Do You Remember Your First Time?

Spilling the beans: At 36 years old, Jamie Reidy dishes on his first time … drinking coffee. 

Do you remember your first time? I bet you don’t. You’ve had hundreds, if not thousands, of similar experiences since then. This is my first time. I know, I know; why did I wait so long? Truth be told, I’m feeling pangs of doubt, nagging thoughts that I should have continued to be strong, to remain untainted.

Yes, it’s true—I am 36 years old and I’d never had a cup of Joe until this morning.

I popped my café cherry at a Caribou Coffee in Naperville, IL. This week I’m on a “Kids Tour,” visiting college friends in the Chicago area under the guise of getting to know their children whom I’ve never met. In reality, I’m killing time between Midwest weekends; I didn’t want to pay for two separate flights from LA and I’m too cheap to spring for a hotel. So far, I have enjoyed quality time with four families, each of which has at least three kids under eight years old, with one more clan to go tonight. Come to think of it, I should really be belly up to a bar right now.

Instead, I’m sitting in this mecca for moms and den of drug reps (do they realize I’m the guy who literally wrote the book about them spending aimless hours in coffee shops???) because I needed a place with wireless access. I had planned to spend the day playing hide-n-sit with the kids in my friend’s home, but I was politely asked to leave for three hours. Apparently, the teenaged babysitter’s parents might not appreciate a bald man lurking in the house while she’s there. My mom would be so proud that friends who once asked me to be their groomsman now view me as a possible statutory rapist.


Ten minutes ago, I ordered an Espresso Cooler, which sounds a lot like the java equivalent to having a watered down wine cooler for your first drink in high school.

Right now, I am buzzing. Literally. An electric current is humming past my ears, down to my hands and feet. I’ve experienced this sensation only one other time: the Halloween I dropped my first Ecstasy tab. Somehow the groovy, sexy feeling failed to kick in, so I only felt the speed segment of the drug. I stayed up all night for no reason.

My hands are shaking. I think people are staring at me. Why would anyone do this to himself?

Five minutes later. OK, now I get it. The jolt of energy has smoothed out, like an engine redlining in fourth gear and shifting to fifth. I swear my senses have grown more acute. No accomplishment is beyond my reach right now. I am ready to single-handedly complete the eternal construction job on the Dan Ryan Expressway before pitching the Cubs to their first World Series title in 98 years. Schools will be named after me. President Bush and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld obviously aren’t coffee drinkers, or they would have figured out this Iraq mess by now.

No wonder everyone is hooked on coffee. I’m surprised no VH-1 “Behind the Music” episodes haven depicted a band’s demise due to a bassist’s Latte addiction.

To think I used to get my caffeine fix from soda. Now I know how Neo felt after he swallowed the red pill in “The Matrix.” My eyes have been opened: Diet Coke is a candy cigarette compared to the unfiltered Camel that is espresso.

My thoughts echo those of a friend who waited till 30 to lose her virginity: What was I thinking?

Originally appeared at Huffington Post.

—Photo tienvijftien/Flickr

About Jamie Reidy

Jamie Reidy is a former U.S. Army officer turned little blue pill pusher turned author. His first book "Hard Sell: The Evolution of A Viagra Salesman"
served as the basis for the movie "Love and Other Drugs" starring Jake Gyllenhaal. Jamie is currently writing his new book, "Game On: One Fanatic's Fantastic, Foolish and Futile Attempt to Attend 365 Sporting Events in 365 Days." He discovered his latest story featured on Good Men Project - "Hope Shoots and Scores" - on Day 39 of his crazy journey.


  1. Haha; started on a summer when I was 15, eventually got up to 3 larges a day (who sleeps on summer vacation?) Now I’m down to a cup every morning, but I haven’t missed a single day in years. Oh, except for when I work a night shift. Then I probably down 4 cups.

  2. Amen, Jamie. Love it. I didn’t drink a single drop of coffee until I was almost 34. Not even coffee ice cream. Hell, not even mocha chip ice cream (which was hard to avoid, growing up practically right next door to a Brigham’s). Then I moved to Italy. Had an espresso on my very first day, in the Florence train station — which, to your “candy cigarette-to-unfiltered Camel” point, was like never having done drugs and then jumping right to speedballing . . . in a train station — and I’ve inhaled some form of coffee every single day in the ten years since. It’ll eventually kill me, but I don’t care. Much worse ways to go. Impalement on something, for one. Thanks for the fun reminder of when/how I popped my own cafe cherry.

  3. Oh, yes, I do remember my first time….. I was 15 and my cousin had given me her birth certifcate to go down to DMV and get a driver’s license to prove I was 23 so she would have someone to go out with! (naughty girl) We went out with 2 dudes for coffee after meeting them dancing; this was the late 70’s and I remember one guy had long sideburns and a floppy mustache. Well, they all ordered coffee, and what was I do to? I didn’t want to be “outed” so I got a cup, loaded up with enough cream and sugar to taste like a milkshake (which is what I really should have been drinking, after all!)

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