there is just something about buying a cup of coffee that makes the world turn that much smoother. at christmastime starbucks decks their cups with red and white snowflakes and carolers, delicately topping the softly whipped cream with dotted green and red. and the decorative cups brew an even better coffee, producing a special kind of magic that i wait for every year to envelop my mouth and consume my taste buds. white peppermint mochas, gingerbread lattes, eggnog, toffee nut, caramel brulee!
i order my signature holiday drink: a grande nonfat peppermint latte, with no foam. my mouth begins to salivate as i hand the cashier my credit card. before she can swipe, john steps in. punching his code and waving my fee, upgrading me to a venti with a smile and a “how are you?” i`ve known john for years. from the days when he worked at game stop at the strip; i was fifteen and sporting volcom and heavy eyeliner. back when the shade of black was my favorite color and my vans were laced with pink on the left sneaker and blue duckies on the right. our relationship has moved on since then, going from awkward, Ville Valo obsessed, teenage girls stopping by the game store to talk to creepy older men for no apparent reason to early twenties, free coffee and enjoying each others company when there is nothing to do in nova but just sit and caffeinate your heart.
i remember the first day i ever went to starbucks. i was thirteen and it was snowing outside. i had decided to join the youth choir at church and it was my first day leading the worship service. december. the church was decorated with garland, holly and wreathes hanging from the balcony of the white sanctuary. christmas trees and lights and red poinsettias. there were only eight of us that day...pastor pete had the first service and then cancelled church for the rest of the morning because of the blizzard going on outside. the eight o`clock service consisted of the older couples in the church and parents of the youth choir. after church three of the high school guys in the choir approached me, asking me to come to starbucks with them. when i asked them what starbucks was a look of shock fell upon their faces, and shortly after, determination as they insisted i come along for the adventure.
try fitting three tall fellows and two eighth grade girls in a tiny car in the middle of a blizzard, in northern virginia during christmas [which is like traffic lights on steroids]. i was voted the smallest and requested to lay over top of three people in the back seat because there was no room for an actual seat. [this was back when the old starbucks by pamered party was the only existing coffeeshop, mind you]. and we trecked through the ice and snow the whole two blocks to capture our coffee.
and that was the day i lost my virginity to a delicious carmel macchiato. i fell in love with this beautiful, dolche drink. the light caramel and espresso mixed together smoothly, captured my most delicate passions and desires. everything that i wanted when it came to a cup of coffee. love in a cup.