Romanticized and Overeager

I’m back in Utah. I have been for a while now.

Have you noticed that I tend to romanticize everything? Even a regular cup of joe.

I think I may have romanticized this place into some mystical, magical life. If that were true, wouldn’t I feel happier living here? But I’ve been here for 4 months and I am unimpressed.

In retrospect, I guess I wasn’t unhappy in Texas with my family… I was eager. Eager to see what more life had to offer. Eager to fall in love with someone new. Eager to see more of who I really am. Eager. Eager. Eager.

I’ve been going going going for the last 10 months. Maybe it’s time I stop romanticizing and start looking, seeing, tasting.

I read a quote yesterday that struck me.

YOU ARE A PERISHABLE ITEM. Live accordingly.

How often we live in a daydream state waiting for the next big thing to happen. Waiting for the guy to show up. Waiting for our next paycheck. Waiting for that promotion. Waiting for that exotic vacation. Waiting. Waiting. Waiting.

 

I am perishable. I am not made to wait. I am made to live. To run. To see. To taste. To climb. To grow. To play. To be. 

Let us not go to waste waiting on romantic notions of an unrealistic life to take place. Utah might not be some mystical, magical place, but it is where I am. And this is where I want to be. So, here’s to making the best of it.

 

 

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Getting More Than Just Gas

We all have attributes that we don’t even think about. We just are them. Like some people have big noses. Others have little chubby hands. Some have short torsos. Others have buck teeth.

We are those attributes, and we tend to be immune to them when we look in the mirror.

For me, my immunity is to my height. I am tall. Bu that is me so I don’t wonder on it often.

Though it may have haunted me as a gawky teenager. Those growth spurts weren’t any fun. But now, as an adult, I rarely notice my own height. And just like a person with a big nose, I don’t think about how many feet tall I am and as I would suppose, they don’t think about how many inches their nose is.

But occasionally I am reminded of my monstrous size.

Like today. Doing something completely mundane I was approached by a middle aged man who asked, “How tall are you?” The question came off more as an accusation of being ridiculously tall rather than an inquiry of my height. My voice fighting the awkwardness I responded honestly, “I am five foot 11&¾ inches… Obviously I got shorted.”  I laughed at my own pun. He didn’t respond with words that were understandable…Something about tall women or other. I smiled, but preferred to not ask him to repeat himself in fear of more awkward, inappropriate lines.

I walked away after telling him to have a pleasant morning.

In reflection to the interaction I wonder why it is socially acceptable to ask someone how tall they are, but that it is not okay to ask someone about their weight…

Or if they can touch their toes.

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From the Other Side of the Counter

From the other side of the counter there is so much to be seen, but so little to be understood.

I have been out of the country for the past 18 months. The country in which I found myself hardly drank coffee…And had never heard of a cafe that only sold just that. Upon my return to the beloved USA I decided to run by the cafe closest to my house and grab an iced passion tea. I still don’t drink coffee, but something is so familiar about the smell…and look of it all. I can’t say I hadn’t missed it.starbucks2

I placed my order and waited patiently as the barista prepared it for me. She asked me little, and I wasn’t impressed by her few words, and lack of genuine care. I wondered if I had ever been so self involved at work. She toyed with her phone while waiting on the water.

Me, the girl who believed that the barista should always get a tip started to question. Why would I give this girl a tip for giving me absolutely nothing more than what I had already paid for? Catching myself before becoming absolutely ridiculous in my thinking, I would rather give her the benefit of the doubt…I mean, maybe she was busy. Real busy. #sarcasm

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

As I wondered whether or not I wanted to add a dollar to the tip jar I pondered what life was like for me back then… In those days when I did the coffee brewing, pouring, spilling. The regulars. I can remember Trenta Iced Coffee Black, Tall Decaf Latte, Venti Black Extra Room, Grande Caramel Apple Spice.  Even now, years later I can see their faces. The faces of some of my dearest friends that had been lost by distance.

starbucks 3

Standing on the opposing side of the counter waiting on my drink I could suddenly see things much clearer about my past life.

And this was one thing I could see for sure…

I was one awesome barista.

But now, as I turn away from the counter I see so much, and so little do I understand.

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Why Not?

The constant slam from customers gets really redundant. Let me give you a taste of my every morning.

“Good morning,” I say trying to fight off the sleep in my eyes.

“Grande Black.” The man said with his still in disarray, and his eyes looking worse for wear.

On to the next.

“Good morning,” I try again brushing off the fact that I only slept 6 hours in the last two nights. This lady looks nice. Her attire is clean, and she’s got make up on already. Morning person?

“Good Morning, How are yew?” She doesn’t pause, “I want a Trenta Iced Green Tea. No sweetna, ya hear?” Her East coast drawl skipped right over me.

People, I address you as a friend, I have to tell you. This is the rudest thing to do.

DO NOT ASK SOMEONE HOW THEY ARE IF YOU DON’T WANT TO WAIT FOR THE ANSWER.

It is rude.

Moving on.

“Hello Sir, how are you today?” I brush off the other guests and smile with hope that this middle aged, graying man will answer my question.

“Stop being so cheery. It’s too early for that.” He said, he was probably meaning to be funny. I must say, NOT FUNNY. “I need my coffee. Tall Americano no room.” I try to ignore that I haven’t had coffee. I never have coffee. I know you can function, and be polite without. I do it every morning.

Next.

“Good Morning, Ma’am.” I say as a woman approaches the counter. She is wearing her pajamas still. I can tell this one won’t be the happiest guest.

I wait for a reply. Keep waiting.
“How are you today?” I move on understanding that I’m not going to get a reply.

She keeps starring past me with her dull brown eyes looking at the holiday menus behind me. She has long brown hair that is tangled on the right side of her head. She looks haggard. Very haggard.

I keep waiting.

Moving on. I got sick of waiting.

Two gentlemen come in speaking to one another about some business venture. This is typical of these types. Walking suits. They are probably on their merry way to a lovely work meeting.

“Hello Gentlemen, how are y’all doing today?” I say with a little Texas.

They continue to talk to one another. They keep talking over each other. We’ve got a one-upper, I think to myself. Men like this drive me crazy.

They don’t look at me when they order two Venti Cappuccinos. One turns to me and says, “No foam on mine.”

I try not to scoff.

“Sir,” I try to get his attention whilst pausing as I write on the cup. “Sir?” He still doesn’t stop talking as he looks at me finally. “The cappuccino is half foam, half steamed milk with shots of espresso. Would you rather a Latte?” I ask politely as my Mama taught me.

“Whatever you think Sugar.” He continues his important conversation.

I ring them up and have one of the walking suits sign the check.

He adds an extra $3.00 tip. I hate the concept of this. I hate the fact that people that treat you like you don’t exist think it makes it better when they throw you money.

Excuse me, Sir? I think I’m worth a hell of a lot more than $3.00. Thanks, but no thanks. Ass.  And don’t call me Sugar. I am not you’re Sugar.

 

Need I go on?

People, I address you as a friend again, I don’t mean to chastise, but enough is enough. Let’s all take a minute to recognize the people in our lives that we take for granted every day.

Me. A barista at a common coffee shop. I am just a girl that lives on Red Bull and the therapy of paper and pen. I am just a girl away from home trying to make the best of this life. I am just a girl working regardless of the circumstance.

I am just a girl, but I matter to a lot of people.

Let’s take a moment to recognize the kid at McDonalds with the bad acne. He’s just a student, and his mom doesn’t make enough money to buy him a car. He likes getting out of the house, and working. It helps him forget that he is a nobody. Why not be the person that smiles and reminds him that he a has a beating heart?

Let’s take a moment to recognize that hostess that sat you down at the table you requested in a restaurant down the street. She’s working for the extra cash, and trying to help her young husband pay the bills. She’s working for the health benefits. Little did you know that she’s pregnant when you told her that your experience was not “up to par” and that you would like to speak to her manager. Why not be the person that reminds her that it’s not a lost cause? Why not give those hormones a little hope?

Let’s take a moment to recognize that teacher that gets barely 4 hours of sleep a night. She’s got 7 kids and a hard working husband. Money has never grown on trees for this beautiful mother. This woman works hard for the green that she earns and every penny she makes she spends on her three young boys, and her brand new grandbaby. Why not be the students t that says thank you for staying late so many nights for me to get that extra work in? Why not be the student that reminds her that she’s making a difference?

I know you are all thinking of someone you could recognize and say thank you to during this holiday season. Can I challenge you to do it?

Why not? I have to ask you. Why the hell not?

Let’s be the people that make others feel appreciated. Let’s be the people we want to encounter.

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Fantastic

The mornings are getting colder and colder. Snow has fallen and the trees are all naked. The salt is out and the grass is dead. I don’t love winter like some do. I love fall, spring, and sometimes summer. Winter is cold and lonely for the most part.

The only part of winter than I love more than Christmas music (which brings light to the darkness), is the way your breath smokes out when you exhale. I love how alive it makes me feel. I love the way it reminds me that I’m okay and I can keep on trucking.

Winter changes things at the coffee shop. All the drinks change. People change their regular drinks to something warm; something spicy. Pumpkin. Gingerbread. Eggnog. It’s all so festive.

Trenta iced coffee is now Venti bold drip. Grande iced toffee-nut is now Grande hot toffee-nut latte. Hot. It’s that time of year.

There are those that never change. They drink the same thing every day, at the same time.

Like Venti nonfat latte with cinnamon on top. She’s this little old lady that is always wearing glitzy earrings, and has a smile that spreads from ear to ear. Cinnamon on top is in the running for the most positive regulars we have ever had. She comes in three or four times a week and greets me the same way every time.

“How are you today?”

“Well, good morning! I am fantastic. How are you?” She always says with the brightest eyes. The wrinkles collecting around her red lips, and making you feel that warm that friendship brings.

“I am fabulous.” I would reply even if I didn’t feel that way. Cinnamon on top is always making your day just a splash better.

I’ve come to learn that her name is Linda. She is the most darling woman. Her age doesn’t seem to be a factor in her life. She loves working, and Mumford and Sons. She is always telling me about how loud she turned it up in her car on her drive in.

“I think the people next to me could hear it today. I just get so pumped up when he sings Little Lion Man.” She smiles and laughs with me.

I’m sure Linda is tired and lonely sometimes, but you would never know it. She isn’t married, and has no kids. I wonder what that life is like.

I am amazed at the beauty that she sees in the world around her. I admire her so much. People like cinnamon on top remind me that there is so much good in this life. There is so much to see, and to love and to look at. Linda reminds me of what it’s all about.

About a month ago Linda had her hip replaced. I’ve heard that the recovery is pretty quick, and the surgery isn’t that bad. I was amazed to see Linda back at work just three weeks after. She just keeps going. She works, and struggles and makes the best of what she has. She came in on her first day back and she greeted me even happier than usual.

Proof that life is good. Life is always good. Proof that life isn’t what you’ve got. Life is what you do with what you have.

Life is far too short to waste it being unhappy.

Like Linda, I am fantastic. I am fantastic on the rainiest days. I am fantastic on the hardest nights. I am fantastic regardless of my circumstances.

Now the question is: Are you fantastic?

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Calm Tea. INEEDYOU.

My thoughts float around me like snowflakes hesitant to land. Melting, melting, crying as they do. Bubbles bursting too soon, and I’m not capable of grasping them. I’m trying. I am. I’m aching to be thorough and clear. I don’t want the clouds I see to overwhelm me. It’s like that a weird song by some unknown artist with little credibility. Floating. Floating. These thoughts are like explosions of emotions. It’s an emotional hurricane. This one’s not Sandy, this is a little more Katrina.

Kelly, get a grip.

It’s November. What a beautiful word. November. I love the holidays. I can’t wait for the twinkle lights, and beautiful trees. I love the way people are during holidays. Just delightful. OF course there are many exceptions. I look forward to them just the same.

I have a simple story today. Just a moment I had, and I thought would be sharable.

I was talking to Venti coffee today. He’s absolutely adorable, smile and all. I love talking to him. He smiles, and you smile. Today he was just simply talking to me. Just one on one conversation. He talked to me about his kids, and the joy that they bring him. It’s pretty spectacular to witness so much love. He spoke of his beautiful wife, and I was jealous. Not that I want him for myself in anyway. He is attractive as I’ll get out, but he’s so in love with his wife that I wouldn’t ever want him for myself. I was jealous of the selfless love he feels. He is so content with unimpressive weekends spent at home with his baby girls, and little man. He enjoys taking the kids out so his wife can have a break to get some shopping done. How could I resist feeling envy?

I don’t mean to come off as eager to wed. I am not eager to be wed. I am eager to be in that place of happiness. I love to see so much joy in someone’s eyes.

I have another regular that makes me feel that same twinge. Trenta iced coffee is quite similar to Venti coffee. He has boys too. He’s no longer married though. I don’t know what the story is there, and I don’t desire to know. I can see a difference in these two men. Iced coffee is lonely, and needs that companionship. Sometimes I catch myself wishing I’d allow myself to fall for someone like these coffees, but alas I cannot.

I’m probably too open about this, but I obviously don’t mind. (You are already reading my personal life.) I adore both of these men, but my heart yearns for another. I have this horrid tendency to fall for the jerk. I like the BACHELORFORLIFE types. We all know who they are. It’s ridiculous.

I have another regular that I dread to see. I say dread wishfully. I wish, I wish, I wish that I dread his presence. But it’s just too bad, I love it when five shot iced Americano comes in. He is just masculine, tall, and smooth. He is the BACHELORFORLIFE ring leader. He has this dreamy (barf) voice that makes my knees go weak. (barf barf) I hate how shaky he makes me.

The girls have taken to calling him my boyfriend. Hooray? Haha not my reaction. STOP IT!

Why is it the tendency to fall for the one who will treat you the worst? Women, what is our problem? Maybe I am being too general. I should look at it the right way. It’s me. I’ve got issues.

These thoughts of not wanting, but wanting just the same seem to burst before they can touch my fingertips. I’m just a barista in need of some barista therapy.

Calm tea, where are you when I need you? 

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Bittersweet

It’s a bittersweet week. The lead at the coffee shop is moving on, moving up. She’s taking a huge step forward. We’re all proud, and wish her well. It’s this bittersweet that resonates inside us all. We are dreaming that we’ll be as lucky as she is.

I have to admit that I’m a little more bitter than sweet. This barista has trained me, coached me, and molded me into a capable barista, and an even more capable adult.

When I started at the coffeeshop this barista didn’t really like me. I wasn’t grown into my shoes yet. She befriended me anyway and has taught me a lot about friendship. She’s taught me about being a strong person and how to stand up for myself. She’s taught me that I’m important and that I deserve the best. She’s taught me all about myself and I couldn’t be more grateful.

It’s bittersweet to watch her take a step in her life, but I couldn’t be more happy for her.

Shout out- I love you AshMash!

It’s those people you never expect that end up meaning the most.

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A Jumble and Twist

Tick. Tick. Tick. The clock seems to be stuck at 8:00.

Some days my job is boring. I look out the big tinted window and beg for 1:00. I just want to go home. I just want to go curl up in my big, warm bed. I know it’s waiting for me with open arms. All I had to do was get out of work.

Some days work is slow, and I want it to end. Put me out my misery, I beg. It’s days like that that I get to know more people. I seem to be more talkative when there is no one around. I need that social interaction. Not today, the world says leaving me quite uneasy.

Instead of telling you about coffee today, can I talk about something else? Can  I have permission to talk about life? Real, hard life?

I do this regardless of your opinion.

Fact: I am just a girl in a world that smothers me, and creativity.

Fiction: I am just a girl.

I have been

Okay, what to say. Life. Life. Life.

L. LoveLustLongingLeadLollipopLittleLimeLineLieLove.

I. IdentityIdeaIdiomIritateInhabitInvolveIttyIllegalIdentity.

F. FreedonFastFakeFatherFamilyFalseFadeForumFreedom.

E. EqualExciteExasperatedExhaustExitEccentricEqual.

I don’t know anything about life. Come to think about it.

I’ve been reading again. I love reading. If I know anything I’d say it’s all about learning.

Music seems to understand life. Music seems to understand a lot of things.

I’ll apologize for this post. It’s just a jumble and twist of thoughts.

I guess that’s life though.

A jumble and twist.

Life.

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A Persons a Person

First and foremost, I must apologize for my lack of writing. My excuses seem unimpressive so I’ll leave them home. Let it be. I’m here now.

It’s turning winter time. The first snow today. I’m not ready for winter. It seems I need all new stuff now. Boots, coats, socks, and a whole new attitude.

My coffee shop has music that plays constantly. Some of it isn’t bad, but I really prefer my own music. Some people refer to me as a hipster of sorts, but I don’t see myself that way. My music taste is of a diverse library. I enjoy Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell; I rock The Antlers and Mumford and Sons, but then I listen to Beethoven and DeBussy when the mood strikes. I love Justin Timberlake and Eminem, but I can just as easily listen to Josh Turner and Kenny Chesney. Then I love Eddie Vedder and Bob Schneider more than the toes on my feet. RockCountryElevatorTunesClassicalR&BSlowJams. It’s all the same to me.

The other day I had plugged my iPod classic into the hook up in the back. I was anxious to listen to some Pearl Jam and Bob Schneider that I had recently added to my collection. It’s reasonable to say that I am in the best mood while listening to my favorite music.

This morning in particular, as I was singing Honeypot, a woman came in wearing gym attire. There is a fitness center on the second floor of the hotel so this is common attire for guests. This woman was sweating, and smelled of pool water and a garlic clove. I was gaily singing along when I asked her how I could help her.

“I want a parfait, and a SKINNY Pumpkin Spice latte. SKINNY.” I agreed to the terms of SKINNY, although skinny meant that the beverage be non-fat milk and sugar-free syrup. The Pumpkin Spice latte cannot be SKINNY. It can be made non-fat and no whip. In any other cade I would have corrected her to avoid confusion, but a line would soon be developing. I proceeded to make her latte.

“Okay, so the parfait,” handing her a spoon, “and the Venti pumpkin spice latte are $10.83.”

“Charge it to my room.” She said abruptly and grabbing the Venti Pumpkin Spice latte out of my hands. “It’s SKINNY?!” She said again taking off the lid.

If anything annoys me it’s when I am talked to as if I am a dweeb off the street. I am a barista. I know what the hell I’m doing.

“Yes Ma’am, “ I said like my mama always taught me.

Looking at the beverage without the lid on the woman then said, -“Is that whipped cream?! I wanted it skinny. That means no whipped cream.”

“No, ma’am,” I said again just like my mama taught me. “That’s just foam.”

She then took a hesitant slurp. “That’s some good froth.” Her lip hosting a white mustache.

At this point I’m annoyed, but not showing it.

“For a room charge I’ll need you to sign this.” Setting a paper in front of her.

I verified the information to avoid further issues, and she again questioned me.

“Why do I even need to fill this out if you’re asking me?”

“I’m just verifying that that’s the right room and such to avoid issues when checkout comes. Do you know what I mean?”

“Okay, no I don’t, but whatever.”

I have a tendency to just look at people when they are rude. It’s better for me to have no reaction than to give sass, which I have plenty of.

She walked out sneering and fussy.

This is just a small taste of the snots that the service industry gets. I was having a splendid morning until she came along. I have learned to not let it get to me.

This woman. Her last name I know, and will never forget. This woman doesn’t know me. She doesn’t know that I am a fulltime student, and I work at my coffee shop full time as well. I am double coded. She doesn’t know that I am an aspiring author. She doesn’t know that my grandparents are both in the hospital and I’ve been away from home for two years. She doesn’t know that I am going to be somebody one day.

She doesn’t know that everyone that reads this thinks that she a piece of work.

I am not angry at the treatment I receive. It just reminds me that everyone is person, and deserve to be treated with respect. What’s that Dr. Seuss quote?

“A persons a person no matter how small.”

Although I am not small physically I am small in the food chain of industry. I am just a barista. That is just for the time being. Someday I will be just what I want to be.

The woman left that day, and I went back to singing along with the music that resolves the soul. Just breathe, says Eddie Vedder. I’ve got a mountain to climb ‘fore I get over this hill, says Bob Schneider.

Indeed, I agree. I’ve got a long way to get before I get back home. I’ve got to find myself ‘fore I can ever be alone.

No, this woman didn’t know me. I don’t know her, but I know people deserve love. People deserve respect.

I guess I could say thank you to this woman for reminding me of the importance of the little people.

A persons a person no matter how small.

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Childhood

Childhood

I don’t know why, but this picture clinches my heart. It takes me back to chewing gum off the street, and kissing the neighborhood boys. Reminding me of Carter, and Molly. Life has changed so much, and yet I am the same. Kelly Brianne Rasmussen. I am in my 20th year, and I am still the same.

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