The Things We Don’t Say

STARBUCKS, (c) 2014 by iduajapan via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

I have a bunch of thoughts that I don’t say out loud.

Sometimes I explain a sticky situation to my kids, and I conclude with: “You know you can never say this in public, right?”

I wonder if others do the same, or if most people just say whatever they want, whenever they want. If people are keeping discreet counsel, I wouldn’t know, right? That’s the nature of keeping things to yourself.

But if people mostly just say what they mean and mean what they say, then I have some views that it seems absolutely no one shares.

Like the fact that I don’t like Starbucks coffee.

So there, I’ve said it. I don’t think Starbucks coffee is very good. I’m not a hater — I don’t get all up in arms about the weird vocabulary (why is the tall not large? why is the grande bigger than tall?) or their social justice thing, I just don’t like their coffee, with the exception of the Flat White. Now, THAT is good. But that has to do with the particular concoction, not the coffee. I’m talking about Starbucks coffee itself. The plain brewed cup that we all want in the morning.

I love my coffee. I grind the beans and use a top-quality brewer, and have done for years. Even when we couldn’t afford the nice fair trade stuff, I bought cheap whole beans and figured out how to make a good cup. My mom, who never compliments anything I do, grudgingly admitted that my coffee was much better than my sister’s (my sister is richer, more successful, and more likable than I am, so this is huge).

Starbucks coffee tastes overroasted and burned to me. That’s all, really. It’s bitter. Apparently, this bitter taste is what I’m supposed to enjoy? Yuck. My tongue feels numb after a cup of Starbucks.

However, as I said, I do like the Flat White. And I think some of their fancy concoctions are kind of fun.

StarBucks Coffee, (c) 2005 by Esparta Palma via Flickr (CC-BY-ND-2.0); no changes were made

One of my younger daughters asked to try a Starbucks drink, because her friends all rave about Starbucks. Really? I said in amazement. When we go to hotels and we see the “we proudly brew Starbucks coffee” tagline at breakfast, I feel my heart sink. I’m not at all happy to be served Starbucks at hotel breakfast buffets. Why are 13 year olds raving about Starbucks when it tastes so bad?

I think 13 year olds are afraid to say they don’t like something that everyone else claims to like. I get that — they are 13. I, however, am 48. And I’m really tired of smiling politely when someone shows up at my kids’ sporting events with a big cup of Starbucks, explaining that he had to drive to the other side of town for a decent cup of coffee. So I’m just going to put this out there. I don’t like it, I don’t think it tastes good, and I actually don’t care that much and don’t think about it often — I just prefer normal coffee that doesn’t make my tongue numb.

I think this is going to be a 49th birthday present to myself — to say one truthful thing every day. Out loud. In front of people. My kids will probably want to run the other way. They’ll say that I must be getting old.