Starbucks hates me. I came to that conclusion while standing in a line waiting to order one of their items.
My step-daughter loves Starbucks. She lives in a rather rural area and looks forward to the occasional trip to the big town where she can indulge her jones. She is joined by hordes of young coffee drinkers, a group of consumers whom Starbucks pursued and wooed back into the fold. Starbucks came into being at a time when coffee consumption was falling. Young people didn't drink the beverage loved by their parents' generation but chose to buy soda or bottled water. Starbucks found the key to entice them into sailing onto the dark waters, explore the intricacies of coffee.
Coffee to me is one of life's carnal pleasures. Coffee excites at least four of the five senses. The aroma of brewing coffee is wonderful. The sight of it, steam lazily curling above its dark surface, fosters anticipation. The silken touch of it on the tongue (properly conjoined with ones preferred additives) couples taste and texture in a marriage for the ages. It always gives back to the drinker in a way totally disproportionate to the investment. That is, until Starbucks came along.
As with most people, I was aware of Starbucks existence. I ventured one day to sample their offerings. I'm admittedly a frugal man, though in my defense I've never squeezed a nickel until the buffalo bellowed. I could (almost) justify the price as an investment in adventure, the sampling of something new to my experience.
What led to my desertion, my act of going AWOL from the army of young, upwardly mobile patrons, was the need to learn a foreign language before ordering. I'm not able to define what 'latte' means. I sure as sin don't know what a venti might be. I resent the demand upon my withered old pate to learn how to request their product in a way which suits them instead of me. I know a large coffee, cream and artificial sweetener doesn't roll off the tongue in a melodic waterfall of syllables. I'm not writing opera lyrics, I want a really big cup of coffee.
Am I alone in my resentment? Should I wander down to my local tattoo artist and have him scribe dinosaur on my furrowed brow? Should I get a haircut before I make the appointment? I can't deal with all this stress.
I wasn't always this way. I remember a time when I had to learn how to order eggs at a restaurant. I learned it isn't acceptable when the waitress asks how you want your eggs to respond "Like Mama makes them." I learned real quick she has never met Mama or had breakfast cooked by her. I learned the correct term for me is 'over medium', and it works almost every time.
Maybe it's a sign of my grey matter becoming encrusted with some plaque or calcification. Whatever the reason, I don't want to play anymore.
I fell out of line, casting myself on the shore of non-consumption as the stream of avid caffeine junkies moved forward a single space. I'll wait until I can order in a tongue I've already mastered.