I’m hooked. I’m totally, and utterly hooked. Coffee is my daily must, but Chai is my dirty little secret. To make it even worse… my oldest daughter is my dealer. My dealer has the sweetest face, and mad Chai making skills. LOOK AT THAT FACE! SO INNOCENT!
It all began the day my friend Tonya came to visit me at work. She innocently asked me if I wanted something from Starbucks. I told her I had never had anything from there and she replied just a little too quickly, “I have just the thing for you!” When Tonya arrived, she hands me this beautiful, white cup, with the siren staring into my soul. I cautiously asked, “What’s this?” She said, “Skinny Vanilla Chai Latte! I love them!”
Here’s a confession: I’m a little weird and I smell everything before I eat or drink it. I’m not talking about a little sniff of: “Is this bad?” It’s a: “Did someone slip poison in this?” sniff. Even if I made it. You just never know.
Anyway, I smell the Chai through the small hole in the lid. It was a warm combination of clove, cinnamon, ginger, and other smells I couldn’t quite get. Nor did I care! As I drank the spicy drink, the siren from the cup, reached into my chest, and ripped out my heart. Yup, I was hooked. Quickly, before I forgot, I asked her to text me the drink so that I knew how to order it when I arrived at Starbucks in the morning. If I waited that long. (I didn’t.)
At first, I always ordered it the same way: “Venti, Skinny Vanilla Chai Latte!” Then, I found out you could change it up and get it without the vanilla. You can even get it iced for the warm months! Starbucks had my soul. I was then a girl, strung out on Chai. Now, I know that coffee has more caffeine than Chai, so I supplemented my caffeine intake at night with a few cups of coffee. And no, coffee doesn’t keep me awake, but it keeps me highly caffeinated!
One very sad day, I had to wave goodbye to my lovely baristas when I moved to Southern Vermont. It had NO Starbucks! I was disgusted! Why should anyone have to live without their drink?? I began to question my move as the withdrawal process began, and rebounded hard and heavy with coffee. I tried to fill the hole in my Chai-deprived heart.
Then one day it happened. Angels came down from the sky and granted Starbucks upon our quaint town. Tears of joy streamed down my face as I knew I would soon be reunited with my beloved Chai. Within a week of it opening, the girls knew my name. The addiction began all over. I swear. My co-worker was so nervous, she posted the below picture, asking if there was an addiction hotline! Judge if you must, but I don’t care!
Then another exciting opportunity happened! My daughter Haley began looking for jobs around our area, and I may have selfishly suggested Starbucks. She applied, interviewed and was hired! I think I was more excited at the news than Haley was. While she was excited about the job, I was excited for another excuse to go there.
Haley loved it there immediately, and when she explained her employee discount, I loved her being there! I innocently asked, “Hook your mother up?” She looked at me and said her discount was for her. I think she discovered my motives behind her working there. DAMMIT! I played my card too quickly!
As the weeks went along, the circle of Haley’s trust slowly opened to me. First, it began with her offering to buy me a drink using the app on my phone. Which grew into her paying for my Chai. Currently we are at the occasional “I’ll put my numbers into the system so you get my discount” level. Ahhhh! The sweet smell of Chai!
Listen. I’ve truly tried weaning myself off from Chai, and just sticking to coffee. I know that there’s tons of sugar in it. I know I have an issue. Every time I try to break up with Chai, I’m convinced there’s a conversation at the local Starbucks that goes like this:
Head Dealer: Haley! Sales have dropped and more specifically, Chai sales have dropped!
Head Dealer: Yes, and I’ve noticed your mother hasn’t come in lately.
Haley: Yeah, I don’t know why.
Head Dealer: It doesn’t matter why Haley! Get her back in here! Our numbers are bad!
Haley: On it!
Why am I convinced of this? Because suddenly, Haley started walking out of work with a Chai for me. And I didn’t even ask for it! Or she will say: “Let me run in and grab you a Chai” and before I can say no, she’s off with my phone to pay. Sometimes she grabs me one in the morning when I drop her off, and then one at night when I pick her up. She even has her co-workers in on it. Just yesterday, I walked out with TWO Chai lattes because two different dealers, I mean, employees made them. I’m convinced they are feeding the monkey on my back, and making their pockets fat.
You own me Starbucks. I am your bitch. I love you.
And no… I don’t get paid, or compensated, in any way for this post. I’m just a junkie, sharing my love of a drink.