Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Confession: I'm a Starbucksaphobic

I just finished reading an amusing post over on a fellow SITSta's blog, and even as I chuckled, I felt that familiar feeling of, well, not dread exactly, but more like... unease, creeping through me.

You see, I have a phobia. Not one of my things as much as a pure, all-out anxiety. That phobia is this.... *deep breath* I'm scared of Starbucks. Not just scared, terrified, and not just Starbucks, actually, but any of those "hip" or "trendy" coffee joints. You know, the places where they have baristas instead of waiters, where the sizes are things like venti or grande (which I think is supposed to be a medium, and then "tall" is actually "small" right?) and one is forced to use descriptions like "skinny" to apply to a beverage. (Actually, I object to having to refer to any food as "skinny" now that I think about it, dagnabit!)

I simply cannot place an order at Starbucks. I get nervous at the thought -
my palms are getting clammy even as I type this. It is utterly confounding to me how one gets a plain, old beverage there.

Of course, it probably doesn't help that I don't drink coffee. That might account for how the current trend of fancy coffees has passed me by and left me, quaking and uncaffeinated*, in the dark. I'll have a cappuccino or espresso every once in a great while when out to dine in a nicer Italian restaurant. (Seeing as how we rarely go out to dine anywhere that doesn't automatically come with paper napkins, straws for one's beverage and usually some sort of toy or prize included with the meal, you can figure out how just how infrequently this occurs.) I've probably had 4 coffee-based beverages in the past 10 years.

That isn't to say I don't enjoy other beverages that are served in a Starbucksesque establishment. I'm groovy with a nice, warm cup of chai, and I'm a total fool for a good hot chocolate. As a matter of fact, when my sister-in-law still lived in town and worked for a time at Starbucks, she would make me the best hot chocolates (not according to strict Starbucks recipe though - she'd add extra squirts of chocolate to them for me). Even with family working there, I still trembled at the thought of walking up to the counter, and when she was there, I didn't even have to really order, per se. (SIL eventually left Starbucks and our town in favor of a career lawyering down in the big city. Law school included a stint working at the Gap, which coincided nicely with the kiddo being born, so as a babe, she was decked out in all manner of hip-n-trendy baby clothes courtesy of her aunt, including a black, turtleneck onesie in which the kiddo-as-a-babe looked ready to take up residence on the Left Bank and frequent poetry open mic nights with a carafe of wine and a croissant. But I digress...)

So, Starbucks (and other coffee joints of its ilk). It scares me. I face that menu board and it is like I am unable to read or understand the language. I don't get why it is necessary to have such a complicated menu. Is it just that it is cool to say you want a venti, skinny, half-caff Americano? (I totally just googled "Starbucks ordering menu" to get those terms, btw.) I mean, I confess I'm a bit of a nerd and also kinda square, so maybe I'm just missing out on the fun or coolness factor here.

Perhaps if there were a Starbucks for Dummies I could study up on, I could conquer my fear. Then again, I can just keep on avoiding fancy coffee shops and not have to worry about it at all...

* I don't actually avoid caffeine, mind you. Perish the thought! I'm as eager to get my blood pumping with a nice jolt of caffeine in the morning as the next mom of a five-and-under. I prefer to get my caffeine, when necessary, from either soda (or pop as they say in my present neck of the woods) or chocolate. Yes, I drink soda in the morning - not every morning, but when necessary. Like right now, when I've got a cup of Mountain Dew's new "Voltage" flavor sitting next to my bowl of yogurt, blueberries and granola. Don't judge me, you coffee-drinkin' freaks, and I won't judge you either. Deal?


Anonymous said...

no coffee here either...but I love a frap now and then..but way expensive and not so worth it to ME. I also can and have done a soda in the morning..Dr. Pepper....I also do sweet ice tea. Nothing like a good jolt to get the day going..

Anonymous said...

White Chocolate Mocha is all I have to say.

Although, Sose's favorite is a Java Chip, double blended (this is a cold drink but very yummy)

There is my starbuck's tutorial and reccomendations

szarek4 said...

I enjoy reading your blog :-)

I am a coffee drinker but not Starbucks. I have no idea what all of that means either. When I'm at home I drink my coffee black but if I'm on the road I'll stop at Dunkin Donuts for a chocolate coffee (yum yum) or I'll stop at Tim Horton's for mocha. That's about it for any fanciness in my life :-)

I like your hair cut and do not see the Brady resemblance though I am trying, hee hee hee


Anonymous said...

I've been browsing blogs today, and I had to stop at yours because of your Scrabulous comment on your profile :)

Don't worry about brushing up on your Starbucksese. I heard they've had to close some of their establishments because of our rotten economy. People can't afford their skinny, half-caff, mocha whatevers anymore. I only go there once in a blue moon--like during the holidays when they have pumpkin-flavored coffee and the like.