“Grande dark roast please,” I successfully and correctly order a regular coffee at Starbucks.

The woman behind me rattles off her extensively intricate order, the man behind her orders a much simpler one, and the line goes on.

“It’ll just be a minute. The coffee’s almost finished brewing,” the barista announces.

“Not a problem,” I return a patient grin.

As I receive my coffee approximately a minute later, I notice the simple-order man also receives his coffee. I’m about to remove the lid from my coffee to begin customizing it at the small bar when I decide to side-step to the left to make room for the man.

Lid off, grab a Splenda, tap, tap, tear, and shake. I notice the man next to me does the same. I grab a wooden stirrer and mix it all together. The simple-order man grabs his own little wooden stick and begins to calmly whisk the ingredients together.

Next I grab nutmeg because it’s almost Thanksgiving after all, and cinnamon too. Three shakes for each and stir.

The simple-order man hesitantly does the same.

As I stir this holiday coffee concoction, I can’t help but smile. I put my lid on and walk out. I remember when I was uncertain once. Was it tall or small? Was grande the big one? It means large in Spanish… Is vente called vente because it’s 20 ounces? Or is it more? Do I say skinny or non-fat, or no whip or without whip?

I walk to my car and realize that I’ve just taught an old, simple man how to order coffee. Not only that, but I’ve taught him that we should drink our coffee as we hope others drink in our personalities: simple, sweet, and a little bit special.





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