Holiday Flavors

Yesterday, I had my 4-month* dental cleaning scheduled bright and early at 8 am.

*Yes, I’m one of those people with horrible genetics who has to work really, really hard** to keep from looking like a snaggle toothed mess.

**Basically, I do whatever the dentist tells me to do. Change my toothpaste? No problem! Buy those special little ‘trees’ to floss my teeth all day long? Absolutely! Schedule cleanings every four months? Why not?

I knew something was off when the office manager was standing outside of the building when I pulled up.

“The power’s out,” she said, peeking down the street to the bagel place to see if their power was out, too.

Once it was determined that I would not be getting my teeth cleaned, I decided to celebrate with Starbucks. Originally, I’d expected to miss my morning coffee* due to:

  1. not wanting to offend the hygienist with my coffee breath


  1. expecting to have a shiny clean set of chompers afterwards which I would attempt to keep clean all the way up until lunch.

*Made at home. As much as I love my Starbucks, I can make a basic cup of coffee at home and don’t need to go there every. single. day.

Admittedly, I wish I could quit Starbucks, but I simply can’t. Until I live near something better*, it is my coffee treat go to. And during the holidays**, their chestnut praline is Christmas and happiness steamed and sprinkled in a cup.

*I’m thinking…cute small-town coffee shop who roasts their own beans and has fresh, house made pastries daily. Check out any Hallmark Channel Christmas movie and you’ll get a picture of what I’m talking about.

**Note: I am not, nor will I ever be, a pumpkin spice latte girl.

I knew the holiday drinks came out yesterday because I may or may not have been able to coax a few of the baristas at my local Starbucks to sneak the good stuff into my drink a few times before its actual release date. I did not, however, realize the insanity which holiday drinks + a promotional free holiday cup + teacher in service days could create.

Which are you? A ‘go in’ or a ‘drive thru’?

Hubby is a go in. Nine out of ten times he will park and walk into Starbucks without even considering the drive thru. Me, I’m drive thru all the way, all about the efficiency of grabbing my coffee and heading to the next thing on the agenda.

The drive thru line curved through the parking lot, beyond the Mattress Firm, something I’ve never before witnessed. Two parking spots opened up side by side, so I zoomed around the drive thru line and decided to order my coffee a la Lance. One foot inside and I was reminded of my local Dunkin’ Donuts the day after Hurricane Irene left us all powerless in 2011.


That was my initial thought. One I should have clung to, but once back in my car, I remembered the beauty of the Starbucks app. I could easily order my drink on the app and not have to wait in either of the two ridiculous lines.

The lines weren’t the only places crammed with people though, and I chose to ignore the pick up area surrounded by people who had clearly been waiting longer then 5 or 10 minutes for their morning pick-me-up.

I committed, figuring I would have spent that time laid back in the hygienist’s chair, mumbling responses to questions which required more than yes or no answers.

I might as well see this thing through.

It was a great opportunity for people watching, after all. And watch I did.


I couldn’t resist…and this wasn’t even half of it.

What most intrigued me was how many seats were open. Choosing to stand instead of sit seemed to be the method most people clung to in order to will their order to completion.

It didn’t work.

Thirty minutes, one woman declared had been her wait time when she approached a frazzled barista and asked her to confirm her order had actually been placed.

Others complained about work they had to get to, or gave sighs of relief that they had left the house early.

While others demanded the free cup* for having had to wait thirty minutes for their iced coffee.

*The free cup, a holiday designed reusable cup, was free with the purchase of a holiday beverage and will provide a discount of .50 on all holiday drink purchases. Whoopee!

Some asked for refunds.

I sat back, thoroughly entertained by the nonsense of it all.

In the end, ‘Chestnut Praline for Jessica’ was called out 38 minutes after I placed my order and my sugar plum Danish followed five minutes behind.


The moral of this story is…gosh, I’m not sure.

Maybe it is…free is good, but most of the time it just isn’t worth it. 

Or maybe…abnormal sized lines are a sign to turn around and go home.

Or maybe…laugh. Just laugh when outrageous things happen. They’re beyond your control anyway, so why not find a shred of entertainment rather than frustration?

P.S. For the record, I did not claim my free cup.


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