Thursday, November 09, 2006

Patron Saint of Hot Beverages

I am miserably sick. Like, can't enjoy anything sick. Since we've had Jarrah, I've had about four colds. In nine months. Readers, I averaged one cold a year in my old life. And this cold is the worst because I have a heaving, hacking cough. I haven't had a cough, I kid you not, in about five years. Despite cough syrup and tea, my jaw aches from clenching it in an effort to keep my skull from exploding or possibly being blown off my shoulders. I know I shouldn't complain, but it all feels particularly unfair coming as it does on the heels of my food poisoning week. I guess I should just be grateful that I felt good on my birthday, right? Right.

I did have a cute thing happen this afternoon. I was having my Nicole time, which I spent shopping (I know that makes it sound like I can't be that sick, but believe me, it was like torture, and the shopping was NECESSARY, it was important, life-altering shopping, you know, like WORK) and wanted to cap it off with a cup of tea and a magazine in some cozy establishment. Problem is, I somehow moved to a neighborhood that doesn't have such an establishment, not even one. I think it's because the median age is 80 and most of these folks don't think loitering in coffee shops seems like a good time. Most of these folks probably also don't have a toddler at home. Anyway, I don't normally patronize Starbucks (it's no sacrifice: I think their coffee tastes like sludge) but I finally noticed one in my neighborhood today and decided I'd have to settle. When I walked in, I was actually taken aback by its coziness: stuffed chairs and paint in warm fall tones, music I listened to in college while staring mistily into the middle distance, and signs advertising the one thing they make that I like, the Holiday Peppermint Mocha. I approached the counter and a perfectly adorable redheaded boy (I've always had a soft spot for orange kids) asked me what I would like.

"I'd like some hot tea," I said. "Do you have different kinds?"

"Yes," he replied, and with something more akin to rapture than apathy, he proceeded to describe the dozen or so teas they carry on a special little key ring. With each name, he detailed the flavor and bouquet like a wine steward, and I bobbed my chapped nose up and down and tried to focus my puffy, pink eyes on what he was showing me.

"Another thing you can do," he said meaningfully, "is mix two flavors. For instance, you could do a Calm (Chamomile) and a Fresh (Mint) together. This would be particularly soothing if, let's say, you had a cold with a sore throat and cough."

I was suddenly alert. "Yes, yes, let's do that, then."

He continued looking at me meaningfully. "I'm going to give you a Venti [their largest size] because it's the same price anyway, and then you'll have more. Here's some honey, which I recommend you use."

I smiled at him, almost in tears. "Thank you."

He added, "It's a good idea to drink a lot of liquids."

"Thanks," I said again, wanting to hug him. "I'm really glad I came in here so you could take care of me."

And you know what? I meant it.


Anonymous said...

Red heads do it better.

We need to find him and bring him to our next moms night out. Maybe with the tea, he'll throw in some foot rubs.

Feel better soon, love.

Marlene said...

Good, sweet man. It's funny when we have to take care of other people, even when we're sick, isn't it?

Anonymous said...

May you heal FAST!!

Yes, with kids come colds. School adds to them.

I actually like sludge, so Starbucks is a favorite of mine, & I find that friendly attitude in most of them. Don't their employees get some sort of benefits that makes it a nicer place to work?

Best, Gail

Anonymous said...

Hi there! Delurking. Happy milestone birthday!! Mine's next week, and I have a feeling it will not only go by without fanfare, but possibly entirely without notice.

We've had a terribly sick household this week, and I ended up vomiting for the first time in four years. It was awful.

Anyhow, I felt a bit of sisterhood in your post, and it was comforting to know that someone else is having a similar week. Any way you can send your little carrot top to my Southern Starbucks for some tea tomorrow morning? Wow, a guy who not only takes care of you but has enough insight to do it without being asked!!

Hope you feel better VERY soon!!

Sam said...

Hi Gals!

Thanks for your good wishes. :) I am feeling a teeny bit better this weekend--maybe that tea hit the spot. ;)

Mir, I hope you and your crew get better soon, too! And that you have an awesome birthday. You never know--mine was mind-blowingly better than I thought it would be. ;)

Anonymous said...

ack, I'm sick too. Being sick with kids stinks.