Coffee with a sprinkle of niceness.

Bet that ain't no nonfat soy latte.

          It’s Thursday and this is where we dedicate about 500+ words to relationships. Naughty and Nice are just states of being in relation to being in relationship. We know we are being heady but try to follow us here. You can’t really be naughty or nice in a vacuum can you? But you can be naughty with a vacuum and we’re sure your parents would love it if you did vacuum. What the hell are we talking about?

          Paul says: As I am writing this, I am sitting in a Starbucks drinking my Misto while Lee goes out with the kids to buy me Christmas presents. This way the boys can get me something without really needing to break open their piggy banks. Not that I would mind. Daddies and Mommies are different when it comes to gifts. Moms tend to take the ‘whatever you give me is fine’ tact whereas dads are more inclined to direct their child with gentle assistance. For example, I am more likely to slip the boys a 20 each and tell them to spend it on me. ‘Daddy likes food and toys. If you see something that you think that I would like and Mommy says that it is too expensive, stand your ground.’ I have a very loose grasp on the whole naughty and nice concept.

           So this young barista gave me a lesson on what it is to be nice. (Trust me, I have naughty down to a science.) Standing before me in the queue to order coffee was a young man, probably college age, and before him was an older lady talking to the cashier. The lady was in that beginning retirement age where she has the time to check prices, clip coupons, and comparison shop without the use of a computer and still have the passion and mental acuity to take pride in her cost saving accomplishments. And she wanted soy in her drink. Apparently, that was where the rub was since Starbucks charges an extra $0.40 for soy, a policy that everyone including the young cashier/ coffee server thought was ridiculous.

          So that is the set up. Here in Miami that story would have come to a crashing end as service personnel have two modes; active apathy and passive apathy. The older lady would have walked away in a fit of extreme perturbedness as the cashier stared dully until she was gone. Obviously that did not happen or else this would be a pretty stupid story. Instead the cashier was highly affected by the older woman’s obvious distress. She explained how this is Starbuck policy and she does not make the rules even though she thought it to be somewhat silly. At one point, I thought that she was going to cry. The man in front of me steps in with a mechanism for the older lady to get her soy for free using a value card. All though the lady was smart, she was not getting how all of this worked. Hell, I have a degree in physics and I was lost.

          Here is the nice part. After we all had our coffees and were sitting down, the cashier uses her break time to explain to the lady how to use the card to get her free soy. Both women apologized for the interaction, shared stories of their goals and hopes for the future. The younger wants to be a nurse and the older is a retired nurse. After that, I watched as the elder woman sat with her drink, busying herself with removing tags from recently purchased blouses, and giggled at all of the banter she overheard from the Starbucks staff.  

            Here is the morale of the story: Don’t put soy in your coffee. Wait, wait, wait! That might not be the only morale. How about this one: Christmas miracles of love happen all of the time, all year around, and for reasons greater than some tinsel reminding us to be nice.

          Lee says: I can’t let this guy be alone for five minutes before he starts shit up at a Starbucks. Order your Misto, sit down, write and be quiet. By the way, the boys took your twenty bucks and spent it on me.

One comment

  • greg

    You’re in Miami. Instead of authentic café Cubano or cortaditos which are better than in 99% of the rest of the U.S., you’re at a Starbucks. Serves you right.

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