I’ve long been aware of a darling coffeeshop down the street from our estate. There’s a short, wide alleyway branching off from the sidewalk that houses both a small flower shop and this coffeeshop (which, to me, is synonymous with “baked goods dealer”). I walk by it nearly every day and say to Michael just as often: “We should go there some time!” (Yeah, right.)
Well, I finally did it! Walking home from the bank, I heeded the chalkboard sign on the sidewalk that promised “fresh cake” and some other things that were dwarfed by “cake.”
Daniel* was reservedly friendly. Maybe not qualified for a Starbucks barista job, but pleasant enough.
What can you get for me today? Well, “A muffin!” I exclaim happily. Hopefully a Starbucks-grade muffin. And my boyfriend’s not even here to watch me scarf it down, so I can swallow without chewing! All-around win.
But you’re still looking at me expectantly, Daniel. People probably don’t often come here just for a muffin. It’s more of a sideshow. The coffee’s the main event. Damn, I’d better order a coffee to justify my coming in here at all.
Shit. Nothing on the menu sounds remotely like a Starbucks drink. Mocha? That’s chocolate, right? I seem to remember a mocha drink in my past that actually tasted a bit like coffee. Better add some vanilla syrup for good measure.
Now, I consider my memory to be somewhat shit from years of relying on Google. But the withering look Daniel gave me then, full of coffe scorn and snobbery mixed with arrogant disbelief, will be with me until my dying day.
“Won’t…that be…too…sweet?” he says, judgment oozing from his Irish accent.
My discovering-Galway’s-treasures spirit was effectively demolished. “It will be fine,” I squeak, utterly defeated.
Conversation stopped then as Daniel created this coffee disgrace I’d forced his artistic genius to create. I paid, grabbed my “coffee” and went for the door as quickly as possible.
“Sorry, Mary, that lady took your raspberry muffin,” Daniel told the next person in line. Raspberry? I thought it was chocolate chip! “The last of the morning. You’ll have to wait for a new batch.”
The sting was palpable. Daniel and I never spoke again.
In other news, there’s a wonderful McDonald’s just down the street.