Tuesday, October 5, 2010

There's No Such Thing as a Free Mocha

Have you ever noticed that when you change your routine, just a little bit, it can throw off your whole day?  Well that is what happened to me last Friday.  Jonah had to be at school by eight, instead of eleven.  A monthly quirk of the year round school system.  And that little change was what did me in.  I was doomed before I got out of bed.  Only I didn't know it.
I woke up excited.  Well, okay.  I woke up.  And, I got out of bed.  Earlier than normal, but I was ready to rock Friday.

Sam and Cate and I walked Jonah to school by eight.  We walked back, got in the car, and got Sam to school by 8:30.  Then Cate and I set off on an errand adventure.  We were going to get the car washed, then go to the cleaners, to drop off Hubband's shirts, and pick up his suits.  I even had the forethought to go to the dry cleaner after the car wash, so that I would only need to vacuum around dirty shirts and not freshly cleaned suits.

First, however, I went to Starbucks.  A luxury I seldom allow myself, but I had missed my morning coffee with the early start.  I was about two hours behind on my daily dose of caffeine.  I wanted a mocha and I wanted it bad. 

There is a drive-thru Starbucks near the car wash, so I indulged myself.  As I was fishing through my wallet for money, I found an old Starbucks gift card.  Long spent, I was sure.  But, I had the barista check anyway.  Sweet mother of warm, frothy, milky, goodness, there was enough on there to pay for my coffee and a slice of banana bread for Cate.  I teared up a little, I'll admit it. 

As the pleasant (or was she just caffeinated?), young woman handed me my order through my car window, I let out a low little moan.  I felt the weight of the cup in my hand, the warmth seeping though the cardboard.  Then the smell wafted toward me.  Warm, sweet, coffee and chocolate.  "Ahh.  It's been a long time, dear friend, " I may have whispered to it, before I put it in my cup holder.

Sadly, it was too hot to drink, so off to the car wash we went.

The car wash is one of those semi-automated affairs where you drive your car through, the machine washes it, a few well tanned fellows at the other end dry it off, and then you drive over to the vacuum station to clean out the inside yourself.  I pulled up, and gave the nice man my credit card.  There was some problem on his end, for which he did not want me to wait, and he did not want to lose my business, so...I got a FREE car wash.  Woo hoo!  Friday was turning out to be my day!

After our wash and dry, I attacked the inside of the car with a plan.  Keep Cate strapped into her seat while she ate her banana bread, vacuum the driver's side first, them move the things that needed to stay in the car, like my purse and Hubband's shirts, into that spot and vacuum the rest, finishing up under Cate.  My plan was perfect.  I was even rather proud of myself for having a plan.

The drivers side went off without a hitch, then, as I was vacuuming the front passenger seat, I looked up to see that my coffee, had, somehow, found it's way into the driver's seat.  Just sitting there, as plain as you like, except completely inverted.  And, strangely, it was somehow hung up on the pile of Hubband's shirts and the buckles on my purse, so that it was suspended, in mid air.  As my brain tried to process this information, I could actually see the coffee, pouring out of the little spout in the white plastic lid.

Glug, glug, glug.


My coffee!  My seat!  Twelve ounces of hot milk poured into my cloth upholstery.

Luckily (if you can call anything "lucky" after that), I had a roll of paper towels and a paper grocery bag in my car.  I used the entire roll to mop up what I could, while simultaneously vacuuming the rest of the car.  Cate just giggled and flung banana bread crumbs everywhere I had already been.  I want to be two again.  Then I sat on the grocery bag while I drove to the dry cleaners, or, as I like to think of it:  The place with the free plastic bags.

One free cup of coffee cost me most of my weekend, as I had to spend Saturday using my mother's carpet cleaning machine to suck mocha out of my seat, before everything began to smell like two day old milk.  I think I did a sufficient job, as it is now Tuesday, and there is no smell.  But, I never did get my coffee.

There is no such thing as a free mocha.


  1. Awww... you make me sniffle just reading this! Starbucks mochas are rare here too, and they are always cherished. How can you go wrong when you combine chocolate and coffee?

    So I can't figure out how it got into your drivers seat? Did you accidentally catch the dry cleaning bag as you stepped out of the car?

    Ugh. This story makes me want a mocha really badly... but not enough to spend a Saturday cleaning out the car.

  2. All I can figure, is that it got hooked up on the vacuum cleaner hose somehow. I guess I should have said that. Maybe I'll edit for people who don't read the comments.

    I spent Saturday cleaning out the car and did NOT get a mocha. That is even worse.

  3. Oh...it was sounding so heavenly the first few paragraphs...and then tragedy...I am so sorry. We do not have Starbucks close by but we DO have two lovely family run coffee shops...one had a birthday celebration last week and had $1 mochas/lattes....it was such a decadent treat as I ran around town dropping off and picking up short people!

    YOU MUST treat yourself again!

  4. You forgot to mention that on that Saturday your mother gave you a Starbuck's card that she had been carrying around in her purse for about a year.

  5. Ironically, I am having a Starbuck's venti, whole milk, mocha with whip, 170 degrees, as I read this. And you have a lovely mother. ;)

  6. Was she friendly or just caffeinated? I love that. I wondered that too, when I went into Starbucks for a badly needed Americano on Saturday, and the barrista was so over-the-top super friendly! I'm so sad about your lost mocha - maybe someone will buy you another one...

  7. Yeah, Mom, that was empty. Thanks though.

    And, there is still no such thing as a free mocha. :(