Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Caffeine Culture

I went to Starbucks this morning. This doesn't happen very often - in fact, over a year ago, our real estate agent gave us a gift card with $10 on it for Starbucks. When I checked out this morning, there was still money on it. But I'm getting ahead of myself here. My point is that I don't make a habit of frequenting coffee bars, so it's always an experience when I do go.

Z-boy and I overslept this morning, so we were really hustling. I got him up, handed him clothes and threw a bowl of cereal in his direction as I got myself ready to walk out the door. He carried his shoes out and put them on in the car. We got to the school after the second bell, but not so late that I had to check him in at the office. After the door slammed and we exchanged a final wave, I suddenly didn't have to rush anymore.

And I realized that I'd left the house without having anything to eat or any coffee either. Still slightly groggy, I remembered the gift card stuck in the back of my wallet and immediately my mouth started watering for a Mocha Latte. Starbucks it is.

I don't know who lays out the parking lots for these things, but they really need a lesson in proportions. The drive in the middle is way too narrow, lined on both sides by parking places and the drive-thru empties into the same little strip of asphalt as well. A large red SUV came careening around the corner of the building from the drive-thru area, so I hastily planted my car in two spots to get out of his way. He slammed on the brakes and I thought he was waiting for me to straighten myself out, so I backed out a little and pulled back in, taking up only one spot. He then screamed into a parking place directly behind me, jumped out of the car and RAN to the front door.

Shaking my head, I got out of my car and headed in as well. And all heads turned to follow me as I made my way up to the counter. A fashion plate, I am not. In fact, this morning I just pulled on jeans and a tee-shirt and hadn't even brushed my hair or washed my face. I ordered my tall Mocha Latte and a guava strudel thing and in the same time it took me to do that and pay, another register opened up to take care of the two people in line behind me (actually, I wish MORE places would do that - like the grocery store!), and actually took their orders and their money by the time I was closing my wallet.

In the meantime, Mr. Red SUV was standing at the end of the counter tapping his foot. I walked around the other side of a display to stay out of his way (the very sight of me seemed to piss him off), but when they called my name and I came around to collect my coffee, he nearly rammed into me in his rush to get out of the store, having just received his own Venti coffee. By the time I got to the front door, his vehicle was nowhere in sight.

I walked to my car, juggled keys, purse and coffee and got in. And the adventure of backing out began. The drive-thru was feeding cars through at what seemed like 5 second intervals, so I just sat and waited, watching people walk by with their gigantic cups of coffee. And I realized that they were all heroin-thin in designer suits and skirts and painfully high heels. And there were no smiles. Not a one.

It made me thankful that not only was I not a member of the Corporate Club, but only a visitor to the Caffeine Culture.


Stephanie said...

And I wish that I was not.

One day I hope to be able to be mom's taxi for Bethany. Someday, when Matthew is faculty...

In the meantime, don't all those people at Starbucks look alike? I think they are all aliens from the same dry-cleaned planet. You and I and those like us are the only natural-born earthlings.

Stepping Over the Junk said...

like zombies, those frequent visitors!

I am in hysterics at "guava strudel thing "!!!!!!! Only at Starbucks.

Oh, The Joys said...

Guava is the new strawberry!

This is what happens to the undercaffeinated!

Alice in Wonderbread said...

Too funny. :) Great writing, Sayre. I suspect red SUV man didn't even taste a thing. He was too busy living twenty minutes ahead of where he's at to notice much of anything.

Me said...

I wish I wasn't a corporate wench either.
I want to go back to working for my pbs station too!!!!
ps: I am heading to your state this weekend...WooHHoooOOO!

nikki said...

No thanks to the coffee, but I'd take a diet coke any day.....uh and the guava strudel too please.