One New Year’s Resolution kept.
Last January, I shared my short list of New Year’s Resolutions. Like most people who try to make and keep resolutions, I pretty much failed.
One resolution I kept, however, was the one swearing off Starbucks. I wasn’t necessarily swearing off Starbucks coffee — after all, it’s pretty common in many restaurants. Instead, I was swearing off Starbucks as a source for coffee (and anything else) — in other words, the Starbucks coffee shops.
They were everywhere. In town, at airports, in malls. In some cities — I’m looking at you, Seattle! — they were across the street from each other. You could walk up or drive through. It was the ultimate in ubiquitous convenience.
It was the supermarket shops that got me. How easy was it to grab a latte before rolling down the produce aisle with my cart? How much time did I waste standing on line? How much money did I throw away on mediocre coffee served by often snooty baristas?
So I swore off Starbucks and actually stuck with it for an entire year. Yes: I went a full year without buying anything at any of the hundreds of Starbucks coffee shops I passed in the course of my life.
It wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be — except when I went grocery shopping, of course. I really wanted that warm cup off coffee in my hand or in the cart’s cup holder while I shopped. But even that became easier over time. And as the year came to a close, I began to feel a real sense of achievement at meeting this silly goal.
Where did I get my coffee instead of Starbucks? Well, west coast states have drive-through coffee stands all over the place. In the Wenatchee area where I live, Dutch Brothers is big — there are numerous convenient locations — and they’re even big in California, where I go annually for my frost control work. Aut-to Mocha is a local chain with numerous locations in the area. Both of these have punch cards that give you a free drink when you buy 10. (I have punch cards in each of my vehicles.) I began frequenting those places instead of Starbucks. In most cases, I liked the coffee better. And when I was at SeaTac’s Terminal C, it was a real pleasure to wait behind two people instead of a dozen when I wanted coffee while waiting for a flight.
Oddly, just yesterday I found myself in an Albertson’s with a Starbucks coffee booth. My year was over; I’d achieved my resolution. Celebrate with a cup of Starbucks on a chilly, rainy morning? It was the worst cup of coffee I’d bought in a year — weak and bitter. Ick.
Maybe I’ll just extend that resolution for another year.