Pondering the intricacies of caffeine and men
by Delaney Walker Banner Staff Writer
Jun 29, 2014 | 312 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
“Hello, what can I get for you today?” greets the disembodied voice from the Starbucks drive-thru box.

My brain chases itself around and around in the usual panic dance. What do I want? What do these words mean?

Mocha.

Latte.

Macchiato.

Chai Tea.

Cappuccino.

Frappuccino.

Americano.

Espresso.

For the love, Readers, how am I supposed to make a choice when I cannot with 100 percent certainty pronounce the words correctly? 

Please, please, please, something tasty and sweet just jump out at me. All of my yearning and hopes ram against the menu board with its plethora of pictures. Forget Spanish and Cantonese, I need Rosetta Stone to develop a program on coffee.

You think I jest? 

My mouth stays twisted shut as I peruse the menu. No sound escapes past my lips until I know for sure the weird ino-ano-atte word I want to utter. Otherwise, I would deliriously shout something along the lines of, “Can we just set up a caffeine IV? Has that technology been developed? Is it possible to get a shot straight to the blood stream without leaving the drive-thru line?” 

Acutely aware of the cars piling in behind me and the barista’s strained patience, my eyes settle on a name.

Unclenching my mouth, I ask with way more confidence than I feel, “How many caramel pumps do you place in the caramel machiato?”

Silence greets my question before I hear the barista answer, “We don’t put any pumps of caramel in the drink ...”

He continues to explain the complexities of the misnomered caramel concoction and its vanilla and espresso shots.

My eyes widen.

I should have paid more attention in chemistry class. I’m sure it would come in handy right now. Sure, he isn’t talking the periodic table, but the combinations sound equally as difficult.

Oh, right, he is waiting on an answer.

“Um,” I eloquently supply. “I would like one shot of vanilla, please.”

And like every wondrous barista before him, he takes my questioning semi-statement and runs with it.

“OK, a caramel macchiato with one vanilla shot coming up,” he replies with the confidence I lacked in my order.

Bless. His. Soul.

Is there anything else that causes my usual adept mind to stumble, stutter and convulse in confusion? Oh yes, I remember now. It would be the befuddling, bamboozling and bewildering male.

Seriously.

My father has repeatedly informed me guys are an easy breed to understand. Well, that is a comfortable stance for him to take. Being a male and all no doubt gives him an edge.

I do not often disagree with Bryan Walker, but in this instance I must. My own experiences prove without a doubt the male gender is a conundrum. They are just as bad as any coffee menu.

No.

I take back my last statement.

They are not as bad as the Starbucks, Inman Street, Bonlife, Lasaters or Jittery Joe’s of the world.

They are worse.

Unlike the aforementioned coffee shops, men do not come with a quick-talking barista ready (if not always willing) to answer my coffee-related, or rather male-minded, queries.

So I sit, stand, take a walk, jog around, climb a tree, skip rocks, hike a trail, veg on the couch, spin on a chair, stare at the stars, clean my desk, fiddle with my phone, read a book, kick a ball, laugh with friends, stare at the wall, talk to God, clip my nails, breathe — and ponder throughout it all.

Nothing too farfetched. The questions just come to me in random, short bursts. Often I don’t necessarily have an answer. My friends are no better with their quest to discover how best to attract an ideal mate or what it meant when he, “Sent me a text with a smiley this time instead of a winky face.”

First of all, winky-faced emoticons are creepy. Secondly, I have no idea. There are too many possibilities. Maybe he ...

... doesn’t like you and is putting you in the friendzone.

... got tired of using the winky face.

... noticed how creepy said emoticon is.

... was too lazy to find the semi-colon.

... had no idea there was a difference between the two faces.

Mostly I just want to say, “Oh, well, we are probably overthinking this whole situation.” 

And you know what? That is probably the most plausible answer. Sure, it could be any of those reasons, but what does it really matter in the end? A new day will bring a new crush, a new question, a new semi-frantic, giggle-filled session with the girls.

Readers, do you know what a new day will not bring? A way to differentiate between the maddening ino-ano-atte’s designed to stumble the ignorant and fill those in-the-know with a false sense of superiority.

You know what? 

Just give me a God-fearing man who is OK with incessant questions, has a great sense of humor, a killer hook shot and can translate the Starbucks menu without breaking a sweat.

Swoon.

Be still my over-caffeinated heart.