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white mocha

I just can’t quit you Starbucks.

I’m a month clean and sober from my tall, white chocolate mocha-with-a-half-shot-of-espresso-and-extra-whip-cream habit. I know as far as dependencies go, this is pretty vanilla, but if you consider this $4/day habit and multiply it times 250 days per year and then add to that the more-than-occasional à la carte marble loaf or toasted croissant, the number of calories and the expense of it all is impossible to ignore. Even for me, a woman adept at burying her head in the sand lest I admit the obvious — even to herself.

I love that drink, and I don’t even like coffee. Starbucks makes me like things I don’t normally like. I first walked into this establishment several years ago to buy the Sunday Times. But the chocolate brown leather couches lured me in.

Time and time again the ambiance, the aroma, the music, and the baristas who concoct frothy drinks whose ingredients and names are indecipherable — sell me a product I previously felt at best, ambivalent for, but now damn it, I’m curious. Yes! I’d love to taste Vanilla Rooibos Tea Latte which promises to “come off like an indulgence, a bold escape into exotic realms of flavor not meant for daily consumption.” Yes, I will take an Evolution Harvest Roasted Soybean Pepita Almond Bar even though I loathe almonds, but I’m willing to give it a shot because it’s packaging convinces me it’s nutritious and there’s a line of people ahead of me holding the same bar in their hands, so it must be good.

I realize this reveals more about me and my gullible consumerism. I also acknowledge the absurdity of a non-coffee drinker confessing to a Starbucks addiction, but, in my defense, few are those who can walk into that place and walk out empty-handed — including my stalwart husband who refuses to pay more than a buck and a quarter for a shot of Cuban heroin, aka “cortadito,” the Cuban shot gun espresso. He tisks-tisks my habit, but on more than one occasion he has walked out of that store with a thermos, cd or a book.


I believe my generation willingly traded in the clubs and the lemon-drops-coke-and-Malibu all-nighters of our 20s, for this tamer, “healthier,” quieter version of our former selves. This is where we gather in the mornings, with all the accoutrements appropriate of our rank and file, and socialize.

I doubt my relationship with Starbucks is over. But, for the time being, let’s not call it a break up. Let’s just call it what it is: a coffee break.