I'm not a coffee drinker...
I'm not a coffee drinker. Never have been. But, I live with two females that love the stuff. We could debate if a 13 (soon to be 14) year old should be drinking coffee...but I won't go there. I accept the argument that a cup of coffee can't be any worse than a bottle of soda. Moving on...
So from time to time, I find myself at the local Starbucks, which might as well be eastern Slovenia for me. It's like a completely different world...a make-believe world where people speak a pseudo-foreign language and pretend to be high society...or hip...or something I'm apparently not. Now, I understand the Italian connection with the origin of many coffee drinks coming from Italy, and the implied chicness of the whole fiasco called Starbucks, but what I don't get is the absolutely ridiculous sounding process for ordering.
I'm not Italian-illiterate either. Besides the Learn A Language While You Drive cassette series I played for months before an Italy trip that fell apart the day prior to departure, the Sopranos were a weekly ritual at my house (God forgive me). I know Italian...well...some Italian. I know latte is Italian for milk, I know grande means large. What I don't understand is why a grande iced vanilla latte at Starbucks isn't a large cup of milk with vanilla flavor. What gives?
So, this morning I find myself alone in the drive-thru at Starbucks filled with anxiety. Since I love my wife more than any earthly thing, I'm doing this for her. For me... it's virgin territory. I refuse to order when we all go together, making my wife or the teenager do the honors...and..always making fun of the process. I want a frappa mocha latte venti or some other ridiculously sounding fictional concoction. But here I am...ready to order.
Speaker: Welcome to Starbucks. Would you like to try one of our fancy smancy new sandwiches?
I'm frozen. What did she say she wanted?
Tony C: Just a minute please.
Speaker: (Sarcastically) Take your time and order when you're ready.
Now, I'm sure the seven hundred and twenty cars behind me want just that...me to take my time. I glance over the menu board looking for some type of trigger word...but it's all so...foreign.
Uh, uh mocha, latte, venti, frappachino, cappachino...before I even realized, I say...out loud into the speaker...
Tony C: Frappa mocha latte...uh
Speaker: (Again with the sarcasm) Excuse me sir?!
Nothing would do my heart more good than to break into a speaker rant over why Starbucks had to stop selling the black and white cookie...it's all I ever liked there! But I have loved ones waiting in the balance on me performing this simple task.
Text message! Thank you Jesus! She sent what she wanted in a text message! A few quick clicks...
Tony C: I'll take a iced vanilla latte venti please. Not a perfect delivery...wrong indefinite article grammatically...but hey...I'm a rookie.
Speaker: That will be $4.33. Thank you pull forward.
$4.33! For a cup of coffee! I'm I picking this up IN Italy? That's an entire #1 Value Breakfast Meal WITH a large iced tea at Mickie D's.
As I'm pulling forward, I notice the 'Coexist' bumper sticker on the BMW in front of me...nice...this is now the company I keep...very nice.