"Let the gratefulness overflow into blessing all around you. Then, it will be a really good day." Louie Schwartzberg
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Needing Starbucks--Don't we All?


posted by Susan Dominikovich on ,

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There are wants and there are needs.  Then there are NEEDS.  And today, I woke up NEEDING Starbucks.  I can't explain it; I just knew I NEEDED it.  But Starbucks is 19 kms from my house, or a 20 minute drive on the open road.  A $10.00 round-trip could not be justified by a $6.00 coffee.  Not in this lifetime of saving-for-Disneyland-budget constraints.  No not ever.  Really?  No, absolutely not. 


Normally, I could easily justify the trip with a bit of "oh well, I could look around the shops as I might see this or that we might need and grab a coffee while I'm there..." Sadly, I am on restricted shopping diet.  As in restricted to no shopping.  At all.  Zero, zilch.  Credit card away (yes I have memorised the number but I am being a good girl and not even going near my on-line retailers).  Only absolute necessities can be shopped for.  And then only if we've gone without the seeming necessity for at least two weeks.  The exception being of course toilet paper.

Brushing Violet's hair this morning for school and convincing myself that I would be satisfied with a flat white from my local instead of a Grande Caramel Machiatto with an EXTRA Shot, I noticed that the hairtie she had given me had seen better days.  It simply would not do.  "Grab another one please Violet."  She came back with a fist-full that resembled the first one, stretched to its limit of elasticity.  Might hold the hair for 5 minutes but no longer.

"A ha!"  says I, "I think I need to buy you new hairties!" I had a brief moment of seeing myself drive into town for new hairties and then sitting in Starbucks, when I realised, oh bum.  Hairties can be found in our local chemist.  Not a good excuse.

It was raining this morning and my kiddios dutifully donned their raincoats, like the good little Canadians that they are (kiwi kids usually don't bother with coats while shoes also are optional).  In the rush of morning and getting ready for school and making lunches and keeping Sam and Madeline apart, I didn't notice until we arrived that Abby was literally bursting out of her little raincoat.  It was once Madeline's and is good quality but I do think it is probably size 5.  Poor little neglected last child.  Never gets anything new.  She's such a good sport though, she never complains and indeed, even with this obviously too-small jacket, she seemed content.

"A ha!"  says I, "Abby, you need a new jacket!"

And indeed, that was enough.  I didn't think twice about it.  I drove to town in the rain, radio blaring and sang along with Phillip Philips ("and although this wave is stringing us along/Just know you're not alone...").  Parking at the mall was easy and I took my time shopping for a raincoat for my girl, with my much-anticipated coffee experience just around the corner (literally).  I also found the hairties and a few other necessities (following the rule, we had indeed gone without kitchen tongs and a potato masher for two weeks) and then practically skipped through the rain to Starbucks.

There are two certainties in life:  no matter where you are in the world, McDonald's will always be McDonald's and Starbucks will always be Starbucks.  (Actually, probably a third, The Body Shop will always be The Body Shop.)  Walking through the door, I was greeted by a blast of warm air, the jazzy sound of Norah Jones and the iconic Starbucks smell.  I shut my eyes and was transported to a different time and place, Starbucks Victoria, Starbucks Vancouver.  Just the same.  It's not so much the coffee but the experience that is predictable, comforting, encouraging.  The comfort is in the sameness.

I marched up to the counter and the much-pierced lad behind it (I simply do not understand some of the modern piercings and holes that grace our youth--yes, I realise how old I sound right now) greeted me with the usual friendly, "hello, what can I get for you today?"  I didn't blink.  Grande Caramel Machiatto with an EXTRA Shot please.  "Will you have that here or to take away?"  he asked, smiling, clearly loving his job (and why wouldn't he?).  To have here please.  "Ah, not in a rush eh?  Great."

Oh how I love Starbucks.  Absolutely not in a rush.  What would be the point of rushing?  I settled myself into a comfy-back chair and sat.  I just sat.  Happy to wait as long as it took for my coffee to arrive.

The much-pierced lad soon called out "Grande Caramel Machiatto with an EXTRA Shot" and I slowly made my way over to take my coffee from the little shelf next to his machine.  "Have a great day," he said still smiling.  Oh I will, thank you.

Sipping, sniffing, lingering, sipping, indulging, I sat in my comfy-back chair at Starbucks.  I watched the shoppers on the street outside and I eavesdropped on my fellow coffee-drinkers inside.  I imagined their stories and embellished them.  I read the latest posts in all my favourite blogs.  I savoured every last drop of my coffee and even when I had finished, I held my still-warm cup and pretended to still be drinking.  I did not rush.

Some things are a necessity.  Today I needed a raincoat, hairties, a potato masher, kitchen tongs, and Starbucks.  Yes, I definitely NEEDED Starbucks.  It is a great day.

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