I went to Starbucks today to grab a tall drip and a couple of gift cards. Cups and stuff were all on sale so I ended up buying some hardware, too. I went to pay and reached for the phone in my jacket but it wasn’t there. I like to use my Starbucks app to earn free cups.

I turned to my daughter. “Reagan,” I said. “Where’s my phone?” She was using it to play Christmas music in the car.

“Oh, sorry Dad. I left it in the Saab.”

I looked at the guy behind the counter whom I knew to be the manager. “First-world problem,” I said.

He laughed and lowered his voice. “We had a lady in here today who had a one-hundred percent meltdown because we are out of those little green stoppers for the coffee cups. Man, she absolutely let everyone in the store know just how she felt. All I could think was, jeez lady. You really need to get a little perspective.”

Now, I have no clue what was going on with this woman. For all I know, she was on her way home after hearing from her doctor that the chemo didn’t work. Maybe she hiked in after leaving her car in the middle of the intersection with a flat tire. Maybe she was told that they were out of cup stoppers and thought, “Son of a bitch! Will one damned thing go right this morning?”

But maybe she has never thought about the fact that she woke up this morning. That she has another day to feel the freezing weather tickle the inside of her nose or to experience how good it is to grab a cup of Starbucks and wrap your freezing fingers around it to warm up.

Maybe she’s just an entitled old biddy who has never been nice one day in her life.

I don’t know so I won’t judge her. But I will use it as a reminder that I have another day to run errands with my daughter and to buy my wife a cup of coffee. There are a lot of people who would give everything for one more experience like that.


Need more perspective?

Perspective #37: Choose Joy When You Can
Perspective #48: Consider The Lowly Cicada