Cup 8

Cup 8Today’s Cup 8 was purchased at Starbucks, zip code 97303, while accompanied by my husband, a trusty co-pilot of my Volkswagen GTI. After strategically accelerating into the drive-thru to avoid a potential fender-bender, we joked about the young, wild drivers in the black Dodge with Texas plates– a bit out-of-place in the Pacific Northwest.

Once safely queued up in the drive-thru, we placed our orders. My husband shared that he was happy to join me for today’s task of goodwill, buying a cup of coffee for a stranger. As we moved forward in line, we continued to laugh about the near-miss of the fender-bender only moments before. Continuing to laugh, we then watched the antics of two young teens in the Texas Dodge as they goofed around in front of the camera, while ordering. As the driver leaned out the window, he yelled into the screen: “Heyyyyaaa, can you see me? Hey! Wass up my friend?” From my forty-something vantage point, it appeared these young kids just might be a little too immature to fully appreciate being the lucky car in my rear-view mirror. For a moment it seemed that saving my free coffee gift for a more serious patron might be a better idea.

As we waited patiently for two more cars, we ultimately arrived at the window. We were greeted with a warm smile and helped by quick, efficient hands. After paying for our coffees, I asked the price of the order behind me; the price owed by the Texas-plated-potential-fender-bending-yahoo. As the barista told me the total, $10.49, I said: “Ok, ring it up. I’m paying.” The barista quickly replied: “Oh, wow! That’s my brother. He is going to really appreciate your kindness. Thank you so much!”

It was then that I realized a simple lesson. Context is everything. Those youngsters had no less potential to appreciate a gift than anyone else. I quickly assumed that because of the antics, and wild driving, that the message of goodwill might be missed. And those Texas plates? Welcome to Oregon. To that young yahoo, I hope you have a wonderful Christmas holiday with your brother. I know he makes a mean cup of coffee.


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6 thoughts on “Cup 8

  1. Cheryl Lamon January 26, 2013 at 10:24 am Reply

    I just read your blog and I am pretty sure you are writing about my sons. My son Mack is Barista at Starbucks at Kaiser Station and Mitchell drives a black Chrysler 300 with Texas plates. They are living together in Salem attending college. You described their personalities perfectly – the friendly and helpful barista and the wild yahoo (I am always telling him to drive more carefully). Thank you for being kind to them. It is hard for a mom to be so far from her children as they go out into the world. I know both would appreciate your kindness. And if for some reason it isn’t them…. Thank you for what you do and write about.

  2. The Rock Tumbler January 26, 2013 at 10:38 am Reply

    @Cheryl. Thank you for the comment, it made my day. And YES it’s them! I’m becoming a regular at Starbucks, and it’s so fun to connect w/ the baristas as they’re part of my project, for sure. As a school principal, I love helping parents and kids–I guess even at the coffee shop! Am so glad I could give you reassurance things are great in OR. And I’ll look for your kiddo at the drive-up window for my next latte! Bless you all. 🙂

    • Cheryl Lamon January 26, 2013 at 11:01 am Reply

      What a fun project. Mitchell has just interviewed for a position at Starbucks too. Hopefully, they can find a store for him to work at too. You just might meet both of them in your drive through experience. May you be blessed as you spread your kindness!!😃

  3. The Rock Tumbler January 26, 2013 at 11:12 am Reply

    Best wishes on his job search. In addition to my daily blog project, I’ll be sure to pass on the word that I’m looking out for them, especially being so far from home…. After all, I am a highly-qualified expert at keeping tabs on other people’s children! lol 🙂

  4. Ellen Perry January 27, 2013 at 12:41 pm Reply

    Love that story and I know that barista and yahoo
    And I could just see this played out and yes he
    Did appreciate your gift. May God bless your
    You for reaching out to young people.
    From the lady from their high school in Texas
    Mrs P
    Miss you guys!

  5. AJ January 29, 2013 at 11:27 pm Reply

    That sounds like Mitchell alright!! What an awesome story! It’s such a blessing to have such sweet and generous people in this world! Thanks for being so kind to my best friend!

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