Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Exuberance Kills Me

Tuesday was a great day. It was a cool, calm, and collected sort of day - overcast, contemplative. What better way to start such a day than with a cup of Peet's coffee. I entered the store, had a pleasant conversation with the barrista, ordered my usual medium coffee of the day (no room for cream) and walked out.

Later in the day, contemplative turned into sleepy (I think it might have been the overcast that got to me). I decided to make a second trip to Peet's, to get a second boost of energy, to put a second smile on my face.

I went in and was standing in line when the barrista (from earlier) and I made eye contact. She was standing by the coffee, not by the register, filling people's orders. Now in the midst of this eye contact she held up an empty medium coffee cup and asked a question, something about half and half which I didn't really understand. My thought was, wow it's great that she's already starting on my drink before I even get up to the counter. They must really appreciate my patronage here at Peet's. I have no idea what she means by all this "half" talk, but I'm pretty sure my answer would be "no". Why don't I just go ahead and answer her with a resounding "no", as that will most likely suffice.

Me and the guy in front of me in line at the exact same time, "NO."

It turns out that there was a fatal flaw in my perception. Instead of speaking with or making eye contact with me, our fair barrista was actually carrying on some sort of interaction with the person in front of me. Someone who had actually ordered something already.

I figured I had a few options: (1) Pretend like I was having a conversation with someone else, that required a no at that exact instant. (2) Act as though I have tourettes syndrome by saying a few other inappropriate, ill-timed things. (3) Pretend as though I was answering the other guy's question for him. Being helpful, preventing him from sullying his coffee with half something or other. (4) Stand there awkwardly.

It came down to standing there awkwardly or pretending to have a conversation with someone else. I ended up standing there awkwardly, trying to find someone nearby that I could have plausibly been talking to. I found no one.


Blogger Coop said...

Where was I during this exchange? I am sorry that on a Tuesday I could not get your back.

2:00 PM  
Blogger Melinda said...

love the awkward stand-in-silence-and-feel-like-a-fool-option.

12:57 PM  

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