The Path to Bliss*

I know, I’m just super irritated at everything these days, but sheesh, everyone is so irritating. It’s definitely not me. I’ve taken two out of four steps on my path to bliss, and, um, well… Anyway this all might just be the fallout of being lied to in a pretty diabolical way, but okay, people, how many fucking times have you ordered coffee before? 

I go for a little afternoon coffee break yesterday, which is a new bad habit that I’m trying not to form.  I pull into the parking lot and there aren’t any spots, only there is one spot, and it’s like this:
OK, where there should be a picture, there’s not, because I just spent 20 minutes downloading a little drawing program and then trying unsuccessfully to use it, but I’ll go back to what Patrick Hemingway says, a word is worth a thousand pictures. So anyway, the picture would show a full parking lot, and then the last space would be partly taken up by a lame parker who crossed the line, taking up a third of the last space.  That’s what the picture would show. 
Patrick Hemingway, I’m not saying it would have been easy to be him or anything, but True at First Light had to be one of THE most boring books I’ve read, and believe it or not, I have been a big Hemingway fan in my life, but sheesh, let Mary kill the lion and be done with it, shall we?

So I squeeze my tiny car into the  dregs of what should be a full parking space, and feel rather passive aggressive about it, like, ha, I’ll show you, and sadly, I don’t feel the tiniest bit guilty even though I’m trying to be all Tibetan heart about stuff these days.  Which I’m sure is obvious, my Tibetan heart.  The ridiculous thing is that the encroachment was on my driver’s side.  You know how that goes down, the consequences go directly to me, not to the lame driver who has tons of room to get in and out of her car, but will probably ding my car when he/she leaves this tight space.  I’m the one who has to crawl across the stick shift and squeeze myself out the passenger side.  Whatever.

So I go to get my coffee, which is obviously what I need.  Let’s get angry bitter person all jacked up on caffeine, shall we?

The woman ahead of me in line, and I am so not exaggerating, but she takes like, oh, 15 god damn minutes to place her order, which involves, and I am so not making this up, but there’s a bit about how she wants them to pull one shot, add 2 tablespoons of caramel, stir it, then add the other shot of coffee and some steamed milk that’s all fussy too, like “can it be more like 1.5%, so you use two thirds two percent, and one third non-fat?  And after all that’s added, drizzle two more tablespoons of caramel on top.”

I am so irritated with the fact that there are people on the planet who have an opinion about the order of when the sugary crap gets added to their coffee that I can hardly contain myself, but I do, and I wait while she does a lot of rummaging through a giant purse for her starbucks card, and that takes another 25 minutes or maybe it was a week to just manage to pay.  I’m convinced that she’s probably the one who parked poorly. Oh, did I mention that she wanted her pumpkin bread heated, but “please don’t put it in until the first shot is added to the drink.”

So just like the parking thing, I’m all bitter in a way that has the consequences come right back at me, and I don’t order the Americano that I long for, but instead, as an act of solidarity with the simple folk, I order drip coffee.  I don’t even ask them to leave room for cream, because suddenly, I’m just not willing to have any modifiers on my coffee. I’m gonna drink it black, just to prove that I don’t need any special treatment at all.  I know, this is not normal.

So I go back into the parking lot, and in a sick way, I’m kind of hoping the other driver is there to watch me climb in through the passengers side of the car, and she is there, and it’s not Complicated Order Woman, but someone else, and she approaches me all sweetly and says she needs help, and it turns out that she left her lights on and her stupid car needs a jump.  There’s a man standing there with cables, but he’s got a Prius and has no idea if you can even jump a car with a Prius for the obvious reason that it has a weak little battery, and I am so not like this, but he looks like a weak little man too. 

So I do, I climb in through the passenger side, and open the hood, and then climb out again through the passenger side to make sure it’s hooked up properly, because last time I trusted someone to hook it up, well, I looked up after being distracted by something else for a minute, and there was smoke and melting cables.

Anyway, she got her car started, and was all grateful, thanking me profusely, and ignoring the fact of me climbing in and out of the car on such the non-standard side, as if maybe I’m Just That Way.

That’s the news from the path to bliss.


  1. There is a web site that you should know about.
    It doesn't exactly have the picture you need but, what you want is half way between and

  2. Stereotyping Prius owners! Tsk, tsk, tsk. I can't stomach the people who, if they were unlucky enough to survive an all-out nuclear war, would be fine with their newfound isolation and the prospect of a grotesque death from radiation poisoning, but would lament the obliteration of their favorite neighborhood Starbucks.

  3. I have no luck at Starbucks. I order simple things, but they never give me my lemon pound cake or oatmeal, which is why I would even go into Starbucks to overpay for a latte in the first place. The lot is always packed, and I've given up many times. I haven't stooped to the drive through yet, I just remind myself how much fat I've packed on this winter and do without. Or drive through McDonalds for their much cheaper but boiling hot latte and watery oatmeal. But I feel your pain. You did a great job of being a nice person and not blowing a gasket. Why do I picture the lame parker as a huge SUV?

  4. Paul, yes, those are the pictures I would have drawn. And PC, oh, I am so not intending to stereotype Prius owners; many of my favorite people drive priii! This particular Prius owner, well, I'll say no more, because today I'm ever so slightly less bitter. Mel, right on about the SUV. Your intuition was correct!

  5. Meg says:I'm pretty sure that cretins along the way on the path to bliss is a sure sign that you are being secretly tested by the universe.Pass go and collect 25 free miles( on the path) for not hurting the clueless parker and ask for extra half and half in the drip coffee next time, you are so worth it.

  6. Days like that are so bad for our arteries - that simmer inside that could boil over in a nanosecond. Good for you for rising above. I'm afraid I would have said I had a battery problem and jumping might drain it. And then I would have felt petty and small the rest of the day :)


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