By Heather O.
Again, confession time. In addition to loving Buffy, I am a Starbucks junkie. Yes, it’s true. I love everything about it. I love the way it looks, I love sitting there and sipping my hot drink, and I love the way I smell after I’ve been there for a while.
And I love the drinks. No, not the coffee, but the other ones. The hot chocolate. The almond and vanilla steamers. The Italian sodas (at participating locals only!). And of course, my favorite, the caramel apple cider. It’s so good it almost makes it worth it to live through a winter in Boston. (Well, ok, NOTHING makes living through a winter in Boston worth it, but still, it’s a dang yummy drink.)
I introduced my in-laws to this particular joy in life. My MIL’s first time actually setting foot into a Starbucks was when she was visiting us in Boston, and I took her to one after we’d been sight-seeing in the cold. She got a little giddy when we went in, and she only ordered a muffin. I educated her about steamers, and while we were enjoying our treats, she said in a conspiratorial whisper, “I almost feel like being here is evil.” I think she was only half-joking.
I told my sister this little story, and she brought up a good point. She said, “What do you think people think when they see you drinking something out of a Starbuck’s cup? Their first thought is probably not, ‘Oh, she’s drinking an almond steamer.’ Clearly, they assume that you are drinking coffee.” And then we talked about how appropriate it really was, drinking something innocuous out of a cup bearing the markings of something we abstain from. My sister said, “I mean, what would people think if Pres. Hinckley was walking around with a Starbucks mug in his hand?”
I maintain that people aren’t really all that concerned about what I’m drinking, although I hope they give me the benefit of the doubt when I share my hot drink with my small child at the airport. And I haven’t stopped enjoying my Starbuck’s experience. But I think it would be interesting to see if Starbucks can make it in Utah Valley, where I think people are VERY concerned with what everybody else is doing, drinking hot drinks inlcuded. And how important is avoiding the very appearance of evil? I mean, for leaders of the Church, I guess it’s pretty important. There’s a story out there that even before he was an Apostle, Elder Oaks wouldn’t even drink a soda at a function where alcohol was being served, just so he could avoid any talk at all about what he might have been drinking. But I’m not a leader of the Church, and I don’t think people who drink or manufacture coffee are inherently evil, so does that mean I can enjoy my pleasure guilt free? I hope so, because my MIL gave me a Starbucks gift card for Christmas, and I’ve still got enough for one more drink. Caramel apple cider, anyone?
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