Day 23: Cutting the Coffee Line…On Purpose


“Good morning, Pooh Bear,” said Eeyore gloomily. “If it is a good morning,” he said. “Which I doubt,” said he.

“Why, what’s the matter?”

“Nothing, Pooh Bear, nothing. We can’t all, and some of us don’t. That’s all there is to it.”

“Can’t all what?” said Pooh, rubbing his nose.

 “Gaiety. Song-and-dance. Here we go round the mulberry bush.”

Continuing to wallow in my Eeyoreness that dribbled forth yesterday, today I just…can’t. That’s all there is to it.

And so sometimes to make things seem better, I try to make them worse…on purpose.  This is exactly what I did today.  When faced with a decision, I made the obvious bad one, with a perverse gusto that nearly made me laugh.  How’s that for a bit o’ irony?

So there I was, standing in a long line to get my first dose of life’s blood (a.k.a. coffee). When I say long, I mean out-the-door-long. I mean, standing in line to get Billy Idol tickets in the 80’s when you’re, like, 11, kinda line. (Not that I ever did that–or wanted to.)  What’s worse is that the people behind the counter were agonizingly S*L*O*W.

So I did what any other self-respecting curmudgeon would do: I cut the line.

I sauntered up and just pushed my way in.

“Lady,” the guy behind me said. “The line’s back THERE.” He thumbed behind him.

“I know that,” I snapped. “Lady?” I thought. He might as well have called me ma’am. Or old hag.  “I’m having a really bad day.” I said aloud to him. “I…just…feel like being mean.”

He looked a bit like he’d just been dropped in the middle of some horrible Punk’d episode. “But,” he stammered. “The line’s back THERE.” Again with the thumb.

“If it makes you feel better, I’ll pay for your coffee.” I pulled out a bunch of ones and slapped them in front of the cashier. “Large coffee. Room for cream. And whatever this guy wants.” I mimicked his thumbing motion.

“Uh,” he sputtered. “Thanks?”

“No problem. Thanks for letting me cut the line.”

In the end, it turned out to be less of a deal than I had secretly hoped. I’d wanted someone to pitch a fit; to complain to management; to gang up on me and crowd-surf me out of the establishment.

Instead I got a “thanks.”

I imagine he must’ve put himself in my shoes for a moment, understanding the deep well of meanness I felt toward the world, wishing he’d been brash enough to cut the line the last time *he* had suffered a bad day.

Or…. perhaps he was just happy to have a free coffee.

Each day of 2014, I’m forcing encouraging myself to have at least one new experience (and chronicling it to keep it real). If you’re interested in why–though I can’t for the life of me imagine anyone would be that bored–check out the “about” page.


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