Friday, August 2, 2013

Paying it Forward Sometimes Burns and Smells a lot Like Hazelnut

After two days of sleeping like crap, I thought I would treat myself to a much needed Friday afternoon coffee from Starbucks. Sometimes it's the little things that get us through the day, and I was practically giddy when I got in my car for the short drive. When I pulled up to the window I was pleasantly surprised to be informed that the man in the car ahead of mine had paid for my Grande hazelnut roast. A warm feeling crept into my chest thinking of the small act of kindness, a rare sentimental moment for me. Inspired, I offered to pay for the woman's coffee who was waiting in her car behind me. This was turning out so much better than I thought!

 As I fumbled to hand the barista my credit card and open my monk fruit sweetener I managed to spill the entire contents of the cup onto the floor, the coffee splashing hotly onto my right thigh just above the knee. I froze. The barista who was handing me back my receipt and card was stunned, his mouth hanging open. I think he was struggling to decide if this was an acceptable moment for him to laugh or if I was genuinely injured.

"Um, I'm going to need a few more napkins." I managed to say.

Wordlessly he handed me an enormous pile and leaned halfway out the window to watch me attempt to clean myself up. I politely requested a new coffee to replace the one on the floor. He just nodded and closed the window. Now the warm feeling I was getting was on my car seat and pooling at my feet. So, I handed the barista my credit card again and the gifted coffee from the pay it forward stranger would remain unconsumed at my feet. As I drove off with my two Starbucks receipts and slightly singed thighs the smell of hazelnut strong in my nostrils I could only think of the old saying, "It's the thought that counts."

 Well-played universe. Well-played.