This morning as I drove home from the Starbucks drive-thru, I became overwrought with loathing for the number of times I've been to Starbucks in the past week. Not really because I've totally relapsed on my horrible eating habits (curse those cake pops and my lack of will), but because I can count on one finger the number of times I've visited my favorite local coffee shop in the past few months - yeah, one finger.
Not only is the coffee more expensive and the treats mass-produced, but I don't know the people in that electronic ordering box, and they really don't care who I am beyond an arm passing them a handful of cash. Fioza, on the other hand is a retreat-like experience every time I go. The owner and the baristas (are they baristOs if they are male?) all know me and my ordering tendencies. They know my children who did not even exist when I first started going to their marvelous establishment. They play Pearl Jam, they play Uncle Bob (Dylan), they play reggae, they play soul, they play jazz. They play "Daft Punk Radio," one of my all-time favorite Pandora stations, that I listened to at home long before I knew they were playing it. I was loyal to them through the panna cotta discontinuation and the dessert "shots" discontinuation. They ask about my family when I am there alone. They ask about me when Ryan goes without me. They look simultaneously shocked and encouraging when I order something other than a tapioca milk tea, sweetened - and I have never been disappointed when I stray from the usual. They bring out an extra piece of toast for my kids when we order curry soup or panini - heck, they make the kids toast even when we aren't ordering food!
I feel like I am cool enough to be friends with the hip coffee shop guys, even though I am a mom of two who often forgets to grab a straw. Even though I once dropped my drink in the parking lot immediately after buying it, for which I was told "shit happens," and handed a new drink free of charge and with a chuckle. Even though I always have to run back in for "one more thing," sometimes two or three times. Despite pestering these hip coffee dudes with millions of questions about what drink they think I might like, or questions like "what drink would be refreshing, decaf, non-coffee, not too sweet, iced, and not too girly for my husband?" That minty hibiscus tea, although flamboyantly pink, was exactly what he wanted, by the way!
BUT I DRIVE THRU AT STARBUCKS NOW!! I EXPECT MYSELF TO BE FIRST IN LINE AT CONFESSION THIS WEEKEND!!! RENEE, YOU ARE AN IDIOT!!! YOU WENT THROUGH MOST OF HIGH SCHOOL AND COLLEGE BOYCOTTING STARBUCKS FOR SOME NOW-FORGOTTEN PRINCIPLE! WHAT GIVES?!?
What is wrong with me that I forfeit the best coffee moments available for a long line at a drive-thru?! In the mornings, the Starbucks drive-thru isn't even faster than going to Fioza and unloading my kids and loading them back into the car! Friends, I admit to this because this has to stop right now. I will not forego relationship for convenience - especially a convenience that may not even really be convenient. If I am going to spend $6 on something that I could kind of make at home, I damned well better be hanging out with cool people and enjoying the experience when I do it! I'm off to give myself dirty condescending looks in the mirror right now... as I finish my last Starbucks pumpkin spice latte... I'm probably going to flip myself the bird, too. Starbucks, you are no longer my mistress. Fioza, please take back your prodigal daughter. I am ashamed.