I have just returned from Starbucks, a friendly little cafe that serves fine expresso and other such caffeinated beverages. I ordered a venti mocha, skim, with whipped cream. Venti is the equivalent for large. They use non-standard words for their drink sizes. It’s really quite charming. For example, tall means small. They picked tall because it rhymes with small, I presume. Isn’t that clever?! Everyone should be so lucky as to have a Starbucks nearby, but alas, that is probably not the case. It’s unfortunate that not every town is as privileged as mine to have such a delightful mom and pop coffee shop.
On my Starbucks cup there is a quotation from Joe Cristina: “Worldwide, nearly 40 million people are living with HIV and AIDS. Over 12 million children have been orphaned due to AIDS. Six hundred thousand children are infected with HIV each year. And 25 years into the AIDS pandemic, no vaccine or cure is in sight. The numbers speak for themselves.” It is a very depressing quotation. Next time, I will order a tall (small) so that they cannot fit such a long, sombering quotation on my cup. Or I’ll just say, “Give me the cup that doesn’t have an AIDS quote, please. I’m having a rough enough day as is. Do you have any cup that talks about flower patches?”
In addition to purchasing coffee, I have been on the lookout for sweater vests. Remember? I talked about this earlier. I have not been able to find any. I did, however, purchase a belt. I saw a mannequin wearing the belt, and I thought, “That belt looks good on the mannequin, and it would look even better on me.” It’s quite an interesting story, the story of my belt. Let me tell it.
I was at The Gap, a friendly boutique-esque shop that sells clothes that are appropriate for both work and casual events. They have clothes for men and women. I was reviewing the mannequins and spotted an ensemble that struck my fancy. It was a pair of wide-legged, pin-striped pants, a brown belt, and a blue, loose fitting sweater. I immediately headed over to the rack with the pin-striped pants and picked out two sizes to try on in the dressing room. Unfortunately, neither of these sizes fit well, so I asked the friendly staff to bring me a smaller size. This is where the plot thickens. The friendly staff member returned, but with the wrong pants! I said, “No. I’m afraid there has been a terrible mistake. These pants which you have brought me are not the same as the ones I saw on the mannequin.” She set off again in search of the pants, and returned, luckily this time with the correct pair and size. I tried them on, and they fit. So I decided to buy them.
However, something was missing. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, so I returned to the mannequin, only to immediately realize that the belt was just the accessory I needed to make these pants a truly wonderful addition to my warddrobe. Off I went, in search of the belt on the mannequin. I found all the belts, but could only find my particular mannequin belt in a size large. Again, I turned to a friendly staff member for some assistance. I pointed to the belt, “I would like this belt.” They nodded. “But I can only find it in a large on the rack,” I explained. Then I took it a step further, “Surely this actual belt on the mannequin is not a size large.” I said it in a very suggestive tone. I might as well have taken the belt off of the mannequin myself.
To my dismay my suggestive tone was not suggestive enough. The staff member was quick to reply, “I’ll go check in the back.” For two minutes, I stood there, really concerned I was not going to get this belt that would surely look absolutely fabulous on me. I thought about what I would do without the belt. I wondered if I could ever be truly happy wearing the pin-stripe pants without the belt. I suspected I couldn’t.
Luckily, he was able to retrieve an appropriate size from the back, and I bought the belt.
And there you have it.