Author Topic: Coffee truthfulness (and, rude to bring one's own)?  (Read 7929 times)

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snappylt

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Coffee truthfulness (and, rude to bring one's own)?
« on: December 25, 2013, 08:20:53 PM »
I'm curious to hear others' opinions:

[Long background:] I get sinus headaches sometimes when my allergies act up.  I have found that if I am away from my medicine at home, a cup of real coffee will often reduce or eliminate my sinus headaches.

A few months ago we were visiting a well-educated relative in her early 70s (lets call her "Agnes") for lunch in her home.  (Agnes is a delightful woman who has been very kind to me and my family over the years.)  I started to get a sinus headache while we were there, so I explained my situation to Agnes and asked her if I could please have a cup of "real" coffee (with caffeine, as opposed to decaffeinated).  I explained exactly why I wanted the kind of coffee with caffeine.

(I even offered to make the cup of coffee myself, to save her the trouble, if that makes a difference.)

Agnes replied that that was absolutely no problem at all, that she would be happy to make me a cup of coffee.  She said she especially wanted us all to try this new special blend of coffee a relative of hers on the other side of her family had given her for her birthday.  I said that would be great as long as it wasn't decaf.  Agnes looked me right in the eye then and said, "You try it and tell me what you think of it."

I did not notice it at the time, but later when I thought about it I realized that Agnes had not replied that her special coffee had caffeine - she had just looked me right in the eye and told me to try it for myself.

I cannot taste the difference between coffee with and coffee without caffeine. Agnes's special coffee tasted smooth and fine. But I did notice that my sinus headache did not go away and my wife mentioned later that she did not feel any more wakeful after having that special coffee than she did before.  My wife and I are both convinced that Agnes's special blend of coffee has no caffeine. [End background.]


Fast forward to a recent luncheon visit to Agnes's home.  I was feeling tired and headache-y as we were leaving our own home, so I went ahead and made myself a travel mug of "real" coffee to take with me into Agnes's home.  (I asked my wife's opinion and was told that she didn't think Agnes would mind.)

Agnes noticed the travel mug in my hand when we arrived.  She asked me, "You brought your own? Don't you like my special coffee? I have more, and I was planning to make it for you today."

I replied that I did like the taste of her special blend, but I apologized and said that it had not helped my headache the other time.  Agnes replied that I should do whatever I needed to do, and she changed the subject.


Questions:

1.) How polite was I to ask for coffee with caffeine when I developed a headache during that earlier visit?  (I thought I phrased my request politely, but I'm curious if some people think it was rude to ask before it was offered.)

2.) Let's assume my wife and I were right, and Agnes's special blend of coffee was really decaffeinated. I also assume that Agnes did not know it was decaffeinated.  Do you suppose that that is likely that Agnes has never read the label on her special bag of coffee?

3.) How polite or rude was I to bring a travel mug of coffee with me to Agnes's house on that later visit?  I would not mind if a guest brings a travel mug from his car into my own home, but the fact that Agnes noticed and commented on it made me wonder if I was rude that day.

immadz

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Re: Coffee truthfulness (and, rude to bring one's own)?
« Reply #1 on: December 25, 2013, 08:27:33 PM »
I do think it is a little rude to ask for coffee when the host hasn't offered it. I would have made my good byes, explained that you sense a migraine coming on and then leave. Five years ago, I would not have had any coffee in the house, and it would have made me feel like a bad host.

I think Agnes probably knew there was no caffeine in her special blend. Otherwise she would have answered your question with a yes, no or I don't know. " Try it for yourself" is not a good answer to does it have caffeine in it?

I think it is fine to take your own coffee. At this point, I would think of it as medicine instead of a beverage.


purple

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Re: Coffee truthfulness (and, rude to bring one's own)?
« Reply #2 on: December 25, 2013, 08:30:38 PM »
1.) How polite was I to ask for coffee with caffeine when I developed a headache during that earlier visit?  (I thought I phrased my request politely, but I'm curious if some people think it was rude to ask before it was offered.)

I think that if the headache developed during the visit, it was probably ok.  I see it as not much different to asking for a headache tablet or a bandage for a cut finger that occurred during the visit.  I would not mind providing this for a guest of mine.

2.) Let's assume my wife and I were right, and Agnes's special blend of coffee was really decaffeinated. I also assume that Agnes did not know it was decaffeinated.  Do you suppose that that is likely that Agnes has never read the label on her special bag of coffee?

I suppose that it is unlikely that Agnes didn't realise the coffee had no caffeine.  She seems to be a bit of a 'coffee person' by the other things you've said in your post.  I actually think that Agnes was a little bit rude for refusing your reasonable request for caffeine to fix your headache and quite rude for not giving you a straight answer about what she was serving you, especially in light of your medical condition.

3.) How polite or rude was I to bring a travel mug of coffee with me to Agnes's house on that later visit?  I would not mind if a guest brings a travel mug from his car into my own home, but the fact that Agnes noticed and commented on it made me wonder if I was rude that day.

A little bit rude of you IMO.  Could you have perhaps called to say you'd be a few minutes lat to Agnes' house on that day and had your coffee before you left home? Or perhaps finished your coffee in the car before you went inside?  If I invited somebody over for a cuppa / brunch or something and they turned up with a travel mug, I'd feel a bit miffed - like what I was serving wasn't good enough or something.

CaffeineKatie

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Re: Coffee truthfulness (and, rude to bring one's own)?
« Reply #3 on: December 25, 2013, 09:00:43 PM »
I don't think you were rude to ask for coffee--you needed pain relief, and it wasn't some rare or expensive thing or someone else's prescription medicine.  I would think she knew she was serving you decaf, and that, in my opinion, WAS rude.  If she only had decaf, she could have just said so and let you decide what to do.  This isn't as dangerous, but seems to me to be in the same area as people feeding  others substances they are allergic to, because they think food allergies aren't "real".

As for bringing your own coffee mug--that would be a big "so what" to me.  If you brought ground coffee and expected her to make it for you, that's a little SpecialSnowflake-ish; but you just had a cup you were in the process of finishing.

Miss March

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Re: Coffee truthfulness (and, rude to bring one's own)?
« Reply #4 on: December 25, 2013, 09:05:19 PM »
Quote
I get sinus headaches sometimes when my allergies act up.  I have found that if I am away from my medicine at home, a cup of real coffee will often reduce or eliminate my sinus headaches.

Quote
I was feeling tired and headache-y as we were leaving our own home, so I went ahead and made myself a travel mug of "real" coffee to take with me into Agnes's home.

Just curious, why did you bring coffee with you instead of bringing your medicine if you were feeling a headache coming on?
How lucky I am to have something that makes saying good bye so hard.-- Winnie the Poo

m2kbug

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Re: Coffee truthfulness (and, rude to bring one's own)?
« Reply #5 on: December 25, 2013, 09:35:09 PM »
I'm curious why you don't just take your medication with you.  I don't know of caffeine tablets would work same for your headaches, but that's another option.

I don't think it was rude to ask for some coffee if you felt a headache coming on.

Maybe Agnes doesn't drink caffeinated coffee because of health reasons, like heart palpitations.  I don't know why she couldn't just say that no, it is decaffeinated.  Maybe she didn't read the label or didn't know.  Does it really matter, though?  You probably shouldn't rely on her to have what you need specifically and bring your pills with you.

I don't think it was rude to bring in a travel mug.  I would see that as pretty normal for someone who was traveling.  You could say that if a headache comes on, there's only specific brand of coffee that will work, and since most people aren't likely to have it on hand, you just bring your own, or you wouldn't want to trouble her to brew a pot just for you.  You can leave the mug in the car and excuse yourself for a moment and drink it in the car as well if you needed to.

Dindrane

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Re: Coffee truthfulness (and, rude to bring one's own)?
« Reply #6 on: December 25, 2013, 09:58:36 PM »
I'm also curious why you didn't take your medicine before leaving (or take it with you) the second time around. That seems to be the best option. Especially if this is something that happens to you frequently, you probably should try to make sure you always have your medicine with you or are prepared to cut your activities short so you can go home.

I do think it's a little odd, if not outright rude, to bring any beverage with you when you go to visit someone socially in their home. It's kind of sending them the message that you do not expect their hospitality to be adequate. Even if you don't expect their hospitality to be adequate, you shouldn't make that obvious by bringing the drink of your choice with you. If you really must bring coffee with you, I think you should try to make sure you finish it on your way there so that you can leave the travel mug in the car.

In the situation where you already had a headache coming on and didn't have anything with you to treat it, I think it was fine to ask for caffeinated coffee. Since this is someone you are close to, I think it was perfectly okay to explain what you needed and why and ask if she could provide it. With someone you were less close to, I think it would have been better to just cut the visit short if they weren't already serving coffee. It's also probably better to refer to it as caffeinated rather than "real" (if that isn't already what you do), because calling it "real" introduces a value judgment that isn't going to feel all that awesome to anyone who drinks and enjoys decaf coffee.

It was a little but rude for Agnes to not either answer your question about the caffeine directly, or tell you that she wasn't sure. Either she knew the caffeine content and could answer your question, or she didn't know and could have told you that.


Luci

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Re: Coffee truthfulness (and, rude to bring one's own)?
« Reply #7 on: December 25, 2013, 10:03:36 PM »
Avoid the whole thing after the second avoidance by Agnes and tell her you carry a couple of cans of Coke with you for medicinal purpurses.

I loath coffee, so I can just politely say, "Thanks, I don't drink coffee so I'll just have my Coke, if you don't mind. But how thoughtful of you!" How much more j-a-d-e-ing can there be after that? And yes, after 10 pushes/questions, I have had to say that I do not like the taste of coffee. I have never been pushed farther than that.

(PS I'm really a Pepsi drinker, but I'll even drink Mountain Dew in a ceffeine crisis!)

LeveeWoman

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Re: Coffee truthfulness (and, rude to bring one's own)?
« Reply #8 on: December 25, 2013, 10:58:21 PM »
I'm with those who think it would be best if you took your meds with you.

Only me

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Re: Coffee truthfulness (and, rude to bring one's own)?
« Reply #9 on: December 25, 2013, 11:46:11 PM »
Hi

I could see someone thinking you travel with your own coffee weird, the first time it happens. Personally I use travel mugs a lot.

As for the comments about just taking your meds, if I read the OP's infoncorrectly then there was then the caffeine is the med of choice. If the is a perscribed med to take the it may knock the OP out as opposed to caffeine which still allows you to function.

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Tea Drinker

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Re: Coffee truthfulness (and, rude to bring one's own)?
« Reply #10 on: December 26, 2013, 01:22:57 AM »
One reason not to take caffeine pills is that, according to people I know who have tried them, the pills are harsher for the stomach than getting the same amount of caffeine in coffee, tea, or soda.
Any advice that requires the use of a time machine may safely be ignored.

Peppergirl

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Re: Coffee truthfulness (and, rude to bring one's own)?
« Reply #11 on: December 26, 2013, 01:32:26 AM »
^^ I can vouch for this, unfortunately.

I work 3rd shift and am lucky I'm a voracious coffee drinker, but caffeine pills are harsh.  Especially so if one takes it on an empty stomach.

BarensMom

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Re: Coffee truthfulness (and, rude to bring one's own)?
« Reply #12 on: December 26, 2013, 03:01:42 AM »
Perhaps Snappyit didn't take meds because of the side effects?  Some allergy meds have the "don't drive or operate heavy machinery" labels.

When aunt said something about the coffee mug, I would've said, "Oh, it's just for traveling."

(It's nice to know that I'm not imagining the effects of caffeine on my sinus headaches.  My drink of choice is Diet Coke, though.)

snappylt

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Re: Coffee truthfulness (and, rude to bring one's own)?
« Reply #13 on: December 26, 2013, 03:56:45 AM »
OP again.  It's been interesting to me to read other people's opinions.  This whole topic was not a big deal. - I am not upset about it, more curious about other people's perceptions.

Those who said I should bring sinus medicine with me are absolutely correct.  It was just laziness and poor planning on my part.  I hadn't had one of those headaches for weeks before that day - but I know they can develop at any point.

Actually, the morning of the second visit I did take a headache pill as I brewed my travel mug of coffee just before we left for Agnes's house, and my headache didn't develop that day.  So, I could probably have skipped the travel mug and been fine.

The fact that Agnes mentioned my travel mug the way she did makes me think that it did bother her, so I think I'll not do that again!  I'll just have the medicine in my car if I need it, and drink her probably-decaffeinated coffee if she offers it.


Here's the final update, I suppose.  (I had originally included this when I was writing my original post, but then I deleted it because I though my original post was getting way too long.)  We exchange small Christmas presents (US $10 - $15 range usually) with Agnes and a few other relatives.  When I opened Agnes's present this morning under our Christmas tree I found that she had given me a pound of a well-known American coffee blend that is particularly known for being very strong-tasting and high in caffeine!  Agnes has been very sweet to me over the years, so I'm thinking it was a nice gift with good intentions (and not a commentary on my coffee-drinking habits)!


Thank you again for sharing your points of view.

AmethystAnne

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Re: Coffee truthfulness (and, rude to bring one's own)?
« Reply #14 on: December 26, 2013, 07:04:06 AM »
Star$$$$s ?  I was going to guess Folgers, but it's not advertised as being high caffeine.