Thursday, April 15, 2010

Ramblings on Free Coffee

Free Starbucks Coffee day! Bring in a reusable mug and get a free brewed coffee! As my barrista was pouring my cup, I overheard the other barrista asking the next customer if she wanted "Pike's Place" or the "Stronger Brew" (which turned out to be Café Estima). I peeked across the counter and and noticed the "Stronger Brew" was already being poured into my mug, no questions asked. She knew.
When I pulled up there this morning, I noticed a man standing out front, off to the side. He looked like he was waiting for someone. He had an earpiece on and appeared to be talking to someone. My point here is that there was a "person" I was going to to have to Walk Past to get to my Free Coffee. I thought I had already dealt with my quota of pre-coffee interactions. I had made sure my nine-year-old got dressed and arrived at school on time and I took my hubby's suit and shirt to the cleaner's, having to deal with a total of three people before I left (Besides my daughter and the woman at the dry cleaner's, I also had to deal with my 19-year-old son, but only briefly. Of course I realized I was going to have to interact with others in order to receive my Free Coffee, but I had already factored that in to my plan. I was hoping I could wait until I entered the establishment for the scent of the beans to disperse just enough caffeine to give me the strength to order.
As I surveyed the scene before me, I noted that I could avoid walking past this man - blue jeans, long sleeved navy t-shirt with writing on it, nicely trimmed salt and pepper gray hair, who was possibly a descendant of Pacific Islanders - by walking in between a couple of SUV's. Sideways. I would also be risking the possibility of getting the morning condensation on my fat stomach and ass and I would really have to contort to get past the vehicles. It occurred to me that the man might notice my slight detour and laugh mockingly (albeit in his head, but then what would stop him from recounting the story of how "some racist lady made a big wide circle around him just to avoid walking past him" to his friends. I cringed at the idea of perfect strangers mocking me behind my back.) at my behavior. It's just that I hadn't had my coffee yet. I decided that dealing with a Person was not as bad as getting laughed at (even secretly) so I sucked it up (that's what she said) and walked past him.
"Good morning." I wasn't making eye contact, but I didn't want to be a complete dick so, I mumbled, "Good morning."
After getting my coffee and sitting down in a padded chair - digressing a bit: These are not the nice, soft comfy coffeehouse chairs. While they were large enough for me to sit criss-cross-applesauce (the politically correct version of "Indian Style") they were armless and leather or more likely, faux leather bound. There were two little end tables. Very cute: wood base with tops made of what looked like some sort of compound mixed with decorative glass. It looked very nice. I took a picture with my Blackberry, but I lost my USB cable for it, so until I find it or get a new one, I can't post any pics from it because I also cannot seem to pair my phone with my computer using Bluetooth. My computer appears to support Bluetooth, but when I try pair it with my phone, it doesn't find it. Okay, back to the part where I sat down in the chair.
So I sit down to read On Writing by Stephen King, with my Free Coffee and turkey bacon & egg white sandwich on whole wheat English muffin, when three motorcycle cops walk in. My dad is retired from the Los Angeles County Sheriff Department. These officers wore a similar green and khaki uniform with a six pointed star for their badge, although they were sporting the knee high black leather boots. After they got their food drink and sat down at the table closest to my chair (also closest to the exit should any crime related emergency arise), and guess who is with them? The "Good morning" guy. The more I stole glances at him, the more I realized he was quite likely also a comp, though off-duty. His right arm had one of those ACE bandages wrapped all up and down--which is why I thought he was wearing a long sleeved shirt at first. I think my mind saw short-sleeved over a white long-sleeved shirt...
They all seemed to be having a good time socializing and as they were getting ready to leave, a group of women came in with two little kids. One of the moms asked if they could take their kids' pictures on the motorcycle. Apparently, the little girl who could not thave been older than four (I'm thinking 3-1/2) has always wanted to be a "policeman on a motorcycle" (!) Now this is a cute little girly girl with long blonde hair and blue eyes. Of course they said "yes." She looked so cute up there, I wanted to take a picture too, but how weird would that have looked to take a picture of someone else's kid?

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