Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Today I went to Barnes & Noble looking for another Jeffrey Brown graphic novel (I'm currently reading Unlikely and really liking it.) There was no luck. Instead of just leaving empty handed, to make my stop seem more worthwhile I checked out the Starbucks enclave. I'm no Starbucks fanatic...it's all much too expensive and I think no one needs to pay that much for something that temporary. Regardless, my stomach sometimes overpowers my integrity, and I'll indulge in Frappuccino. This happens more than just "sometimes" during the Fall...I'm a sucker for Pumpkin Spice. Anyways I decided to try something on the menu called the "Caffée Vanilla." It's bizarre spelling is what attracted me to it- both an attraction that was both curious and frightening. I longed to try this seemingly eccentric beverage, but at the same time the word caffée was incredibly intimidating. How do I even pronounce this? The first e is emphasized? What if the word that comes out of my mouth doesn't even remotely approximate this Starbucks coined and trademarked term. My gig will be up and I will be revealed as a Starbucks Tenderfoot in a world that is full of Eagles. They will grab me by their talons and toss me out of the store! Rather than attempt this monstrosity of this word, I decided to avoid it all together, stepping up to the register like an old pro, nonchalantly asking for a "Vanilla Frappucino. She accepts my offer and I had over the funds. I begin to settle down. Haha- I have fooled them. She must think I'm an old pro with my Starbucks slang. Yeah, I don't need to order my drink word for word. It is understood. But no- she whispers over to the drink girl that she needs to prepare a vanilla bean frappuccino. VANILAL BEAN? No sir, I think not. We had a deal here. Vanilla Bean is Blended Cream, not a frappuccino. I needed to interrupt. "Uh..I actually wanted the frapuccino...the café vanilla one."
I sound like the biggest goon on earth, my cool pedestal crumbing before my eyes. "Is there a price difference?"

Turns out there is...38 cents. Though this wasn't clear- I heard 8 cents. I reached out my palm with a quarter resting in it, something that was greeted with a blank stare. Before I began to desperately giggle my hand she repeated more slowly, "thirty-eight-cents." "Oh," I reply. "I'm going to need to give you a dollar then." Instead of accepting she decides to make the change herself, placing 13 cents from the take a penny or more bin into the register. That's a record for me...I thought one time where I didn't have to pay 3 cents was a big deal, but this was groundbreaking. Groundbreaking yet strange. It's difficult to react to something like that. I have another "oh", but this one followed by a "thanks" and slowly placed the dollar back into my wallet, another first. I walked out with my new drink. There definitely wasn't enough vanilla. I drive home with the thought in my mind to log on to the Starbucks website and look at the menu. ...Café Vanilla.

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