A parable for when your drink starts to “sweat”
It was four o’clock in the afternoon when my air conditioning went out. On this particular day in Kentucky the temperature was 90 degrees with humidity to match. I wasn’t terribly concerned at first, having been born in the tropics I can handle a little heat, but after thirty or so minutes I began to feel it … and so was my bottle of about-to-not-be-so-perfectly-chilled Pellegrino. Beads of sweat began to materialize on my brow as quickly as they were forming on the green glass holding my bubbly water.
No one likes a sweaty drink.
The average lifespan of an AC unit is roughly fifteen to twenty years … mine was pushing twenty-five. As I Googled and called local AC repair men, it became apparent that there was little to no hope at all for a simple repair. “Replace” was the operative word in all the conversations, “Listen man, she had a good run, but she ain’t worth fixin’.”
An hour goes by. Fine. A new unit it is. I reach for my Pellegrino and lift it for a sip. As I bring it towards me it drips a trail across my leather top desk, leaving behind a pool of water in the shape of Lake Superior.
My heart sank. This desk was the first real piece of furniture that I bought for myself out of college. It had been with me since the time when I thought a mattress on the floor in lieu of a real bed would do just fine. I’d done such a good job of protecting it, dusting it, polishing it … until now.
I’ve never been a coasters kind of guy, but I was raised with them. Believe me when I tell you that my mother had no time for “rings” on the coffee table. Whenever she’d see me with a glass she’d tell me I’d better have a coaster to go with it. It’s not like our tables were museum quality or anything, but my parents are the kind of people who believe in making things last. If you work hard to buy something, you should take care of it. It dawned on me that this seemingly simple lesson that most all of us have been taught is one that’s easily heard, but is only really solidified with experience.
Embrace the lesson, embrace the experience. Breath in, breath out. Meditate. This too shall pass. It’s only water. It’s not damaged, it just has character.
Staring at Lake Superior on my coasterless desk (which by this point had existed long enough to leave a mark) I once again heard my mother, telling me I’d better have a coaster.
I write this now, at my leather top desk, with a new AC unit humming just outside my window. Lake Superior has since been wiped away, but its shores are still there — a rocky outline that serves as proof of a lesson learned. An iced coffee sits where the Pellegrino once was, atop a plinth-like marble coaster, which I’ll never live without.
So, if you’ve read this and still think you’re not a “coasters kind of guy,” trust me when I tell you that you are. Maybe not today, or tomorrow, but at some point a Lake Superior will come into your life and change you. And rest assured that when that day comes, we’ve got you covered.
Click on the images of any of the five sets of stylish coasters that your mother would approve of.