This morning as I was trying to cool my mind from fuming at my seven year old son I stopped for a little pick-me-up at a Starbucks drive thru. I’m baffled about how it could possibly take an hour for him to get up and brush his teeth and come downstairs. Especially since today is a special ‘Wear your PJs to School Day.’ Nevertheless, waking him at 6:30am could not produce him in the kitchen until 7:45am despite warnings that he would miss breakfast, etc. etc.
My wife is traveling for work again this morning, which means two things: #1 There’s no one pushing me out of bed on time. #2 Our veritable wild kingdom of animals must be tended by a single zookeeper. Perhaps I also have to admit that the above-mentioned zookeeper was up way too late trying to squeeze in some late night Coursera lectures during the 12am-5am free internet time and also left the kitchen a mess because it’s much easier to put off today what you can possibly do tomorrow.
Oh, and there’s homework to do that should have been completed yesterday after school, but somehow that slipped too.
Ok, Ok. I know it’s my fault. I’m terribly lazy and find it very hard to motivate myself to do things that don’t seem all that important in the grand scheme. -But I find time to write this blog, don’t I. But this isn’t what I wanted to talk about. I’m writing about coffee and gratitude.
Back to Starbucks. When I pulled up to the window to get my drink the barista asked if I knew the woman ahead of me. “No,” I said.
“Well, perhaps she saw you, because she paid for your coffee.” I don’t think that has ever happened before for this particular barista because she was acting very confused. I want to think that’s the long and short of it because I’d rather not speculate as to any other reason why she thought this was so unbelievable.
Nevertheless, I was instantly perked up and thanked the barista, even though she was only unwillingly dragged into this and tipped her a buck before pulling away. But this then put me in the mildly awkward position of rather closely following the woman who had bought my drink out onto the highway. We even come to a stop at two traffic lights together where I wanted to thank her, but I have to admit to being pretty shy and having the self-confidence of a radish.
So, instead, what do I do at the traffic light? I make a quick decision to turn exactly the wrong way and head away from my destination. Not because I want to pull up beside her and wave, but because I didn’t want to do that. Or at least I wasn’t brave enough to.
Thank God I somehow found someone to marry me (let’s be fair to my poor wife, there was a good amount of alcohol involved in our meeting that probably blinded her to my fumbling). Because if this is how I handle even the most innocuous social situations, I would certainly be damned to a lonely hermit’s existence. I’m really a very lucky man.
Well, I had imagined this as an opportunity to thank the universe for a free coffee and a nice boost to my day, but somehow I twisted it into a rant about my own foggy inner dialog. So let me conclude by saying that I mean to find a way to pay it forward today and to say that sometimes even the simplest things in life can be not so simple.