Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Why I love Starbucks

I'm sitting here drinking an Iced Grande Non-fat No Whip White Mocha, which I'd stuck in my refrigerator yesterday afternoon when I got home from my Starbucks Happy Hour run.  Yes, Starbucks is having Happy Hour--all Frappacinos are half off until May 16th.  And get this: you can totally create your own frappacino.  This is a big deal to me.  I remember walking into a Starbucks several years ago and wanting a Frappe, but without the caffeine, the hour being too late for my delicate system to handle it.  Caffeine past about 2 pm means that sleep which is always hard to come by will come even later (or is it earlier, if we're talking about toward dawn?).  But when I tried to order a decaf frappe, the barista said they didn't make such a thing.  WHAT?  There's actually something Starbucks doesn't make?

Well, not anymore.  Right now it's a "Create your own Frappe" world, with the price cut in half to prove it.  And, apparently, the whole world is buying.  At least that's the way it seemed to me yesterday when I edged my little blue Matrix into the back of the longest Starbucks line I'd ever seen.  A line that reminded me of the gas lines at Costco, of the Star Wars movies lines from 1976.  Incredibly long lines, snaking around a parking lot.  Instantly I hear some of you out there asking, "Why didn't you park the car and go in to order?", which is a very good question.  And I would have, except for one very good reason.

I was in my pajamas.  That's right.  Three-thirty in the afternoon and I was wearing pajama bottoms.  OK, so you've just stumbled onto my deep, dark secret.  When I'm home, I wear pjs. They feel better on my skin. See, my skin is sensitive.  It's part of the nerve damage I deal with all the time.  Clothes hurt, especially jeans.  Well, most pants.  They feel like needles against my left leg, which is quite unbearable.  So I wear pjs, and am not ashamed of it.  However, I don't want to be one of those women who wear them out of the house and wind up on "What Not To Wear", so I change into regular pants when I have to go anywhere. 

But I was only going through the drive-through.  What difference did my jammies make alone in my own car? Huh? Just tell me.  So I sat in line.  It was a beautiful day, after all.  The sky was blue, the sun was warm.  I was listening to a very interesting interview on NPR, and the time went by.  I moved up the line.  Put in my order.  Finally got to the window, and the young man said, "How long did you have to wait?"
"Oh," I said. "I really didn't notice."
"Really?" he asked. "Six people ahead of you pulled out because it took too long. But our computers crashed." 
"Wow," I said. Inside the lobby was a crush of people. "That must be a drag during Happy Hour."  He smiled, "Yeah, it was."
"Well, I hope it gets better from here."
He turned for a moment.  "This drink was made for one of them.  Would you like it?"
"Sure," I said.  Then you know what?  He didn't even let me pay for my own frappe.  Two drinks for free, and all it cost me was being kind instead of grouchy on a sunny afternoon of waiting in line.  How hard was that?
And that, my friends, is why I love Starbucks.  Even if they aren't local.
And why I'm drinking this Iced Grande Nonfat No Whip White Mocha today.

Later, I really must write a different post. Because today, readers, is our 26th wedding anniversary.

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