Saturday, December 24, 2011

Open Letter to the Random Person Who Just Bought Me a Latte at Starbucks

Thank you to the random person who bought my tall Latte at Starbucks. Anymore, it is a big decision for me to spend $3.18 on a coffee so your act of generosity meant a lot. I feel bad I didn't even bother to look at you up there in the car ahead of me. I did look at your car, a Black Malibu. I looked at your car because I couldn't help but noticed how long it took you to order, creep up to the window, and pay. I wondered what it would be like to live in a world where one had so much free time that they could drag out buying a cup of coffee. I pulled right up on your ass after you paid to encourage you to move forward a little faster, went to pay the Starbucks guy, and he said you bought my coffee. I'm touched but I feel like a prick.

I'm really not a prick. I was all worked up over trying to get Emilie the perfect Christmas gift. She wanted a guitar which seemed simple enough. I haven't looked at guitars since I was her age but I work with so many techs that play, I thought I would be a guitar expert in no time. They all went into so much detail that I was lost. I guess I know how they feel when they come to me for advice on buying a bicycle. I was told what type of tuner to get. I didn't even know what a tuner was. I thought you just tuned the E string with a tuning fork then tuned all the other strings based on that. The techs laughed; that's how they did it 30 years ago. And going into Guitar Center was stressful. The salesman knew I didn't know what I was talking about and that I have no passion for guitars. He rolled his eyes when I asked about the $79 guitar and he explained why I needed to drop over $200 on one. I guess I now know how it feels going into a bike shop when you aren't that into into bicycling. $200 was more than I could spend so I looked on Craigs List and found a perfect Fender acoustic guitar across the state. I know it was a good deal because in the time it took me to drive there, he sold it to someone else.

And while I was waiting behind you at Starbucks, my sister emailed me and asked if I sent out a Christmas letter. She has really been pushing me to send out a letter this year, she even sent me a list of addresses. My sister has much more social grace than me so no, I didn't send out any letters. I tried. Nothing that has happened this year looks right on watermark paper framed in a holly boarder. I know, I tried to spin it.

But don't you worry none, random coffee buying person, it is good now. I got Emilie a kick ass Fender acoustic guitar and I'm starting to work on my Christmas letter for next year which I promise will be every bit a vain as any letter I received this month. The free coffee just adds to my optimism. Thank you again and really, I am sorry for pushing you out of my way; I hope you put it in context.


  1. Did that really happen?????

  2. Yes Cindy. I mean, I'm not literally working on next year's Christmas letter; that's a metaphor for...oh never mind.

  3. Nuuuuuuuuts!!!!!!

    I have a Taylor - Big's like a $600 dollar acoustic (because I began college as a music major in the music therapy program) and I've considered downgrading a few times and selling it for around 400-500 because it's in mint that would probably still be out of your price range...

    It's super sweet though because it's a 15/16 size, so it's a bit smaller for smaller hands but being a Taylor, it doesn't compromise sound. It has a folky awesome sound, I feel.

    Well, the thing is, buying a kid a guitar isn't a deadend present. Next comes guitar lessons...and I'm sure those are more expensive now than when I was a wee lass.

    That's a sweet gift though!


  4. Far from deadend. I'm in Nashville with Em right now listening to guitarist.

  5. Good comparison buying the guitar with buying a bike. I'm sure that's exactly how casual cyclists feel walking into a bike shop. They just want something to ride, not be overwhelmed by a million details.

    When it comes down to it, bicycles and guitars are just tools. Some are crude, others works of art. Both mean nothing until in use, with the talent of the person behind really comes into play.

    We've experienced the kid music exploration. Son took piano lessons at age 5 for awhile. Now at age 12, could care less. Daughter took violin lessons for awhile, currently not playing for a bit - but wants to go back. I took drum lessons as a kid for a bit, then stopped in junior high.

    It's all part of growing up. Sometimes it sticks, sometimes it doesn't. Still worth doing though. I attempted to learn guitar a few years ago - not easy...