MOVarazzi

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

710. My Secret Starbucks Identity


My Starbucks name is Francesca. Or Annalise. One time it was Ocean. My Starbucks name has never been Tina or Sue.

I don’t go to Starbucks very often for the simple reason that our kitchen boasts its own fancy espresso machine, a relic from me working at the high-end kitchen store. Most mornings, I walk in my sock feet into the cold kitchen, pop the concentrated espresso capsule in the machine, and press a button. Our machine also has a milk frother pitcher that plugs in and does everything. All I have to do is show up.

Which is why I only find myself in line at Starbucks on an afternoon when I am out of capsules because Queen Virgo forgot to order more (the capsules must be procured with a click of the computer mouse, like impulsive etsy purchases, wrong-sized buyer's remorse sweaters, and discount books on Amazon).

I used to merely be my boring self when I would order my grande extra-hot latte (“Name please?” “MOV”), until one day I was in line with my friend Kim and I overheard her tell the Starbucks guy that her name was Staccato.

“What are you doing?” I hissed at Kim, worried that the Name Police might swoop down on us and demand to see her driver’s license (“Kimberly Ann Davis, eyes brown, hair blond, weight 120 pounds”).  “You’re not ‘Staccato’.”

Kim laughed an endearingly jolted laugh (somewhat staccato if you must know) and then divulged the interesting fact that she uses fake names at Starbucks.

“Why would you do that? They can easily spell and pronounce ‘Kim.’ I don’t get it.”

“I get to reinvent myself,” explained Kim-Staccato, “I can try on a different identity, like trying on shoes.”

We both reflexively looked down at Kim’s shoes: white Keds.

“I might try on five inch heels,” she continued, undaunted by my momentary shoe-gawking, “or hot pink sequined ballet slippers. But at the end of the day, you’ll find me in my Keds.” She shrugged, as if to say Everyone gives a fake name at Starbucks and if they don’t, they should.

“But, well ... I mean ... I just never …” I had no idea how to respond to that.

“MOV, think about it. Every day, you do what you are supposed to do. You get the kids off to school. You pick up the dry cleaning. You mail the birthday present. You live up to expectations. You don’t hop on the next plane to Miami, or forget to go to work, or flirt with that hot guy at your neighbor’s party. A Starbucks alias lets you live a little.”

Of course she was right. My brain whirred, searching for the files where I stored exotic names, names I might only have previously considered for a future pet golden retriever or black lab.

“Can I be Zelda or Sapphire?”

Kim guffawed. “Only if you want the Starbucks guy to think you’re a stripper.”

Fast forward to now. Like Kim, I try on different names with ease. Yesterday I was Josephine. The day before, Hannah-Marie (“Can I just write Hannah on the cup?” asked the beleaguered Starbucks girl as she glanced at the line of 15 people behind me. I cringed: “NO.”) It’s fun to be someone else for a few minutes, wondering what my husband would look like if I was Annalise or Daphne. Would he be the same The Husband, or would he be Rodrigo or Jonas?

The Starbucks barista slides my drink across the counter. “Meredith?” he calls out while looking me directly in the eye, his voice foaming over with uncertainty.

I shake my head emphatically no.

“Sorry, miss,” he apologizes, smiling.  “I thought you were someone else.”

MOV
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25 comments:

  1. Staccato is a VeRy good name, ,,,you know wHat, Cat Stay Too would be just as perplexing, and you just KnoW how a goOOd perplex ing can B in the Early AM at the drive up window, when caffeine is in in in dire need. What? Meow. Let's just close with a quiet [meow].[meow].

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    1. I am liking the name Staccato, and the name Guitar also sounds intriguing..........

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  2. I've only read the first two paragraphs thus far and got too excited - are you talking about the Nespresso machine with the milk heating frothing R2D2 robot attachment? I have one and I let it sleep in my bed.

    Ok I finished reading. Today at Starbucks is free latte day if you introduce yourself to the Barista...so, Lang it shall be.

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    1. damn straight I'm talking about the nespresso machine. I can see why you let it sleep in your bed, I keep mine in the safety deposit box. :) I'm the only one with the key.

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    2. Tribute to you in my post today. No big deal.

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    3. wowza!!! are you kidding me, that is TOTALLY a big deal! Thank you!!!!!!! and I love the drawing of your sister..........

      xxo
      MOV

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  3. That sounds like fun, especially if the same person is serving you all the time. I could be Vladimir, or Tarquin, or Archibald. I'm stealing this idea.

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  4. The name police swooped down on me last week when my Mother and I went to Starbucks. She was paying. I told them I was erica and when they took her order, she told them "erica" also, because she assumed they just wanted a name for the order, rather than each drink. Starbucks Girl looked at us skeptically and stated, "You're both named erica. That's dumb." We aren't both named erica, Mother's name is Mom, but they way she said it rubbed me the wrong way. Mom can be erica, too, if she wants. What if I was erica Jr.? So I replied back to her, equally snarky, "Yes, we are both erica. We like our name." Mother can't lie, even if she is not the one actually speaking the lie, so she quickly corrected her name.
    You just named off all my impulsive internet purchases. Also, I have a hard time not buying groupons. I buy groupons for ridiculous things that I would never purchase, but I just can't pass up a deal, even if it is for pole dancing classes, bikini waxes or a bobble head made to look like your pet.

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    1. LOVE this. Yeah, as far as I know, there is no rule that the universe cannot house two Ericas. I do not like your barista and I hope you did not tip her!

      And yes, the Internet is evil that way, isn't it? I would like to see a bobble head like my pet cat, thanks for making me want to buy one of those now.

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  5. Heh heh heh... I can totally relate to using a public persona different than my own. During the 3 years my Mom was living in assisted-care and nursing homes, I would always sign the Visitor Log with my name of the day. It could be Joey Ramone or Cheetah Chrome or George W. Bush or perhaps Hunter S. Thompson. I got a kick out of knowing that someone, sometime would review the logs and do a double-take at one of my entries, and that actually happened once. At the nursing home where Mom ultimately left this mortal coil, I signed in as W.J. Clinton one morning and turned to go to her room. One of the staffers happened to see my entry, laughed out loud and called out "So... YOU'RE the one!" I guess it was a running gag among them about which famous/infamous person would show up at the place. That's a great way to remember the place that took really good care of Mom in her final days.

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    1. HA! That is EXACTLY my sense of humor. I love to make restaurant reservations under "Paltrow" or "Pitt" or "Clooney" just to keep them guessing. I'm glad that you were able to entertain the staff a bit.

      And I am very sorry about your mom. Did you get your awesome sense of humor from her? I am betting you did. :)

      xxo
      MOV

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    2. TYVM... yep, my Mom was a real card, even when she was in her final days. I'd visit her in the nursing home and, even tho she couldn't speak, we'd watch her Mexican telenovelas with the sound off and I'd do all the voices in mock-Spanish, cussing and saying wild things for the actors. She would TOTALY CRACK UP, pounding her bed and laughing her butt off, but without making any noise. It was weird and wonderful, sad but hilarious. I also use a Munster connection when I'm filling in forms that are of no real consequence... my address is always 1313 Mockingbird Lane. BTW, I am totally enamored of your blog and writing style, one of my fave places to link to. I also appreciate your liking my blog at Gort Nation... I am a neophyte.

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    3. Your mom sounds like she was a really great person (and a total character!), and your love for her shines through in your words here.

      1313 Mockingbird Lane-- LOVE IT!!!!!!! I wish more people had that kind of goofy and irreverant sense of humor. I was at a school-related sporting function the other day and one of the moms (who I know to be a devout Mormon) was going on and on about how they like to play wii when her extended family comes to visit, blah blah blah, the wii is so fun, etc, and I totally cut her off and said, "We don't do that for fun when my family visits. We just sit around and drink heavily." The silence was deafening, and then she finally regained her vocal chords and made an excuse to walk away. At least I can entertain myself. (One of the other moms DID laugh, so I guess I entertained her too.)

      xxo
      MOV

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    4. BWAAAAAAAWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! Brilliant, I'll have to remember that line. One thing I've learned: having a jug of chilled kamikazis in the fridge is never a bad thing when visitors invade our pad, because EVERYONE will have at least one shot. Laughing and hilarity will ensue.

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  6. Me and my mum wanted to get some sort of coffee/espresso machine, but we decided against it as were mad caffeine addicts as it is. We'd probably be the scariest, peppiest, on-edge people in Manchester if we had our own nespresso machine :/

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    1. but that just makes you write more, right? and who said peppy is a bad thing?

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  7. I am in favor of secret identities. It is kind of fun.

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  8. Hi I’m Heather! Please email me when you get a chance! I have a question about your blog. HeatherVonsj(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Welcome to my blog, Heather!

      I have emailed you, check your inbox. :)

      best,
      MOV

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  9. Oh. My. Gosh. This is like a door that just opened for me. I never even thought of this before and I have no idea why. HOW AWESOME. From now on I am totally giving a fake name at Starbucks. Since I had all my kids I sometimes mourn the loss of getting to pick out additional names for the kids I won't be having. From now on I will be using them at Starbucks! What brilliance!

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    1. Thank you, Holly! I mean, er, Isabella!

      xxo
      MOV
      (or Miranda.........)

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  10. Darn it, why didn't I think of that? That's so hilarious!

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When you write a comment, it makes me feel like I won the lottery or at the very least like I ate an ice-cream sundae. (This has nothing to do with the fact that I did just eat an ice-cream sundae.)