The Starbucks closest to my office is in a family-friendly strip mall which stages kid-friendly events on a regular basis. The first time I stumbled onto one of these events was a day I was running later than usual, but I H-H-HAD TO HAVE MY ST-ST-ST-STARBUCKS, if you know what I m-m-m-mean.
The line was long, geometrically speaking. It stretched from the counter to the door, not because there were all that many people in it but because each person in line except me was pushing a baby stroller. Ten moms and ten baby strollers take up a lot of space. I guess mommies need all the energy boost they can get.
Each mom ordered something complicated – caramel macchiato half caf with a shot of whatever, blah blah blah with extra whip, latte this latte that – that took time, further d-d-delaying the feeding of my own caffeine addiction.
Finally it was my turn. I’m fairly confident around groups of women, but at this moment I began to feel just a little inadequate. “Grande coffee, please.”
That’s it. Nothing fancy, nothing special, no specific exacting combination of ingredients. Ordinary, great-tasting, kickass coffee.
“Room for milk?” “Yes, thanks.”
OK, so I do actually put something in my coffee.
But ordering is the easy part on ‘caffeinated mommies’ day. The hard part is navigating this particular small Starbucks when each customer is attached to a baby stroller containing one or more babies. As I struggled to make my way to the impossibly tiny milk-sugar-stirrer counter carrying a hot cup of coffee, trying not to trip over a stroller or a mommie, I wondered if my movements would qualify me for So You Think You Can Dance. An even bigger concern, of course, was the possibility of spilling hot coffee on one of the aforementioned babies. That would be horrible; but even worse if one of these mommies was a lawyer on maternity leave.