My favourite people are church Baristas. Pretty sure 5th graders are the oldest members of those expected to use the title in the first sentence, but here we are. Let me back up a bit...
I'm the sort of person that feels over whelming peer pressure at a gas pump. Shortness of breath, the works. So imagine, with me, if you will, that same constitution standing in the front of the line at a local Starbucks with a mob of caffeine deprived zombies behind her. I am a) trying to keep the palms of my hands dry so that I don't drop the cup 2) keep my nervousness under control with slow breaths 3) decipher the coffee codes (and you know what I'm talking about. It's an undisclosed competition between coffee shops that they make the names of their drinks as confusing as possible) and lastly 4) decide upon something I feel is measurably appropriate for improving the day.
Now is the point where I lose 75% percent of you, but the rest of you are my people. I approach coffee and the consumption of it like a bride prepares for her wedding on the day of the ceremony. I pretty much use the adage, "something old" (coffee), "something new" (something I haven't tried), "something borrowed" ("what did that person have in front of me, that looked interesting!") , "something blue", well, something "green", as in, how much is it going to cost me and is it worth it? This is not criteria that every, run of the mill, barista, is patient with. That's why I love me some church baristas.
Church baristas are nothing like the average. First of all, approaching said church cafe, you'll notice there are like twenty people behind the counter. This surely means something good is about to happen. It's like a church bbq, except with coffee, and no bare chested guy with an overly enthusiastic relationship with his tongs. Most of them are there because the coffee is free for them, let's face it, so they are well caffeinated and cheery...and because Doodle glitched.
My favourite of the favourites are the "stay at home" moms, like myself, volunteering their Sundays to try out a "real" job for 1.5 hours and serve. Here is a woman who has been wrangling toddlers all week, similar to under-caffeinated zombies. She slaves all week for 3 year old overlords, who periodically throw themselves on the floor, at random, because what they had been whining and screaming about for an hour was finally given to them, but apparently not at the right time. Since she is pretty sure I won't throw myself on the ground and that my requests are limited to a beverage, maybe a muffin, she can busy herself with deciphering my child-like mumbo jumbo. She's refreshingly chill, as I mumble through the menu. I mean chill, chill.
Half the time, neither of us know what's on the menu, even while I'm literally reading it, so she doesn't harpoon me with it like an over used verse taken out from no where to slay unassuming church goers, er, coffee goers. Grande, Tall, midget, whatever...she's cool with the words like, "big" or "small" because all week she has been potty training a toddler to be a "big girl." Keeping it simple is a method of survival in parenting. She has also practiced, all week, the art of convincing a three year old that just because there is no princess pineapple strawberry juice in the refrigerator doesn't mean the world has ended, and a quick glance in the fridge informs both of them that apple juice is an option and no one is worse for wear.
"Do you have oat milk?" I ask innocently, drying my hands on my jeans.
She grins ear to ear thinking this is, at last, a reasonable delivery of a simple request. She calls over her shoulder to another mom who has been there 15 years longer, "Sandy, do we have oat milk?"
"I'm afraid not, mame. Sorry. We're straight shooters around here. Not in the Bible. Perhaps whole milk?" She's smiling, not cringing, reflecting upon how nice it is to just it like it is, after all, oat milk isn't in the Bible. Whether or not that has lasting implications is not the issue at hand. She is eyeing the floor and eyeing me with happy relief that I have not dropped to it in a tantrum.
"Ok. That's fine....um...."
Because this woman has put in toddler practice all week, she offers suggestions. And since it IS Sunday, and my brain is virtually liquid, I accept. "Why yes, I would be perfectly happy to try the flavour of the month. 'Cotton candy, lemon drop, walnuts latte' sounds, well, ok, it's a deal."
This is very unlike her toddler, she ponders. She remembers how this didn't go so well with oatmeal last week. "Honey, look, your brother is eating it," just managed to get the toddler to slide her bowl off the high chair onto the cat.
So I take my coffee and go sit down like a good girl, perfectly happy, nerve racking crisis avoided. Me and church Baristas have a beautiful partnership. She's pumping herself up with a few won battles, and I am more than happy to acquiesce.