(From Janet Shamlian, NBC News Correspondent)
The newspaper's relationship column lay across my keyboard with these words underlined "high-maintenance-coffee order equals high-maintenance woman." I wasn't sure what to make of it. Surely, my husband wasn't referring to me. After all, he's the one who asks the barista to add in the sugar for him. C'mon darlin', there's a condiment counter right behind you!
The premise of the column is that men can determine whether a woman is high-maintenance by how she orders her coffee. You know, if it's a "venti, triple shot, half-caf, 145 degree, one-third skim latte" it might be an indication she's a lady of extraordinary upkeep, or picky or whatever high maintenance means these days. In what was, admittedly, an unscientific study we headed to coffee shops in Los Angeles and Houston to test-drive the theory (video). Your mileage may vary.
My first observation was this: women DO order fussier drinks than men. No question, we do. But, so what? When a super-sized java jolt costs more than a gallon of gas, shouldn't it be exactly as we want it?
Men told me they do make judgments about women based on their order. Women saw no correlation between their coffee and anything else. "The only signal this should send to a man," one woman told me as she juggled her blueberry frappuccino "is I know what I like and I'm going to get it." I'm not certain why this litmus test is limited to the ladies, but women overwhelmingly told me they don't make assumptions about a man based on his Cuppa Joe.
In the interest of full disclosure: I like a venti, non-fat, no-foam, extra-hot latte. Unlike my husband, I'll wrestle open the sugar packet and stir it into the cup... all by myself.