Last night, I was laying on the couch thinking about tomorrow’s coffee. Shamelessly addicted and hopelessy hooked coffee drinkers do things like this. They take daily coffee selection seriously and spend serious amounts of time planning for the next day. It’s never a question of “if I drink coffee”, oh no, that’s the given, it’s a question of where it will be made, what will be made, and from which mug will I drink. Should I make it at home? If so, which mug will I drink it from? The rooster mug? The stainless steel? Will I buy it at the store? Which store? Caribou for dark roast? Joyful’s for flavored? Or, Dunkin Donuts coconut with cream?
It went on like this for at least an hour. I was half watching some television show and half trying to make this critical coffee decision. It’s a complex decision-making process which will determine the direction, mood, and flavor for your entire day. Not too be side-stepped, not to be rushed. Take your time, carefully consider the options, choose wisely for fear that the wrong choice will prove to be a very costly mistake.
Rightfully so, I take my coffee selection seriously. That is why laying on the couch on Thursday night after carefully calculated, caffeinated thought processes, I had made what felt like the best decision for starting a Friday off the right way, the caffeinated way, the coconut with cream Dunkin’ Donuts coffee way.
Pleased with my decision, I slept soundly last night and awoke with much fervor about making the trip up to Dunkin Donuts to pick up my cup of nutty joy. I pulled into the parking lot this morning, walked up to the door, and was not expecting what came next.
The door was locked.
What’s this? Dunkin Donuts closed? Impossible! A store that was open on Christmas Day – CHRISTMAS DAY – does not close some random Friday in March. Not without warning. I looked around – there is no sign, no we will be closed. This is impossible. I tried again. Nothing, the door doesn’t give.
I looked inside the windows; the store is dark. Huh? Looking closer, I noticed all the donut racks are empty. The shelves once holding the bags of coffee beans – clean and gone. The cooler, devoid of cooled beverages. And, most importantly, a counter completely missing my two favorite donut holes - Rama and Gita.
Rama? Gita? Was it something I said?
I was confused. How could this happen? How could a major national franchise closedown without warning? More importantly, how could two women always there, always time to make the donuts, always behind the counter pushing donuts, how could they disappear without a trace?
I was nearly beside myself with shock, but also without coffee – the morning clock was ticking away and I was reaching that critical portal in time when I needed caffeine to enter the bloodstream NOW for fear or pounding headache, day-long moodiness, or other decaffeinated unpleasantries.
But before I rushed off to find my coffee fix, I noticed something. Something caught my eye. A sign on the side of the building, in the upper right hand corner of the window.
Store For Lease
You mean, they’re gone? For good? Whoa. The equilibrium of my entire universe was just thrown off. Wait a minute, let me regather myself. Ok, not there yet, trying to see the other options, trying to get through this. All right, give me a moment, and now I’m better. There is still hope. I consider the other options. Drive another 10 minutes to nearest area with another Dunkin’ Donuts, a Caribou, and a Starbuck’s, or go to work without it.
But this is Friday. It’s special coffee day. It’s suck it up and pay over $2 for something I could have easily made at home day. It’s a celebration of surviving nearly 5 days at work. IT IS MY GODDAMN SPECIAL COFFEE DAY. Going to work without coffee was not an option. Didn’t they know that?
Calm down, Liz, calm down. Consider the other options. I decide to drive 10 minutes west. Pulling into the parking lot, I realize I have a decision to make and make it quick. Three options; Caribou, Starbuck’s, DD. I weigh my options, I imagine the taste of each choice, I think about all of the possibilities. This is why I save my coffee deciding for Thursday nights. This could take minutes, an hour, much longer than I have and I have to make a decision right now and so I did what any desperate coffee drinker would do – I decided to stick with my gut and go with what I wanted all along…..
I decide on DD. But it doesn’t feel right. I walk into the alien store and it feels different, I feel out of place. Who are these faces behind the counter? What do they know about donuts and coffee? I am fearful – have I made the right choice? Will they get my coffee right?
“Next!” the unidentified woman behind the counter says.
I order my coffee, she repeats it, and delivers. I say thank you and try to catch the name on her name tag to put a name with the new face and hopefully establish a rapport but I can’t read it. Belindergata? Could that be right? I hope what is in this cup tastes better than the sound of that name.
I walk out of the store, coffee in hand but a little hazy in my head. The cure – a few sips of coffee. And my, I am surprised. It’s actually quite good. Belindergata got it right. Maybe there is hope – maybe life will be ok with this new store, this new coffee destination. Maybe in a few weeks Berlindergata and I will be new friends, sharing smiles and good wishes for a Friday morning.
But still I’m wondering what happened to the other store. I’m not suggesting conspiracy but it is a little strange. Where are all of the donuts? Did Rama and Gita take them with them wherever they may be? And who has the coffee? Did they walk out pleasantly or did they finally get fed up with all or the suburbanites and their dozen donut requests or mochachinolattes? Did they go out in a hail of donuts, frustrated by making donuts day after day, walking out of the store flinging donuts on to on to Route 56 all angry and displaced?
Whatever the case, I will get to the bottom of this. I will find out what happened. Because somewhere right now there is probably a lot of coffee beans going unused. And that, my friends, would be a tragedy. Somebody needs to save the beans. Screw the donuts, save the beans. I never wanted a donut anyways.