I’m not proud to say this, but I don’t know how to order Starbucks.
Now I shall duck to avoid the hurtling projectiles.
I know, I know, I’ve had years to learn. I could have Googled it a million times. Hell, I could be Googling it right now, but I’m not. Instead I have prepared for you this elaborate explanation/justification why I don’t know how to order Starbucks and what I’ve done to, um, cover it up.
I live in Dunkin’ Donuts Country. You can’t stand in one and miss spitting on another from where you are. It would be an understatement to say that we’re saturated with Dunkin’ stores here in New England. It’s been here all my life. I have memories, in fact, of sitting at a rotating stool, at a real counter, receiving donuts on glass plates, and beverages in proper porcelain mugs. And did I mention the silverware? They gave you silverware. Metal.
So, naturally, when Starbucks sauntered into town with all its highfalutin, well, everything, I chuckled, the same way I did when Red Lobster decided to drop proverbial anchor here, in a state with over 400 miles of coastline. I waited and watched while curious and hopeful residents wandered in for their unnecessarily complicated $4+ cup of coffee, and listened for the doors to slam quickly shut under the pressure of our unpolished obstinacy.
Only they didn’t. Granted, a few have closed (and yes, I Googled this), but there are 14 free-standing Starbucks locations in Rhode Island. You may think that’s a lot because Rhode Island is only the size of a thimble, but at last check, Rhode Island, in all its pocket-sized glory, had 124 Dunkin’ Donuts stores.
And, try as I have to hate it (fashionably, of course), there’s a lot that I happen to like, and consequently, try to obtain, but I found it is not as simple as it appears.
I’ve never truly taken the time to learn the manner of all things Starbucks. Sure, I’ve heard of the fabled Venti Quad Nonfat Half-Caff Ramma Lamma Dingdong, but that’s just so many words. So many words that would be better utilized complaining about the weather or cursing other drivers. If you lived here, you’d understand just how important those two activities actually are.
I’ve tried, and failed miserably, to order more times than I care to mention. I’ve found, though, sticking with ‘all-inclusive’ drinks like lattes, for which you can choose your size and just order the drink (i.e. a Grande Pumpkin Spice Latte) will do little damage to your ego, and for that reason, I’ve enjoyed a lot of lattes.
The few times I’ve gotten brave and ventured to order some permutation of coffee, I’ve made a Starbucks fool of myself. The terminology continues to slap me in the face and call me Sally. I’ve got the sizes down. That I’ve figured out, but the rest just escapes me. I have a fear of ordering a drink that’s both tall and skinny, and walking out with Heidi Klum and a handful of brown paper napkins. What if I’m in the mood for Sugar in the Raw? Or Truvia? Or liquid sugar? Or a lot of soy milk? Or a dollop of whipped cream? What if I want one squirt of chocolate and one squirt of caramel? What if I want one squirt of vanilla syrup, nondairy creamer, two Equals, three marbles, and a pinch of sunshine? When did coffee become so self-aware?
Oh, and in case you’re wondering, surreptitiously mumbling your order to the barista doesn’t work. And it really doesn’t work in the drive-thru.
So, what’s a coffee-lovin’ girl to do? I won’t give up because I’m no quitter. And I refuse of Google it. I’m really stubborn like that.
I’m down to drinking lattes and brewing it at home, which seems to work for me. Coffee does taste better when you skim out the shame.