I like to tell Lily that she’s the cream in my coffee, because, you know, I’m good with metaphors, and Lily is a fan of cream. (But not that half-and-half crap! Lily’s from Iowa, after all. Cream is 18%, and if you’re being decadent it’s 35%. Most people know 35% cream as “whipping cream” but those of us from America’s Dairyland beg to differ.)
But really, I stole this particular metaphor from Kevin Quain, Toronto musician extraordinaire. “You’re the cream in my coffee,” he says, “you’re the vodka in my tonic, you’re the gin in my martini, you’re the rum in my zombie.” Yes, I am aware that three out of four of his metaphors are based on the “you’re the alcohol in my otherwise innocent drink” formula. But he also says, “you’re the bats in my belfry.” Awwww.
So I’ve decided that instead of stealing metaphors outright, the way to make them my own is to qualify them. Because I for one would rather not have a cup of coffee at all than have to drink a cup of coffee with milk. (And do you want to know something? Some of the women in my office put SKIM milk in their coffee! Yes, I know!)
So let’s say this: Lily, you’re the 35% cream in my coffee. You’re the Tanqueray 10 in my tonic. It’s all about the details, Chicklets! Happiness is in getting the details right.