Sunday, December 03, 2006

Of Coffee and Potatoes



Now I'm not saying that I'm not at fault. Perhaps it really is my fault, but if it is, I just don't understand. Not that this would be anything new. I went through most of my school years not getting "it". I always felt that I had missed the memo that detailed fashion, music, behavior and slang that would have kept me from being out of synch, socially, with my peers.

So maybe I missed the shopping memo too.

It started in Starbucks. Now I sincerely enjoy a good latte, and Starbucks comes pretty close, but it is just a bit too smooth and creamy for me. I've tried with skim milk, but then you lose the frothiness. I've found that extra expresso gives it the bitterness that I enjoy in my coffee, so that's what I ordered.

Me: I'd like a medium latte with an extra shot of expresso.
Counter Girl 1: It already has two shots of expresso.
Me: OK, I'd like an extra one.
Counter Girl 1: You want three shots?
Me: Yes.
Counter Girl 1: Three?
Me: Yes.
Counter Girl 1 (to Counter Girl 2, who was making the coffee drinks): Medium Latte with and extra shot of expresso.
Counter Girl 2: Three shots?
Counter Girl 1 (cocking her head at me): She wants three.
Counter Girl 2 just shakes her head.

Now perhaps I broke some coffee ordering protocol. I know some of the counter people get annoyed because I won't order using the words Tall, Grande, and Venti. Perhaps three shots of expresso in a latte is tantamount to ordering red wine with ice. I don't know.

I would have just dismissed that if I hadn't had another shopping incident. I was checking out of the grocery store and the clerk was checking out and bagging.

Clerk: Do you have anymore produce?
Me (Obviously I don't load the groceries on the conveyor belt correctly either): No, that's it.
Clerk: You don't have any potatoes.
Me: Not this week.
Clerk: You're not buying potatoes?
Me (now I'm started with feel the need to justify my purchases): I have pasta and rice.
Clerk (Quite discussed): But no potatoes!

I was about to tell her that I bought a 5 lb bag last week and still had enough left, when I realized that I didn't need to explain my choices to the check-out clerk. I smiled and paid, wondering if, once again, I'd broken some sort of shopping rule.

If anyone has those lost memos, please send me a copy.



1 comment:

Maria said...

Julia,
I missed the memo too. I am still so uninformed about "latte", "espresso" and Starbucks, that I stand in line bravely thinking I will try something new, when the person in front of me orders something like latte and answers a dozen questions. I listen, freeze, and when it is my turn say, "Regular coffee. . . black." Even soI still have to choose a cup size. I am with you, I wonder what ever happened to small, medium, and large.

In fact, I have noticed lately that many fast foods have done a way with small drinks all together and have only medium and large. Small has just slipped off the menu.