Sunday, July 8, 2012

Venti Coffee and Kindness

Last Tuesday was a half day of work for me. As Chris's car was in the shop, I took him to work at 7am as any dutiful wife girlfriend would do. After dropoff, I whipped into the Starbucks Drive Thru line for what was intended to be a quickie cup of coffee before hitting the gym.

The length of the line was long and its forward movement slow. I began growing impatient but stayed ferociously committed to a Venti Iced Coffee, no syrup, two Sweet & Low. As a pickup truck towards the front of the line seemed to be place an eternally long order, I stared at my phone and considered Facebooking how freakin PISSED OFF it makes me when people order more than two drinks at a drive thru.

It must've been 10 minutes before I arrived at the window. Wearing my best Oh No, I'm Not Irritated face, I reached out to had the barista a five dollar bill, only to have her refuse it. "The person in front of you actually paid for your drink" she said.

Starbucks Coffee CompanyWhile I've experienced the kindness of that moment before, that was a particularly special morning. I handed the barista my five anyway and told her to pay for the person behind me and keep the three bucks change for herself. She smiled giddily- an older women with what looked to be a few tears welling up in her eyes. "Incredible" she said. She went on to tell me that the delay in the line was because the SIX CARS in front of me had all paid for one another's coffee.

As the seventh person hoping to grace someone else's morning with a little generosity, I drove away floored by the kindness of strangers. My favorite aspect of this so-called "drive thru difference" is that there is NOTHING IN IT for the person paying- you drive off without the person behind you even knowing you just did something kind.

Kindness that does not seek reward is my favorite kind of kindness.

1 comment:

  1. amazing. I had a similar experience in college that kind of changed my life. Ian and I decided to register for all of our wedding gifts in one day (haiving a 5 month engagement will necessitate such crazities). We decided to break up the day with a sushi lunch downtown. We wer gushing over all the choices, holding hands, making moon eyes, the whole nauseating ordeal. I vaguely notived an older gentleman eyeing us out of the corner of our eyes. It made me a bit uncomfortable so I dialed back the pda. He left, we finished our meal and signaled to pay. "It's been taken care of" the waitress informed us. That nice man who was sitting over there. His exact words were "oh to be young and in such love. Give them my best." I still get teary when I think about it. Amen to random amazing kindnesses.


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