I'm hooked. I need a personal experience as much as I need my coffee. I'm back on the Starbucks wagon and I'm giving in to the fact I'm an addict.
I've been patronizing the N. Broadway and N. High location most often. Most of the barristas have warmed up since my last whiny post; they're pretty talkative and friendly. Except one.
Before xmas, they had a fundraiser for a family in need. The mother needed a new printer, the father a GPS or some shit and the daughter an ipod nano. I asked the guy at the register if they were in need? He said yes. I studied his face to see if he was joking. He wasn't. I asked again. He stuck to his guns. At this point in the conversation, the young woman (who now will not acknowledge my existence) sprang from the back and declared the girl was "like, 16 and wanted her Christmas to be special." Fine, I said, but it's not need is it? If I were in need, I think food and a job would top my list, I argued. "Well, I think they're getting, like, clothes and stuff from somewhere else." Hmmm. I started a fight I couldn't possibly win. I took my coffee to my table without another word. She returned to her corner.
When I reflect on my privileged childhood and xmas, I can think of one or two specific material gifts my parents bought for me (sorry for all that wasted money Ma and Dad). The gifts I remember is their attention and care. I'm not posting to start an online grouphug, I was studying this young woman's reaction to see what's down the road for my daughter and I. Will she pine so badly for a Holographic Kindle (or whatever is the big thing of her adolesence is) she explodes with rage if she doesn't get it? It gives me a chill. I do know all she wants to do this break is find Waldo, do science experiments in the kitchen with me, stay cuddled with Mom, play with friends, etc. Most of the activities place a high priority on a personal experience - the same reason I steal away to Starbucks every morning around 6. I guess we'll just take things as they come and hope for the best.
Oh, and before the stampede of people hit me with all the "it just gets worse," advice - back off. I figured out the substance of those warnings when I was in 3rd grade. That 4th grader trying to scare me with dramatic warnings was a liar.