Margaritas and Coffee: A Love Story
Figuring out your life’s purpose is a lot like figuring out how you like your margaritas and coffee. Finding your favorite bartender helps.
I went to my favorite bar last night, and my favorite bartender was there.
He made my favorite alcoholic beverage exactly the way I like it. Boy, do I love a good margarita!
But it has to be made "exactly the way I like it." How's that? I feel like breaking into a chorus of an old Jimmy Buffet song, Cheeseburger in Paradise:
I like mine with lettuce and tomato
Heinz 57 and French-fried potatoes
Big kosher pickle and a cold draft beer
Well, good God almighty which way do I steer
None of that specifically applies, of course. One of the first things I gave up when I started thinking about converting to Judaism was cheeseburgers – because they were one of my favorite things. (I’ll refrain from inserting lyrics from that song.) I knew that if I couldn't give up cheeseburgers, I couldn't convert.
It's 20 years later since I converted and I still occasionally have to staunch the craving for one with a Beyond Meat cheeseburger, which sort of helps but is in no way the same. And I hate beer.
I like my margaritas with Patron tequila; margarita mix, of course; and a little bit of orange juice and a little bit of ginger ale. The orange juice adds to the flavor and the ginger ale gives it a little fizz.
My favorite bartender makes the best margarita. (That’s me and him in the featured image above.) I explained to him how I wanted them made years ago, and he's made them faithfully for me exactly that way, ever since. If he notices me walking in from the parking lot, he'll have one waiting for me before I even sit down at the bar, where I, of course, also have a favorite bar stool.
Enjoying my margarita
Believe it or not, I love coffee even more than I love a perfect margarita.
I am not a morning person. I am much more likely to stay up until 5 AM than I am to get up at 5 AM. My perfect sleeping hours are from 2 AM to 10 AM. Unfortunately, the job market has mostly refused to accommodate that schedule.
So it is that first cup of coffee that I look forward to on most mornings to help me accept the unreasonableness of having to get up long before I have any desire to.
I make my coffee exactly the way I like it, sweet with half and half. Regular milk doesn't cut it.
Once it’s made, I sit down. Stare at its beautiful color. Breathe in its scent. Then I close my eyes.
When I say the blessing over that cup of coffee, I don't just say it, I mean it, completely and totally. I am SO grateful that God created this wonderful substance, and that I have a cup of it, right there in front of me in this place, at this time.
I am also extremely grateful for margaritas, especially when they’re made exactly the way I like them.
I say a blessing before that first sip, giving myself over to it completely and totally. Perhaps not quite as intense as the blessing I say over my first cup of morning coffee, but pretty darned close.
Why am I babbling about my love of margaritas and coffee? Well, it highlights a couple of things, actually.
One is to figure out what you like and want, and then to go ahead and ask for it. The bartender may look at you like you're nuts, but you'll probably never get anything made, or done, just the way you like it, if you don't just go ahead and ask. (This obviously applies to other items besides drinks.)
Another thing is that Judaism believes God put everyone in this world for a specific purpose. It turns out that figuring out that purpose is a lot like figuring out how you like your margaritas or your coffee made.
It takes time. It takes focus. And the willingness to do things differently than other folks do or think is correct.
It is, after all, your path. Yours alone. And you are the only one who can figure what that path is... what your purpose is.
I thank God every day for margaritas and coffee for helping me find and appreciate the unique reason God put me in this world.
Once you do hopefully figure that out, only then can you try to live, not just those few moments with your morning coffee and evening margaritas, but all the moments of your life with the same complete and total dedication, love and devotion that I feel when I say that blessing over my first cup of coffee in the morning.
So, I thank God every day for margaritas, and even more for coffee, two seemingly insignificant things that continue to be little markers that help me find and appreciate the unique reason God put me in this world.
Don't discount your little markers, whatever they may be.
And at the very least, figure out what you like and ask for it, because life is too short to drink bad margaritas!