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Friday, May 29, 2009

Why Can't I Stop?!!

Might the next Super Size Me--the indie film that asked the question 'what would happen if someone ate only at McDonald's for a month--be called Add Shot Addict?

If so, I could be the star of such a cinematic indictment of Starbucks as the kiosk of chaos for so many who had never even drunk coffee before 2000. That was me. I used to say, "my coffee is my shower; nothing wakes me up like a steaming, hot shower in the morning!" Now, the shower is just enough to get me out the door, heading in a yet-to-be-caffeinated stupor to the temptress, the priestess, the baristas down the street.

The problem is I don't want to do it anymore! I don't want to spend four bucks a day on vente soy-vanilla iced (easy ice) or hot lattes.

Why not?

There's a recession. I'm a vegan. Soy milk will supposedly give me breasts (no doubt an urban legend from a worried dairy industry, but still...). I want to eat fruit in the morning, and the sugar and acid in my coffee means the fruit will ferment in my stomach unless I ix-nay the attay-lays.

So why not just stop going to Starbucks and buying the stupid latte?

I did. But then I went back.

I missed it all. I missed the anticipation of spotting the green-white-and-black insignia on the sign of each store as my car seemed to automatically glide into dock with the mother ship--I mean as I located a parking spot.

I missed the camaraderie. You know, that feeling of crossed-arm, patient impatience as you stand amid people with whom you at once have nothing and everything in common. I missed looking for the hotties in line. I missed judging the hottie factor of the person behind the counter. I missed the mild curiosity I experienced each time I waited for my drink to arrive at the comfortingly familiar palette-shaped bar. It's a curiosity that begs the questions, "will I have to enforce the your-drink-should-be-perfect-every-time rule posted on the wall at each store?" I rarely have, but I always wonder nontheless.

However, I didn't miss the four-dollar hit. I hate that hit. I even spent $25 on the "Starbucks Gold Club" card, which entitles me to 10 percent off of every purchase. I assume it's paid for itself by now. Although, I never really did the math. Still, I kind of feel like I'm vested financially in continuing to consume, or to be a connoisseur of, Starbucks--even if it is against my will.

Then there's that other urban legend: the one that we all promulgate when we (half-jokingly) tease each other that we're actually drinking crack. But shouldn't someone be asking seriously does Starbucks have a secret ingredient? For now, only the Preistess knows, and she isn't sayin'.

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