Somebody told me once that I’m “addicted to Starbucks, and Christians aren’t supposed to be addicted to anything!” I took umbrage to that. First of all, I don’t think you can develop an actual addiction to a corporation. But more important, I can stop drinking peppermint mochas any time I want to. I’ve been ordering iced coffee lately anyway.
If, however, there’s any truth to the rumor that the road to hell is paved with frappuccinos, then I’m in a lot of trouble. And I’ve been a terrible influence on the youth of America. Namely, my granddaughters.
Today was my oldest granddaughter’s very first fifth birthday. She’s a girlie girl, and her mama told me Allie loves to get pedicures.She and I went out this afternoon on a YaYa date, and headed over to a grocery store which boasts its very own Starbucks—across from the bread aisle—and a nail salon next door. One Stop Shopping. With ice cream and birthday cake waiting at home for the birthday girl, sugary treats were limited, but I had the okay to treat her to a lemonade or hot chocolate. We put our names on the pedicure list and walked over to the grocery store for some ‘icing on the cake’.
See, I had this picture in my mind of Allie in one salon chair, drinking a tall hot chocolate, while I sat in the cushy chair next to her with my salted caramel hot chocolate. Girly girl heaven. Hand in hand, we practically skipped up to the coffee counter to request the beverages I knew would make our pedi date perfect. But before I could give our order, the perky teen behind the counter said,
“We’re closed today. We’re working on our equipment.”
I’d like to tell you I set a good example for the little girl standing next to me. I wish I could tell you I walked straight to the dairy aisle and bought two bottles of lemonade, smiling good naturedly at this change of plans. Instead, I looked blankly at the girl who just heartlessly popped my birthday balloon and . . . whined.
“I’m really sorry,” she said, “but you could have something sweet to eat instead.” No, we couldn’t. Birthday cake waiting. “Or there’s another Starbucks five minutes from here.” No, it’s not that close. I could draw you a map of every Starbucks within a thirty-mile radius and she was way off. “How old are you?” she weakly asked my granddaughter after I explained that today is this little girl’s birthday.
“I’m five,” Allie answered sweetly, all five fingers held up for the girl in the green apron to admire.
“Well, happy birthday!” the teen told her. “Here’s a chocolate heart for you!” And she handed Allie a foil wrapped treat she’d probably been saving for herself.
I’m proud to tell you I recovered quickly from my disappointment, thanks in large part to the joyful spirit of my granddaughter who grew a whole year older today. But I’m pretty sure as we walked away, we left the coffee counter girl wondering which of the two of us was the real five-year-old. I can't blame her. It was almost an out-of-body experience as I heard myself trying to convince the poor kid that her equipment was perfectly fine and she could wring out two little hot chocolates if she wanted to.
Don’t worry. I’ll try to find a way to apologize to that innocent Starbuckian as soon as I get out of rehab. Maybe I’ll mail her a letter. I wouldn’t want to risk a setback by sniffing any corporate coffee fumes. She probably wouldn’t want to talk to me in person anyway. I heard they put my photo up behind the counter there. “Under-age”, I think it says beneath my mug shot.
They never should have legalized Starbucks.
Photo courtesy of Your Pal Dave’s photostream at Flickr.com