I’m a journalism major, so naturally, society expects me to drink coffee – or, as one of my favorite time-wasting Web sites, StuffJournalistsLike.com, puts it: “Gatorade for journalists.” And I admit there’s been many a time where I’ve been on deadline and brewed a whole pot of straight-up black elixir just for myself. I’ve even gone so far as to drink some kind of liquid tar that’s been sitting for eight hours in the Gannon Knight office just to keep me awake through marathon layout sessions on Tuesday nights – and I still find it satisfying. There’s no question that I love coffee.

My problem, though, that I won’t disclose to my hard-core journo friends:  I also like coffee with loads of syrupy hazelnut and amaretto flavoring and whipped cream and caramel drizzle and chocolaty sprinkles.

Does that reduce my credibility?

Sometimes I feel like Julia Roberts’ character in “Runaway Bride” when they keep asking her, “How do you like your eggs?” and she sincerely doesn’t know. When people ask me, “How do you like your coffee?” I, too, can’t decide how to answer.

My response would end up being some kind of complex web: when I’m on deadline, I drink it black; when I’m having a bad day, I like Mounds Bar lattes from Intermezzo Café; when I’m kibitzing with my grandma and my aunts at family functions, I take cream and sugar.

Maybe that’s too confusing and complex. But I’d rather be my own person than a stereotype any day.

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