Starbucks, I Can't Quit You

by Toni Hammer
jp26jp / Pixabay

Dear Starbucks,

I’ve tried to break up with you before so many times. I bought a Keurig so I could make just one cup of coffee when I needed it. I purchased syrups and powders to try and recreate the green-strawed magic in my own home. I even bought one of your reusable cups emblazoned with your logo to try and trick my eyes that this was Starbucks I was drinking even though my tongue knew I was being deceived.

I tried. I tried hard.

But I can’t quit you.

You’re so convenient because you’re everywhere, on every corner. Your signs reach to the sky, calling me to you like a soy latte siren song. After the gynecologist has poked and prodded my lady garden with the precision of Mr. Magoo, I can come to you for an iced vanilla pick-me-up. When the baby hasn’t slept and I don’t know how I’m going to make it through the day, I can summon the strength to go through your drive-thru — I don’t even have to get dressed! — for a liquid magic mocha to get me through the day. When the kids are whining in the back seat after soccer practice and I feel like I’m going to lose it, I can buy all of us something with a straw to shove in our mouths to keep us from killing one another. They can have some fruity smoothie concoction and I get my sweet, sweet coffee and we are all still and sublime for the rest of the trip home.

And it’s not just that you’re everywhere that makes me love you. It’s also that, Starbucks, you get me. If I want a chai with a shot of espresso and one pump of vanilla, you make it happen. If I want an iced white chocolate mocha with seven pumps of raspberry, you do that for me, too. You make my caffeinated culinary dreams come true and my taste buds do a dance. You can fill every need I have with a smile and a swirl of caramel sauce on top.

Oh and I know you are not cheap. I spend a fortune at your fine institutions day in and day out. Sometimes when I run my credit card, I see my kids’ college funds dwindling away. I find myself asking if I really need a macchiato or if I want a new pair of shoes instead. Should I skip your Frappuccino fun in favor of buying organic, grass-fed beef for dinner? Do my roots need to be touched up more than I need something bold and dark? These are hard decisions, but when I see your comfy couches, lay eyes on your hotel art, and your jazz music rings in my ears, suddenly the choice is a cinch to make.

You offer me calm in a cup, solace through a straw, and excitement via espresso. You give me the patience to parent and the fortitude to push through the terrible twos. You are the yin to my yang, the Kanye to my Kim, the missing piece in my daily life.

As long as you keep pulling shots and filling me with caffeine, I’ll never quit you. My friend, my savior, shut up and take my money.