How far would you go for a latte?
It’s Monday morning.
Starbucks greets you like an old friend. You push open the door to the familiar sound of chatter and espresso machines. The deep aroma of coffee wafts over you.
Life is good.
All is well.
Until…you realize you haven’t actually moved at all. You haven’t even made it inside. You’re standing in the doorway, no, wait — you’re holding the door open with your butt standing in the doorway — shivering in the freezing cold January morning with a line of people forming outside behind you.
What time did that meeting start? Right. Five minutes ago.
The line begins to move. Fast forward to check-out. You’ve ordered your no-foam, Venti not Grande, double cup that please?, extra hot latte, when suddenly the very nice lady in front of you decides to pay for her order ENTIRELY in coins.
You decide to order a breakfast sandwich. “That’s how much?” you ask the cashier in amazement. “Just add a French word to the beginning of anything and it costs an extra two dollars,” she explains.
You pass on breakfast, grab your drink and stride over to the sugar counter, all confidence.
Here’s where the real fun begins.
You can’t even see the sugar bar. It’s surrounded by 5 people dressed in burly overcoats shielding the counter like it’s a hidden treasure.
You make your way into the crowd. “Steven” accidentally knocks over a cup of coffee with his elbow, spilling it all over the counter. “Oh dang! I’m so sorry!” He exclaims, grabbing a wad of — no, the entire container of — napkins to mop it up. You’d offer to help, but there’s really no point, He’s Got It Covered.
You watch as “Zoe” finishes off the last drop of half and half, literally tapping the container to get the last little bit out. “Thanks,” you say, trying to smile as she hands it over to you with a sympathetic nod…All you wanted was a “splash.” Guess it’ll have to be 2% today.
Almost done, but wait — there’s no white sugar left? There’s just about every other type of sugar imaginable, but no “plain?” Ugh! You feel like crying.
“Ok,” you think, “I’ll just use this natural brown stuff.”
Now it’s time to stir it in — “Excuse me sir” you say to “Robert” as you awkwardly try to reach across him for a stirrer. “CAN I HELP YOU?” He asks, ALL CAPS.
“I’m just trying to get one of those thinga-majiggies,” you rack your brain desperately for the right word… “you know, it’s made of wood, it’s like a stick thingy you stir with…over there?” It’s like a wooden…stick?”
“A stirrer!” he shouts.
“Yes, a stirrer,” you agree politely.
Coffee in hand. Walking away.
Sure, you’re late to work but your headache is diminishing with each sip of your latte.
Until…you reach into your pocket to take out your iPhone.
“Just another day in the life,” you explain hurriedly to a pigeon on the sidewalk.
You turn around. You powerwalk — ok, run — back to Starbucks.
No shame in sprinting.
To read Kristen’s personal blog visit: A Sparkly Bit of Everything
An earlier version was published at www.huffingtonpost.com on January 24, 2017.