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.
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.