What I Hated the Least Today 90/365: If We Were Having Coffee


The whole worldwide blogosphere is speculating what if we were having coffee. I consider speculation irrelevant because I strive to be Borg. (We are the Borg. You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile. Emotions are irrelevant. So is speculation.) Therefore, I went and actually had coffee. With myself. In a coffee shop.

I had an awesome time as I make myself such a good company. I get all my jokes. I totally tolerate it when I’m not feeling chatty and don’t want to talk to myself. I don’t feel offended when I ignore myself and fiddle with my phone instead. I don’t ask myself what’s up because small talk is a silly pretension. (Also, as an aspiring geek, I only ever ask myself what’s down. No point in discussing what’s up, the concern is what’s down, as of not running.)

My coffee with myself was a prep for another coffee session that might await me. As I happen to be a highly sought-after proofreader, I was sought out by a colleague who had a favour to ask me. The favour was brutally explicit as he wanted me to proofread a very nasty sample of text that he cheekily called his paper. I do hope his thing will not make it on the paper, unless thoroughly revised. Because I’m really a nice person, despite my claims to the opposite, I kept my opinion to myself and performed some elementary proofs on the text.

The author of the horror, the horror was thrilled with the result. He’d be even more thrilled if I enlightened him that English quotation marks take the shape of the number 69, the opening one has its belly down, the closing one has its belly up. But then I’d also have to elaborate on the unacceptability of straight quotation marks in print, which might lead up to some confusion as to whether printed quotation marks must be gay.

As I said, I’m a kind person, so I did the proofs for free. I think that’s how collegiality and friendship work. (Also, that’s probably how come I’m broke.) The colleague, whose last name is Moon and who indeed has such a cheerful full-moon face, offered that he’d take me out for coffee then. I didn’t have the presence of mind to ask to be paid in wine rather than coffee, and that the wine can be sent via delivery because I don’t intend to share it.

I hope colleague Moon will forget about the coffee and won’t force me to waste my time speculating any longer on what if we were having coffee. If said Moon is serious about voluntarily having coffee with a fellow academic, then I’m afraid he can’t be a genuine academic. Academics only have coffee together at conferences, defined as extremely awkward gatherings of socially incompetent people who should be writing.


Author: Mara Eastern

I'm a sardonic blogger, snapper, scribbler and rhymer; a virtual space invader who indulges in cheerful negativism, morbid self-deprecation and bleak humour.

20 thoughts

      1. Thats for that. I’ve been working on the CSS this morning, thickened some of the borders to 3px with #f0f0f0 and added a different header background color. Simple to do and adds a small splash of color. 😉


  1. I love the psyche of the socially challenged academic…lol…..I found that a most enjoyable read Mara…..for some reason I related to it….hmm…..I should get out more I think……


    1. Awe, thank you so much for your lovely comment! It’s curious that you should find the socially challenged academic persona likeable – I can’t think of anything more annoying, though, of course, it’s my people, so I relate to them. And they will never know because we’re too socially awkward to even have this conversation 😉

      I’ve been going out a lot recently since I started teaching – if teaching is going out – and honestly, I still enjoy myself most when I’m having my coffee alone. I still need to figure out the problem of what to do with the social interaction with waiters when I have coffee in a cafe though. It’s so embarrassing to talk to people…


      1. The socially awkward I know are up there with pulling teeth…..ugh……but as one to another we would bask in each others awkwardness until we discovered we weren’t all that awkward after all just a bit shy and reserved…but the beauty of absurdism is just that, you can get away with just about everything…..and still think after what a fascinating time you just had…..I’d nod at the waiter and say my pleases and thanks yous……


        1. Yes, that’s the fun of it – when a bunch of socially inept people meet, they are too self-conscious to realise that others are just as scared as themselves. I try to keep this in mind.

          I did say my pleases and thank yous to the waiter but it made me feel uncomfortable. Interacting with humans is tough. I’m better with cats.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. I keep seeing a lot of different “quotations marks”, both when reading books and online. In one book I read recently, I even saw »this« (!)

    Having coffee with you would be fun! Perhaps you and Moon could have a wine drinking session?! LOL


    1. You don’t want to get me started about typographic rules, I’d get all worked up 😉 What you mention are guillemets, French quotation marks, so it’s not surprised to come across them in Canada. They shouldn’t be used for English texts, of course.

      Having coffee with me would be fun? Haha… It’s nice to think so, and I’d love to have coffee with you, but that could end up in you dying of boredom. So. We’ll see about what colleague Moon comes up with (I forgot his first name, oops), and if it leads to anything hilarious – which is bound to happen, if we actually meet – I’ll blog about it. Also, I hope “coffee” is code for “wine”.


      1. After I wrote that comment, I actually took time out to read up on quotation marks, and other typographical marks. So … yes, I learned about guillemets. Then I took a look at my own country’s, and I didn’t recognize them at all.

        Here, on the keyboard it would be easy to just “use these”, but there’s also “this option”?!


        1. I love it how curious you are about new things – many people, when they come across something they don’t know, just don’t care. It’s only few people who bother to Google and enlighten themselves. Both the quotation marks you used show as “round” or “smart” quotes on my screen, but you probably meant the different between straight and smart quotes? Straight ones are used on the internet and it’s perfectly legitimate. They mustn’t be used in print though.


          1. Thanks! I’m all about grammar, being correct and all that stuff, so I guess this fitted right in. Yes, I see “straight” ones and “curly/rounded” ones. I like them.


        1. You got me. I don’t know. I imagine it’s just for easier pronunciation: you wouldn’t say m-dash, you say em-dash. Like the letter in the alphabet. But I’m just guessing! Also, you know more about dashes than an average academic.


    1. Exactly. I hate wasting time with social niceties. I don’t think them very nice. I’ll see if there’s a wine/beer/booze delivery service here and if not, I think it’s an excellent start-up idea.


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