Well into my seventies, I wish I could say I’ve become a patient guy. But little things still bother me, and I can get in a bad mood over the smallest matters.
However, I’ve discovered the perfect spot to practice being a better person. It’s my local Starbucks. Throngs of coffee lovers enter Starbucks and seem to fall under a magical spell of compliance and joy. Except me.
I enter and find customers beaming, waiting in line to describe in detail the exact syrups and toppings to add to their grande coffees. I watch an unnaturally happy barista printing precise instructions on each cup, including the first name of the customer. The cups get passed to jubilant employees who grind, whip and concoct each order, while the smiling customers wait patiently for their names to be called.
It’s my turn. I order a small, black coffee, extra hot. I speak out confidently, “My name is Don.” With a big smile on my face, I retreat and wait for my name to be announced. I try to project patience as I hear other names called out merrily: Eric, Marissa, Tammy, Megan, Patrick.
I make a promise to myself. Whenever my name is finally called, I will sashay forward, graciously accept the cup that says “Dawn,” and when I’m told to have an “extra fun day,” that’s exactly what I will have.