Mother's Day forces dads to do a lot of shit they don't want to do. Brunch comes to mind immediately. Not getting drunk at brunch is the next thought. A million other scenarios ending with me repeatedly sticking an imaginary fork in my eye flood my mind after those initial horrors. The point is - great day for her and a shitty day for me.
It was especially shitty this year since I decided to start the day's festivities off with a run to Starbucks with our 20 month old who is possessed by the exuberance and energy of a Jack Russel Terrier and the destructive power of a tornado wrapped inside a tsunami that has hurricanes for arms and legs and volcano head that shoots hot snot lava. Small crowded places where she isn't allowed to touch anything just happen to set her off like a match to gasoline. About one tenth of one second after crossing the threshold of the door at Starbucks - I realized I had made a major mistake.
As you all know, I hate Starbucks for numerous reasons. I'll be spending the next few years listing all of them on this blog, so stay tuned. The only reason I was there is because my wife loves Starbucks. I figured I'd spare her the "best part of waking up" option we both hate (but refuse to change for some reason) that morning seeing as it was "her day" and all. Like getting fouled while shooting the three and sinking it - I had a rare opportunity for a four point play. She loves Starbucks = +2 points. I hate Starbucks and she knows what a sacrifice it is for me to actually go inside one and be among Starbucks people = +2.
It's 7:30 in the morning on a Sunday and I'm at the Starbucks off of Spout Run (next to The Italian Store!) hoping to have beat the morning crowd. I'm quickly reminded of the fact that rich white people have nothing better to do than wake up at dawn and go sit around drinking very expensive coffee with complete strangers. The place is packed. Picture Pizza Mart in Adams Morgan at 2:30 a.m. and then imagine everyone is the type of person who drives a Mercedes - that's what we're talking about here.
The guy in front of me in line is in his mid fifties, way too skinny for his age and sopping wet with sweat. He ran to the Starbucks. My kid wants to do only one thing in life at that point - touch his nasty ass sweat infused shirt. I'm trying to keep my distance, but the lady behind me is literally standing on my heels as if applying pressure to my personal space will speed up the baristas. It's a shit show from the word go and I'm stuck between the two leads.
Slowing everything down is not only the fact that lattes take longer to make than glaciers, but the witty morning banter between the baristas and the regulars that interrupts the actual making of the coffee. I'm one of only a few people in the place who aren't on a first name basis with the staff. If I was that chummy with the baristas I could have easily let them know that the 30 pound human nuclear bomb I was holding was about to lose her shit and turn this place into the scene of a Mexican cartel shootout if things didn't start moving along. Unfortunately for everyone - I did not have that kind established relationship with the hippies on staff.
Once we're about three people back from ordering, my little baby girl's head turned all the way around 360 degrees a couple of times signaling the start of World War III. She's flinging everything she can put her hands on across the room and what she doesn't throw, she puts in her mouth requiring that I buy it. Sweaty old guy in front of me is oblivious to this and takes his time catching up with Hippie McDipshit behind the counter before he even starts to order. In a sudden moment of awareness the lead hippie playing rover behind the counter decides it might be a good idea if they get started on my drink. For that, I was grateful.
Thank you lead hippie. May your weed be sticky, purple and by prescription from now on.
Back to the show...
Sweaty old guy ordered three drinks, by the way. Two lattes - one iced, one hot and some kind of ice-fruit-drink -coffee-thingy. At this point I f*cking hate old sweaty guy like no single other person on earth has ever hated another person before. I would punch him, but I'm afraid I might touch his shirt.
I tell Hippie McDipshit what I ordered and place the dozen or so plastic wrapped chocolate nut scones on the counter that have been claimed via saliva by my daughter. A mortgage payment later I'm declining the offer of a receipt and headed to a safe spot to wait for my wife's coffee.
Tom Petty once said "waiting is the hardest part," and he was right. I also think he and Dwight Yoakam are the same person, but that's another post for another day.
What makes waiting hard at Starbucks are the assholes who waited in the long line to order, know that there are lots of people waiting for their drinks that ordered decades before them, but decide to stand as close to the pick up counter as possible without actually touching the guy making drinks. These assholes are shocked every single time the barista calls out an order and it's not theirs. It's as if they have in their mind that the barista took their order and thought "f*ck these people who have been waiting, I'm going to bump this guy's order to the front since he's obviously awesome."
You would have thought that after the next four drinks called weren't theirs and people had to plow their way through them to pick up their drinks, they'd get the picture. They didn't and they generally don't. Being in the way isn't something a Starbucks customer is capable of noticing. That would mean they would have to engage in some kind of self-awareness or self-reflection exercise and if they were aware of their status as the skid mark on the underwear of modern consumerism - they might stop going to Starbucks! We wouldn't want that, would we?
Figuring out that you're a Starbucks asshole is a lot harder than dealing with the fact that you wore parachute pants or thought it was perfectly acceptable to play Chumbawamba's "Tubthumping" at full volume on repeat in your car as your drove through campus. On the list of the hardest things to find out about yourself, being a Starbucks asshole is second behind finding out you're Hitler's love child and just in front of realizing you're being considered for the next season of the Jersey Shore. It's pretty bad.
In the end Mommy got her tall double shot white mocha while it was still hot. She's not too happy about the $50 of crap we had to buy because the kid either broke it or tongued it, but she'll get over it after she reads this harrowing tale of how her coffee came to be that morning. Or... she'll be offended by this post since she likes Starbucks and I'll have to explain how she's different than the people I'm talking about even though she totally isn't.
Wish me luck. And don't you dare get me a Starbucks gift card.