I love when I write a post I really like, (ie: the post right before this) but I also hate it. I put too much pressure on myself to follow up with something equally brilliant, at least in my mind.
Nothing else that happened in the past few days was as interesting as running out of coffee.
Actually, that’s not true. I made a run for good, non-grocery store coffee on Wednesday. That was borderline exciting, with a hint of thrilling, because I had to enter the most evil place in the world to get it.
I have a Starbucks hook-up through a friend who works at a national chain corporation that sells books (a.k.a. Smarnes and Ignoble.) I like to think that I prove my liberal tolerance on a daily basis by maintaining friendship with her. It also helps that she’s quite cool and a good friend, and fed my cats while I was away. It’s not her fault that she has a good job at a bad place.
But visiting her at her place of work makes me feel dirty, even if I do game the system by getting my coffee with her employee discount. Going in there reminds me of a story that Birmingham’s mother once told me. She grew up in a small town in Ireland that actually had a Protestant church. But like most of the rest of her country folk, she’s Catholic through-and-through, and when she was a kid, she was convinced she would be smote down by God if she crossed the threshold of that Protestant church.
But as kids do, one of her friends dared her to do it anyway. Fearing for her immortal soul, but more fearful of losing the dare, she did it and entered the church. Sometimes I wonder if she still worries about having done that. I have a feeling that she doesn’t, since she was laughing while telling me the story, and I think that the “don’t go into other churches” was one of those rules that the Catholic Church changed over time. (Feminist aside: now how about changing the “women are less important than men” rules you still have on the books?)
And much like Mrs. Birmingham’s experience, no overpowering force smote me when I crossed the threshold of said chain that I hate. The powers that be of the American Booksellers Association have not asked me to rescind my support, and I was welcomed with open arms when I went to visit my favorite indie later in the day, even as I confessed my transgressions to them.
It’s good to know that I can enjoy my coffee with a clear conscience.
*This post brought to you by the awakening power Starbucks holiday blend, which is really the exact same thing as Starbucks Christmas blend, but marketed towards the Jews, and other such non-Christmas-celebrating riff-raff. (Probably not available at your favorite bookstore.)