I chuckled to myself at the woman emptying six creamers into her small coffee before I chuckled out loud at myself for emptying my sugar packet into the garbage can instead of my cup. It was the closing chapter of a tumultuous ten minutes.
(Warning: The following is going to seem shallow and bitchy – some may even say elitist. To you I say – I couldn’t agree more.)
There are few things I enjoy more in the morning than some semblance of routine. On the few mornings a week I begrudgingly convince myself that it is in my best interest to go the gym, I look forward to the following post work-out treat; a low-fat chocolate milk (the best recovery drink in the world) and a coffee. Not only that, I want to get it from the convenience store that is, logically, convenient. It is where I stop most mornings for coffee, where I stop on the way home for milk and where my kids walk to spend $70 on a 324oz Slurpee and eight hotdogs. It is like my offsite kitchen and pantry – I know where everything is.
But lately they have disappointed me by refusing to stock low-fat chocolate milk. Sure, they have whole-fat (is that right?) chocolate milk, and a tractor trailer’s worth of energy drinks, but dammit, no low-fat chocolate milk. For the last few weeks I have joined that sliver of the demographic that have walked out of a convenience store empty handed (and disgusted).
Because I am intent on my chocolate milk AND coffee, (and out of spite) I drive to another convenience store a mile away. It’s still on my way, but on the wrong side of road, and out here in suburbia avoiding an extra traffic light takes on the tactical significance of a SEAL Team 6 raid. (By this time, my coveted routine has been busted like a Santorum coffee mug at an #occupywallstreet teach-in.)
So, not only am I out of my routine, I feel like a jackass because I am hovering around this foreign coffee station searching desperately for the sugar like a senior citizen looking for the prunes at an Atlantic City buffet. When I finally tracked them down (hidden right in front of me) I caught the lady next to me with a fistful of creamers, six to be exact, and watched her empty one after another into her small coffee. I thought of two things; 1) maybe coffee shouldn’t be her drink, and 2) she was making what amounted to a poor person’s latte. That’s what made me laugh to myself. (I thought it was funny, at least.) It was also at this point I grabbed a packet of sugar, ripped off the top and proceeded to pour it right into the garbage can – sweetening the empty wrappers and coffee stirrers.
Yeah, my routine was broken, I just poured sugar into a garbage can, and a woman with a very creamy coffee (who was most likely very secure in her morning routine) got a good (outward, fully outward) laugh at the elitist stranger in her offsite kitchen.