I ordered a venti.
I NEVER order a venti.
For a couple of weeks now, I’ve seen and heard auspicious rumors that the pumpkin spice drinks are back at Starbucks.
So last week, I decided to grab one while I went to sit in that torture trap known as car rider line. (It’s really not THAT bad, if you just remember that some of those mamas are just gonna wig out on anyone they see during the 2-3 p.m. hour.)
Floating into Starbucks with the knowledge that I could order JUST ONE DRINK and that would be MY drink and I didn’t need to pay for a half a dozen chocolate milks or Izze soda bottles or “strawberry shakes”, I approached the counter with timidity.
I saw no signage displaying the pumpkin beverage. I saw no hint of fall gracing their countertop.
Heck, they were still advertising the “lime hibiscus lemonade berry ancient tea extracted from a volcano in eastern Paraguay” cooler thingies. Which are good in their own right, but I was looking for a taste of cooler weather, a nod to all things autumnal, a seasonal transition to boots and sweaters and… other things that we don’t get to experience living in coastal South Carolina.
The barista told me that on September 3rd I could return and find my beloved. Well, my beloved in beverage form. (Love you, Stevi. I promise to never replace my devotion for you with a measly, albeit wonderfully measly, beverage. )
Today is September 4th. I waited an extra day so as not to appear eager.
Actually it was because I kinda forgot. (I’m not THAT obsessed with this drink.)
Having downed a cup of decaf this morning in place of my regular joe, I had tried to convince myself that if I PRETENDED it was regular ole caffeinated stuff that I wouldn’t fall victim to the lethargy of a non-caffeine induced state of zombie-tosis. (I like Doc McStuffins ala Disney Channel…she makes up ridiculous ailments for her toys and gives them made-up names. Like…zombie-tosis. Only, I’m pretty sure that she doesn’t reference zombies since she’s geared for like, 4 year olds.)
My mind games with myself regarding coffee failed miserably. I put Jack in the bathtub and went across the hall and laid down on his bed…and dozed until I heard, “Mommy! Poop problem!” (Actually “poop problem” was earlier in the day, but the morning seems to kind of all blur together from 6:00 a.m. onward.)
So when I dropped the boy off at school, I headed straight to my local Starbucks. I could see the picture from the door (which is kind of amazing because I’m wearing my glasses right now because I have an ULCER ON MY EYE!! It’s not that bad anymore…but it SOUNDS like my entire eyeball should just be falling out of my head.)
When it was my turn to order, the barista asked me what she asked everyone in front of me as she dangled the cup sizes in my face.
“You sure you don’t want a venti? Only fifty cents more!”
And usually, I say no to an up-sell. Or up-sale. Or rip-off.
But this time, I caved.
Because she just sounded so dern chipper about offering me that venti. She asked me my name like she really cared. She said, “How are you today?” in a way that made me think maybe she was in school to be a therapist or a counselor.
I wanted to tell her all my problems.
“So thanks…I just felt like I needed a little extra boost of caffeine today. You see, I ran out of the regular kind of coffee at home and I had to use decaf. I thought I could mind control myself into thinking that maybe it would wake me up a bit. I get up at 6:00 everyday after I go to sleep at midnight. Got three kids in school and so after they’re in bed, I stay up packing lunches and washing their uniforms and finding their shoes that they leave in the van. And…two of them have a dentist appointment after school and I just really don’t want to go because it’s all the way in North Charleston and traffic will be crazy when we’re through and they’ll have to do their homework AND it’s a bath night, too. We do baths every other night because I just can’t handle the chaos of doing it every night…except for the little boy because he only goes to school for PART of the day and it keeps him entertained in the morning if he can play in the bathtub while I do the dishes that are still in the sink from last night’s dinner. Oh…and I also don’t want to take them because the last time I did, the middle kid got so upset that she threw up all over the dental hygienist and besides that, I know she has a cavity because she tilted her head back one night and I was all “Oh poop! That’s a cavity!” which made me instantly feel guilty because I don’t take them as often as I should to the dentist because quite honestly, I have dental-phobia and they have to prescribe me valium and my husband has to take me in if I need a cavity filled. So I thought I might need an extra dose of caffeine today anyway since I won’t be getting to bed until late because once we DO get home from the dentist, I’ll have to figure out what’s for dinner which means I’ll probably give up because it’ll be late and there will be homework and baths and so I’ll opt for a nutritious Little Caesar’s Hot n Ready pizza with that crazy bread stuff and they’ll fill up on the crazy bread and not eat the pizza which means it’ll get shoved in the fridge where it will sit until I get groceries later this week and I realize I have no space for anything because the pizza is in the way. But…once I DO get to bed tonight, I’m super-pumped because I did manage to wash the sheets AND I remembered the fabric softener this time so they’ll smell good and also because there’s an episode of Siberia on my DVR that I haven’t watched yet. Have you seen that show? Cause it’s wacked-OUT and the first time I watched it and that guy Tommy died, I thought it was real.
So….extra whip, please?”
Just for the record and to set you all at ease, I didn’t tell her any of that.
Also, I only drank a third of that humungous venti.
And to tell you the truth, it didn’t taste all that pumpkin-y…which was a little disappointing.
And it wasn’t very orange-looking either…not like the picture anyway. And I know that it’s not “real” pumpkin that makes it orange so I should be happy that they didn’t dump fake colors in it or something.
But I think tomorrow I’ll take my pumpkin craving to Panera…where they have the most amazing pumpkin pie bagels. (I know, right?! PUMPKIN PIE BAGELS?! I die.)
That is…if I survive this dentist appointment this afternoon.