at me from the three-dozen or so Starbucks I pass on the way to work; from the soda machines in the office; and from the candy bars I keep hidden in my drawer as an afternoon pick-me-up. Now I even have to face it at McDonalds when I do the drive-thru the day before payday, maximizing the few stray coins found in my ashtray with the dollar menu. Last time I went, I had to forgo the usual nuggets and fries to instead satisfy my coffee craving with a large iced vanilla latte. Left with a growling stomach and only a few dimes in my wallet, I contemplated channeling yet another Chris Rock character: “How much for just one fry?”

I hadn’t given too much thought about this obsession of mine until these last couple of months when I’ve had to make unfortunate choices between Starbucks and the offering at church; Starbucks and deodorant; Starbucks and gas. Lately, Starbucks (and the like) has been winning. And finally this week, I came to the conclusion that I truly need help when one of my colleagues, Chris, phoned out sick. Sure I felt bad when he called my line, telling me he thought he had strep throat and was on his way to Urgent Care, but I felt even worse for myself when I realized that his absence would deprive me of my morning coffee.

As co-owner of the Buena Beach Café (everyone needs a side hustle these days), Chris is kind enough to bring in freshly brewed coffee from the restaurant every morning. Cream, sugar, stirrers, and Splenda too. All we have to do is supply our own cups. So of course I was disappointed about him not coming in, but figured I’d just take an early break and run to The Coffee Bean a few blocks down the beach.

But then I get a buzz from my boss, Danny, asking me to come in to do some dictation with him. “Would you like me to run and get some coffee for you first,” I asked, knowing he can go on for hours if he happens to get on a roll. He declined, telling me too much information about the effect coffee’s been having on his digestive system recently.

Small panic. But I tell myself that it shouldn’t take too long, that he’ll run out of things to talk about sooner or later. That was too optimistic for me, watching the clock tick past 9:08. Then 9:25. And then 9:41. Meanwhile, my notes were getting more and more sloppy, my shorthand starting to resemble writings on the Rosetta Stone.

At 10:00, I snapped, deciding that drastic measures were in order if I didn’t want to get fired for strangling my boss, shaking him hard while yelling, “Please shut up so I can go get my coffee and officially start my day, would ya?!” So with absolutely no shame, I raised my hand signaling him to stop for a second, saying “Uh, Danny? Would you mind if I went home to change quickly? I think I may have had an…accident.”

He doesn’t read me right away.

“You know, like a girl thing? That time of the month?”

Immediately he said, “Oh sure, sure,” insisting that I take my time and not to worry about anything.

Soon enough, as I sped down the road to the coffee shop, I realized that that wasn’t me back there in Danny’s office. Yes, I can be a straight-up fool at times; but in my right mind, I would have been way too embarrassed to talk about such things as menstrual incidents with my boss. But, that cunning, addicted fiend that lives inside me – the person who thinks that five bucks for an ice-blended coffee confection is perfectly reasonable…she knew exactly what she was doing, orchestrating the perfect excuse to get out of there fast to satisfy that caffeine craving. The fiend knew that Danny wouldn’t dare call to question a woman’s monthly visitor. And the plan worked – I returned to the office within 20 minutes wearing a fresh outfit (luckily, I had a change of clothes in my trunk) and a gi-normous cup of piping hot java.

So, although I haven’t bottomed out yet, I can at least stand here and say it: My name is Diane, and I’m a caffeine addict. Well, at least it’s a good thing that fiend in me gave up cigarettes – who knows what kind of trouble she might have gotten me into.

Diane is (quite) a character on the online soap opera Buena Beach (www.buenabeach.com). Her weekly insights on what’s happening at the Beach are featured exclusively on Urban Thought Collective.

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July 18th, 2008 at 10:02 pm Red Razor says:

1 with a bullet. Bow down!

July 18th, 2008 at 10:06 pm SweetSis says:

I concede Red.
Good story as always Diane. You’re a goofball like me so your stuff is always right up my alley.

July 18th, 2008 at 10:25 pm Elsa Harkins says:

No you did not tell him that!!!! HILARIOUS!

July 18th, 2008 at 10:26 pm young clean bastard says:

okay that sh*t was funny.

July 18th, 2008 at 10:36 pm Red Razor says:

Is everybody on BuenaBeach buck wile like you girl?! You a mess n’ I love it.

July 18th, 2008 at 11:43 pm kamalp says:

Funny specially the Chris Rock parts. That used to be my line I’d bust up everytime one summer when it was on cable like everday.

July 19th, 2008 at 9:30 am Friendlee says:

I didn’t expect THAT to be the excuse. Classic!

July 19th, 2008 at 10:10 am Maya Rainwright says:

You are funny; Little quips like the Rosetta Stone are like gems in a good jewelry box. I enjoy your take on the little parts of life like an office environment, relationships. I enjoy your blog.

July 19th, 2008 at 10:25 am Ed80 says:

Women always use that one when they want the answer to be stuttering and lowered eyes and us waving you out the door. lol.

July 19th, 2008 at 11:40 am chica22 says:

Diane: You’ve topped yourself. I think you make me laugh most out of everybody blogging on here. You and SDiallo’s lil snarky bites. Too funny.

July 19th, 2008 at 12:07 pm 1GOODMAN says:


July 19th, 2008 at 4:35 pm Diallo Tyson says:

$5 for coffee is reasonable? Methinks an intervention is in order…like 5 minutes ago:)

July 19th, 2008 at 4:40 pm rene perez says:

Coffee is a mean relentless drug my friend. I sadly share your fiend status :)

July 19th, 2008 at 9:54 pm CeaseNYC says:

Might have to agree with my future wife Chica. You a riot mostly every week. Stay funny.

July 20th, 2008 at 3:18 am Xoloxlan says:

Oo-kay @ Ed80?! ALways!

July 20th, 2008 at 5:32 am Binta Rohan says:

I see the humor in what you wrote here but I have a real serious issue with caffeine too which I assume you do too behind the funny parts of this blog. People should understand that caffeine and sugar addictions are just as serious as any other compulsion. Too much of a good thing is never good. I think if more of us realized how harmful the coffee drinking is to our internal systems we would refrain. Caffeine is a serious stimulant - with any of the same properties of cocaine. If you don’t believe me, research it. This info alone helps me to resist. Nothing is going to have more control over me than my own mind.

July 20th, 2008 at 9:43 am Bam Saldana says:

lmfao :)

July 20th, 2008 at 1:04 pm UncleD says:

I be jonesin’ for the coffee too Diane. White lips and all. LOL

July 20th, 2008 at 7:20 pm Ginger says:

I like your warped sense of humor.
And Buena Beach is very cool, I try to go at least a couple times a week.

July 20th, 2008 at 10:46 pm MissReina says:


July 21st, 2008 at 9:16 am Jedi Mind says:

Chris Rock as pookie set this off!! LOL - always a riot

July 21st, 2008 at 9:46 am teradise says:

I am rolling! Hilarious!

July 21st, 2008 at 9:56 am Allison says:

I just laughed so hard I spit my coffee out! Note: Whenever I think of a crack head I think of Pookie!! LMAO!!

July 21st, 2008 at 10:13 am hisherness says:

i had a friend who tried the same tactic for different reasons. our boss blinked, and said “how unfortunate; you have five minutes to go clean up; you may go home to change during your lunch break.” when we re-convened, he gave a brief, LOUD speech about how personal hygiene was our responsibility as adults, and how we would not monopolize work time to handle that responsibility. it was AWESOME. she nearly cried.

i miss that boss. he was sort of a mentor to me. i should email this story to him; he would laugh his rear off!

July 21st, 2008 at 10:14 am lolalove says:

luckily i never got hooked on coffee! i know people that cannot live without it and i dont’ wanna feel like pookie! LOL — this was extremely funny

July 21st, 2008 at 3:56 pm Torian Salary says:

I’M TORIAN, AND I’M ADDICTED TO STARBUCKS FRAPPUCINO’S. LOL. Funny, um… but that excuse to leave, um… well lets not discuss that. Movin on… LOL

July 21st, 2008 at 7:51 pm ratty says:

The things we resort to for our addictions. i don’t know if I would have gone that far, but one never knows. Ha!