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People Try to Convince Me to Get Nicer Things for Myself… and I’m Not Sure How to Take It

·599 words·3 mins

We were talking about coffee orders the other day on the Poly Land Discord Server. I felt a bit out of place during the discussion. Because my coffee order is a bit moody. Kind of strange.

I’m happy with black, unless it’s a flavored coffee, and then no way. Drinking hazelnut black, for example… oh my God, incomparably gross (to my palate). Something oily and confused. Flavored coffee is meant to have creamer and sweetener added to it, to approximate a certain drink. It’s not meant to be ingested without them.

That said, I can’t do black coffee plus sugar or sweetener — with no milk or cream involved. It just doesn’t work for me. If sweet is going in, then I have to some kind of milk/cream in it too.

My go-to order for years was coffee with cream (and no sugar/sweetener). The cream balanced out the acid in the coffee and made it so I could drink the coffee faster, since the addition cooled it down. But coffee plus cream wasn’t cloyingly sweet. I could still taste the coffee.

And when I go to a coffeehouse, I just walk up and ask for the largest size coffee they sell, and then I walk over to the little condiment stand and fix it up however I’m feeling. (Usually just putting cream or milk in it.)

I only ever order a fancier drink — latte, cappuccino, iced coffee, what have you — if I’m with someone and they goad me into it. That said, this happens a lot. My cafe companions are often like, “What? You’re ordering a regular coffee. This will not do. Get a latte or something.”

It’s wild to me how regularly I disappoint my companions with how plain my cafe orders are.

And when my nesting partner makes me coffee at home, they tend to do it up as fancily as they can. They’ll put in milk/cream and sweetener, sure, but also a flavored syrup (if we have it) and even sprinkle some cinnamon in there. They never hand coffee to me black or with just milk/cream — which is how I make it for myself 99% of the time.

Not Sure Whether to Feel Loved or Profoundly Misunderstood

I’m never quite sure whether to feel loved or profoundly misunderstood by this tendency of other people to talk me into upsells. Their attempts to get me to opt for fancier things than I’d get myself naturally.

My nesting partner argues that I should feel loved by people doing this. They say that people are advocating for me. My nesting partner says that it’s because they know that I won’t get things for myself. And when it comes to nesting partner’s behaviors, that would be my guess. They really do seem to be doing it out of love.

But when it comes to a lot of other people who don’t know me so well, I’m not so sure that this is the motivation. In other scenarios, I tend to suspect another reason — that people are projecting what they’d want onto me. They know they wouldn’t be happy with something basic, so they presume I wouldn’t either. And in this case, I end up not feeling loved by the upsell — and instead, it feels like I’m profoundly misunderstood. Cared for, but through a false lens, one that actually reflects the wishes of the person who is viewing me.

Which I suppose begs the question… can someone love you even if they profoundly misunderstand you?

Or does being loved require being understood by someone else?


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