I talk a great deal about setting boundaries and expressing preferences, and sometimes have struggled to differentiate this between being controlling and giving orders.
I was less than perfect about this this morning, and realized while the incident was trivial, the example was beautifully illustrative. As my sobriquet might suggest, I am fond of coffee. First thing I do every morning is downstairs and grab a cup of this sublime elixir.
The Prince tends to be the one to set up the coffee pot the night before. We have a coffee maker with a timer, so most days the timer is set to go off when people expect to be getting up the next day. Waking to coffee is a wonderful thing.
This morning, being a Saturday, we got up later, and yes coffee happened. The Prince was already improving his mind, so being a Dutiful Wife, I brought him a cup when I got my own.
I settled down to Important Business and enjoy my coffee when I took a sip and—
“Ewww. Honey is this flavored coffee?” says I in horrified tones.
Not catching my abject horror at the sacrilege to the purity of the libation, he said proudly, “Yeah, I put just a pinch of the blueberry coffee in with the regular stuff.”
“Flavored coffee is why we have cup-top brewers,” I sighed.
So, mah poly children, can you catch Mama Java’s boundary-setting and preference-establishing mistake? ‘Cause I made one.
 Actually, he was noodling on Reddit and reading Cracked pseudo-scientific articles, but let’s not be small-minded.
 Well, figuring out how to explain on a PolyFamilies thread why squirrels were really nasty, destructive tree-rats.
 Espresso roast brewed drip style.
 Though trivial and I caught myself.
7 thoughts on “Goddess of Java’s Boundaries Quiz”
Is it about boundaries, or just manners, and is there a difference? My analysis is, it’s mildly rude and ungracious to fuss about the flavor of coffee that someone else has made for you, if it’s merely a dislike and not an allergy. (Although, OMG, BLUEBERRY, who DRINKS that vile poison? 😉 )
However, “This is why we have cup-top brewers” is a much better response than haranguing the helpfully-intentioned person who made you coffee about how they were DOIN IT RONG.
I don’t think there’s anything impolite about saying, “Well, that was creative of you! But it’s really not to my liking. When you make coffee for both of us, would you mind terribly making the plain stuff?”
If I read it correctly, I believe it was actually our Misanthrope who made the coffee for both of them, and then was surprised to find that she had made flavoured coffee. I think her response was okay, if her husband gets the hint. Otherwise I don’t see anything wrong with saying “Please don’t mix coffee flavours together, sweetie.”
Nope. The Prince made the coffee.
““Flavored coffee is why we have cup-top brewers,” I sighed.”
This is stated like a boundary yet it is really a preference. And unless it had been stated in advance, the “sighed” part implies it is a broken boundary when none had been specified.
(Oooh, this is a fun game!) Sounds like a mild case of ‘ye who has ultra specific requirements of how Something is to be done is the one who is in charge of doing the Something’. Basically, if you wanted to be sure that there was not experimental blueberry coffee (sounds interesting, I’d take a cup!) in the morning then you should be the one who sets up the coffee maker the night before. A.k.a. the DCF method. You might have said ‘Oh, blueberryness. Not my favorite but thanks again for setting up the coffee last night, sweetums.’