Dear Ace: I am engaged to a beautiful young woman but am having second thoughts about our future together. For example, I prefer to go down to the Mudhouse and purchase a fine, handmade double cappuccino as my morning brew, while she actually prefers to mix up some jarred, mutant instant coffee at our apartment, drinking it down with a big smile. My question is, how can I live my life with a woman who has such low gastronomical expectations? Additionally, she now wants to become an artist, despite having recently graduated with a Ph.D. Do you think she is gay?—Ina D. Lemma
Please stop right there. Before you turn Ask Ace into a relationship column of the Sex and the City variety, let Ace assure his readers that he is no Sarah Jessica Parker nor is he a Dolly Matchmaker or even a Miss Manners. Ace cannot advise on engagement rings and bedroom role-playing etiquette and how much stem you should chop off a daffodil before putting it in a crystal vase. But Ace does know something about coffee, and coffee seems to be the rusty, masculine nail upon which this future marriage hinges. So Ace will deign to answer your question, but not because it’s about the love between a man and a woman. He will answer it because it’s about the love between a man and his brew.
Ace wonders if by the time you have made your leisurely way to the Mudhouse for your daily double, your beautiful artist fiancée has cooked a hearty breakfast, read the paper, checked her stock portfolio online, framed her doctorate, ironed your only necktie, and painted a still-life portrait entitled “Profligate Lover Sleeps off His Hangover.” Suffice it to say, she has been up and productive for hours, fueled by instant coffee, while you have been soaking your pillow in warm drool.
But this column is not about your relationship to Dr. Fiancée nor is it about her superior work habits. This column is about your sophisticated taste in coffee which you have probably honed over many years of backpacking across Europe and not paying for magazines in the Barnes & Noble Starbucks. While other people have been pursuing higher education and getting in touch with their creative inner children, you have been mocha frapping your way into credit card debt, petty judgment, and homophobia. If you don’t change your ways soon you will be sans fiancée and you will only have your malfunctioning “gaydar,” your spoiled small intestine, and your cup of joe for company.
But I totally feel you, bro—fine coffee is worth some sacrifice.
You can ask Ace yourself. Intrepid investigative reporter Ace Atkins has been chasing readers’ leads for 20 years. If you have a question for Ace, e-mail it to email@example.com.