Earlier this year I made a breakthrough coming to terms with driving to, rather than walking to, a coffee shop. That heralded a major turning point in my living in the suburbs. Today, and as the new year unfolds, I found myself making another breakthrough by not merely driving to get coffee but by ordering the coffee from the warmth of my car.
Drive Thrus had always puzzled me. Drive Thru Starbucks' puzzled me even more. I had long thought that the idea behind coffee shops was establishing a meeting place where people could congregate and socialize. "Let's go get coffee," had been a suggestion of an outing, an event, a date. It was not about the coffee or the treats; those were a bonus. It was about sitting with friends and family chatting the hours away. Then, I moved to the suburbs.
A lot changed when I moved to the suburbs, and not only in my surroundings. Distances became longer, playgrounds became scarcer, walks became shorter. The car became indispensable, I became more flexible. Grasping the reality that I needed coffee to keep me going, that I had to drive to get said coffee if I did not want to brew it at home, that I needed to take one or two little people with me to get it, that I needed to bundle them up in order to order it, that I was going to be policing them through the entire waiting time, that it was too much work to get from Point A (wanting coffee) to Point B (getting coffee), I finally understood Drive Thrus; it was not about the experience, it was about the product. And yet, understand as I had, I had still not succumbed to the convenience. That was until yesterday when Yousef decided to farewell the old year at 4:00am,
Yousef had been waking me up every hour or so that night. Following a flu shot, he must have been having a rough time and was looking to me for comfort. Finally at 4:00am he gave up trying to go back to sleep. Try as I may, he just clung to me and looked around for something to play with. I decided to take him for a drive. I got him dressed, put my jeans on and got into the car. I loaded the nearest drive thru Starbucks that I know of into my GPS; it was eighteen minutes away. Yes, I was about to drive eighteen minutes for a coffee; this would have been sacrilegious in my "old" life. And yes, I was going to use the Drive Thru; this would have been even more sacrilegious. But it was cold, 26 degrees, and early, 5:30am. And so it was: the last day of one year heralding many days of a another year.
Here is to a year filled with change, flexibility and acceptance. Thank you drive thru Starbucks, you have contributed to my growth.