They say that man makes the habit and then the habit makes the man.
One habit that I have been practicing for years is a weekly 24 hour fast on Thursdays.
Today was my day.
Fast days are wildly unique. Some days it is a piece of cake. Others are like Chinese water torture. You never know how it is going to go.
Today was a tough one.
By 9:00, I was SO tired. I mean REALLY tired…yawning every few minutes, rubbing my head to try and dispel the headache clouds that were forming inside…
It was so bad that I decided I had to get a cup of coffee. After all, I can’t tell my boss that I can’t work because I feel absolutely miserable.
“Why do you feel miserable?”
“Because I’m not eating.”
Whose fault is that???
I told my boss that I needed to step out for 10 minutes and went to the Starbucks down the street.
As I said, I was not feeling too energetic or very bright. I walked in and started staring at the menu above the counter.
A pretty, young blonde woman at the register asked, “May I help you?”
“I need caffeine.”
She nodded as if to silently say, “Okay…You are in a Starbucks…We sell coffee…Coffee has caffeine.”
“I usually get a Chai…”
“Chai has caffeine!”
“I know. But I need more than the usual.”
“Well, we can put a shot of espresso in the chai.”
No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t quite imagine what that would taste like so I winced and said, “Okay, I’ll try it.”
I must not have been very convincing because she obviously felt the need to confirm my order…
“So, you want a dirty chai?”
I couldn’t believe my ears…”What did you say?”
“Would you like a dirty chai?”
My jaw dropped. In my groggy state, I was having a difficult time believing that I was still at Starbucks and that she was talking about coffee!
The air in the place changed. I felt my cheeks flushing with embarrassment.
“I’m sorry…that’s what all of our customers call it.”
I turned away from the register and tried to cool off.
“How about if I walk outside, come back in and we start over?”
She looked at me helplessly…
I pulled myself together enough to say “Go ahead, that’s fine.”
“Do you want it cold or hot?”
Of course!!! Of course she is going to ask me that It’s her job!
And of course, I, knowing that I am very susceptible to “brain freezes” when I drink cold drinks, have to tell her how I like it.
Usually, I answer the question in such a way that you would wonder why anyone would order differently than me. But not this time…
I felt like a little kid who is admitting that he disobeyed his parents and then lied about it. My mouth barely opened just wide enough to let the word walk out of my mouth for all the world to hear…
A new wave of embarrassment spread across my face. I felt like I needed to call up my wife and admit to ordering coffee in a lascivious manner…
“Honey, a pretty young blonde asked me if I wanted a dirty chai…I said ‘Yes’…Then I told her that I want it hot! I am so sorry!”
I paid for the drink and moved away from the scene of the crime over to where the drinks are made. But, my humiliation wasn’t quite finished…
Just as I was starting to regain my composure, the young man who actually made the drink looked at the cup, raised his eyebrows and said “Chai with espresso…”
He then looked at me…
I tried to keep my mouth shut but I couldn’t help wondering if he was taking advantage and piling on so I asked, “Why do you say that?”
“Because people usually like their tea or their coffee and most don’t want like the tastes mixed.”
Great! It’s just coffee! Nothing to be embarrassed about!