Every morning about 7:42 a.m., I wait impatiently in the Starbucks drive-thru line just as unawake as I was 2 hours 25 minutes earlier when I rolled out of bed cursing my alarm clock. Did you know that they have cameras that watch you while you order? Yeah, I wish I would have known that before, well … you know. Okay, not really, but it was shocking the other day when I pulled up and the Voice Within the Speaker said, "Grande Non-Fat Vanilla Latte?" People this is NOT GOOD. I am on a most wanted poster at Starbucks, complete with drink of choice.
I pull around the corner where Tony graciously hands me my coffee. He rests his arms on the ledge and slowly leans towards my car, craning his neck at a seemingly uncomfortable angle. "Whoa, this is a sweet ride," he says. I smile, say thanks and go to move on. No wait, he isn't done. "Whoa, does your IPod feed right into your stereo?" I smile, say yes and go to move on. I do not have time in my schedule for small talk with the drive-thru coffee guy. As a matter of fact, I can't find time to make small talk with people I know and love. "No, you don't understand, this is a sweet ride. You see, I see a lot of rides, so I know my cars and this is a sweet ride." I smile, say thanks and go to move on. Now, you must understand, people behind me are ANGRY. You are interfering with commuters' daily coffee while you are ogling the inside of my vehicle. Shortly there is going to be a massive attack on the baristas, a stomping of coffee beans, a flinging of scones.
The drive from Starbucks to work is approximately coffee cooling time to the point of drinkability, plus two sips, otherwise measured as about a mile. During this ride, I keep thinking about Tony, strange, car obsessed Tony. I have come up with the best possible scenarios to offer Tony as an excuse for his morning behavior:
Tony has an obsession with Toyota 4Runners that just cannot be contained enough to maintain any level of public control.
Tony is socially awkward and truly thought we were carrying on a lovely, mutual conversation.
Or, more likely, Tony saw an unkempt woman with yogurt remnants on her suit jacket, weeks worth of dirty dry cleaning in the back of her car, ground Cheerios in her floor mats, and crayons melted in the cup holders of her sweet ride. In that moment Tony realized that just for a fleeting second this lady needed to feel like she had her act together, so he offered that in the best way he knew how.