Do you ever start the day feeling like you need to MAINLINE coffee into your bloodstream, like, the second your head rises from the pillow? That’s how Emma Dumain, a McClatchy congressional reporter, felt at yesterday’s impeachment hearings.
In a now-viral clip, we see Emma tilt her head all the way back and down a cup of coffee (to-go, of course). Then we see her look straight at the camera…and chug even more, like the badass mom she is.
So why did Emma need all that coffee in the first place? And why did she use her entire body to lean forward and back to drink it?
In an interview with Slate, Emma said her 19-month-old daughter is to blame. “It was my first coffee of the day—I didn’t have time to make coffee at home in the morning. I had dropped my toddler off at day care, I was rushing to get to the Capitol on time so they wouldn’t give away my seat, so I was still in the process of caffeinating and I really wanted to get every last drop.” Sounds relatable.
“She got up a little bit before 6,” Emma said of her daughter. “While my husband was getting ready for work, I went into her room and tried to get her back to sleep on me. We kind of went in and out of sleep for another 45 minutes. Then at around 6:45, my husband came in to tell me it was my turn to get ready to go to work, so then I was rushing to get ready. It was a very disorienting morning where I didn’t have my coffee at home.”
Apparently, despite making direct eye contact with the viewers at home, Emma had no idea we would all have the pleasure of seeing her chug coffee with the same enthusiasm as a frat boy shotgunning a cheap beer. She knew she was in the shot at one point, but “you’re not conscious of it the whole time, so I was not conscious in that moment that I was in the live shot,” Emma said. The tiredness might be to blame for that one. “I also didn’t figure that the camera was going to be trained on the witnesses for the entirety of the hearing. The bottom line is I had no idea in the moment that that was being captured in real time. Zero.”
Luckily, Emma and her coworkers have been taking her Internet stardom in stride. “The thing that I actually am finding gratifying about the whole thing is I really do think my colleagues are laughing with me and not at me,” Emma said. “Maybe I’m deluding myself, but this actually has been a pretty funny day and kind of a hilarious experience. I’ve gotten some ribbing from colleagues around here like, ‘Can I get you a cup of coffee?’ or ‘Where’s your coffee?’” They’ve even been egging her on to do it again. “I was at a press conference later in the day after the hearing and a colleague said, ‘If I give you a cup of coffee, will you go stand and drink it in front of a camera right now?’”
Emma’s husband emailed her applauding her DGAF attitude. “I actually, again, had no clue in that moment that the camera was on me,” Emma said. “I really was totally out of it in that moment. I think I was just staring into space. But I’ve seen that narrative perpetuating, like, ‘She looked at that camera, and she just doesn’t care.’ I wish that I was that much of a badass.” We still think she is though.
Emma doesn’t want to make this dramatic on-camera coffee-drinking a habit. “Usually by 9 a.m. on a weekday, I’m onto my second cup, and there’s a lot less urgency to gulp it down,” Emma said. “That’s kind of the story I want to put out there: I’m just a tired workin’ mom trying to do it all.”