Thursday, April 02, 2009

Left of Center

I knew when I parked the car that he would be waiting for me when I came out. Maybe knowing this is what led to me being able to maintain an equanimous mind during our confrontation. And really, it should be far left of center. As left of center as possible still allowing my fat ass to get out of the car.

For the most part, I have given up on Starbucks as a drive-thru experience. At least when I am in the store, if it isn't scalding hot, I can taste my chai latte and know if it needs more chai or not, but even if it is hot, I am watching it as it is made and can intervene at that time if I think the chai hasn't been properly dispensed. I just want my chai right. Is that too much to ask if I am being very specific when I order? It is too much to ask about 50% of the time, but I am developing patience to win the war.

The down side of this is a day like today. I want a chai and it is pouring. I wanted a chai enough to get out of the car in the pouring rain, but only if there was a space near the overhang. There was such a space, and the rain let up just enough, however, there was a big honking truck dangling precariously over the parking space line. I parked there anyway, knowing he would be waiting for me when I came out.

As it turned out, this man was in line right in front of me and we had exchanged pleasantries. We discussed the dynamics of making a decision on which sandwich to choose for lunch when it is hours away and you might change your mind by then. It was cordial. Light. And somehow I knew.

Make my order. Watch barrista like a hawk. Ask for more chai without even tasting. Taste. Ask for yet more chai. Next time it is this same girl barrista I will give her the Chef/Barrista chai pumping comparison test because she has failed three times now.

Chai in hand, I head out the door, and as predicted the window of the truck comes down right away.

Truck Man: (with his cordial smile still in place, but as I find out, it turns on a dime) Next time, you might consider leaving enough room for the person next to you to get into their vehicle.

Me: (equally cordial) Next time, you might park between the lines and not over the line into the next person's space.

TM: (his face was red and he gestures wildly) Well that's because that asshole (one space further right of me) was over the line.

Me: (lay on some sugar) So perhaps you made a poor choice when parking your big truck in a space not big enough to accomodate it's grandness while still affording you enough space to comfortable enter and exit your vehicle. (can you tell I have had this conversation before?)

Truck Man's face was still red, but now also all scrunched up like a cartoon character getting ready to blow his top. I could tell in this instant, he was consciously contemplating whether or not to cuss me out. To his credit (there's no way this man was going to win if he raised his voice further and started cussing me out) he chose to retain some gentlemanly dignity, but only some.

TM: Oh, go eat your sandwich!

Me: (doing my best to scrunch up my face and mock him a little while remaining equanimous and not crack the fuck up) Oh, go buy a small car!

TM draws in a deep breath as if he is readying himself for a long explosive rant and then as if a lightbulb went on over his head, he exhaled and said nothing, just continued looking at me.

Me: Good choice. Have a nice day.


eb said...

omg...this is classic. I am so glad you left this story for me to read instead of telling me this morning.


the only daughter said...

I LOVE it!

Donna said...

You did great!