In addition to wrinkles, age spots, poor eyesight, weird creaking/cracking noises from random bones and joints, the “old-person-groan” as I rise from a sitting position, the urge to talk about the “good old days” or refer to anyone under the age of 40 as a “whippersnapper”, my 50’s have ushered in an exciting new world of lactose intolerance.
For anyone who doesn’t know me, cheese has made up four of the five food groups most of my my life. The fifth was chocolate. (A few years ago, I decided to substitute veggies and fish for chocolate, and felt pretty good about myself.) I have always considered coffee the sixth food group, and I add cream, milk, and eggnog (I mean, Christmas y’all!) at will. When the band Train sang about “The best soy latte that you ever had…”, I rushed out to get one! Hello…disgusting! And when almond milk became all the rage, I gave it a shot… I just wanted to be one of the cool kids. But holding a mouthful of hot, almond-milk coffee until I reached a spot to pull over and spit wasn’t exactly the coolest moment of my life.
So imagine my panic when I was faced with the prospect of having to give up coffee in addition to cheese (impossible!), or just drink it black. Ew. I began to look for an answer. It came in the form of coconutmilk. For anyone who is nodding in appreciation right now for my healthy choice, think again. I didn’t say “coconut milk” (two separate words, and, yes, a very healthy choice)… I said “coconutmilk” (a concoction that a certain Mermaid-based coffee company created which contains sugar and thickeners and loosely resembles coconut milk, but tastes WAY better). And even though it was the lesser of three evils, I still didn’t care for the taste alone. So I began my search for the perfect coffee drink.
I found it by accident while in line at the Mermaid drive-thru. There, on the blackboard, was the description and it looked delicious. The only problem was the name:
Hazelnut Mocha Coconutmilk Macchiato
And I wanted a Grande, and not too sweet, so two pumps of hazelnut instead of three. And it isn’t as good once it starts to cool off… So now, my drink was a:
Grande Two-Pump Extra-Hot Hazelnut Mocha Coconutmilk Macchiato
Go ahead. Seriously. Say it with me: “Hi! I would like a Grande Two-Pump Extra-Hot Hazelnut Mocha Coconutmilk Macchiato please.” Now, say it to the person sitting next to you. I’m totally not kidding.
And…I REALLY wanted a little extra drizzle of mocha on top (I mean, c’mon, I just had to give up CHEESE! I’m surprised I haven’t been on the news yet), but I didn’t want to be a complete dick. So I went without the extra.
But the problem was this: I had to rehearse on the way to the speaker of the drive-thru. (Why didn’t I go inside? Let’s get real. Did you just try and say it out loud? Twice? How did THAT go?) And remember, this is all BEFORE my first cup of coffee.
Suddenly it’s my turn. I pull up. A pleasant voice greets me over the speaker. I recognize the voice… she’s the usual morning girl, and she knows who I am! I’ve been coming here for years. I start to freeze up, but then realize I’m as ready as I’ll ever be. I take a deep breath and order. Flawlessly. (There are those of you who know me well who are probably doubting this, but I shit you not! I was even on the phone with someone at the time. I can provide proof if necessary).
She cheerfully responds and begins to repeat it back:
“Okay, so that’s a Grande Two-Pump Extra-Hot Hazel Mocha, er, nut, uhm cinnamon, no coconutmilk macka-macka”. (Long pause) “Will that be all?”
Me: Uncontrollable laughter.