The following is based on a true story inspired by this post, as told by my dad.
I followed her into Starbucks. Actually, I arrived first. I was a gentleman: I opened the door.
It was the right thing to do, of course, though I was in a hurry. It was 7 a.m. I had to be at the office in less than an hour. But she, too, appeared rushed. It was the hurried click, click, click of her heels behind me that I had noticed first.
She was on the phone but mouthed “Thank you” as she and a small child walked past. Once they were through, and after a businessman had darted out, I abandoned my post and got behind them in line. Starbucks was busy that morning. I couldn’t afford to be chivalrous all day.
Inside, it was the usual clamor: the grinding and clicking and hissing of espresso machines; the people talking and laughing. I was too tired to much notice the details.
The store was slow that day, however. The seconds were moving like hours. As I waited, wondering if I should just go, I gradually became aware of the mother and child in front of me who I’d let in.
The woman was wearing a white suit and heels, both obviously name brand. Over her shoulder was a matching leather purse; the label on the flap read Coach. Her blonde hair was curled and swept neatly into a ponytail while her face, though not gorgeous, was marked prettily with mascara. She looked to be about thirty-five. She was off of the phone now and holding an iPad. She was trying to punch in its code. I noticed she was wearing a large diamond ring. The ring had to have cost at least a hundred grand.
“Mommy, hurry—my iPad!” The woman’s daughter was tugging at her skirt. She had blonde hair, too, and blue eyes, and was wearing a polka dot dress with shiny shoes that went click, click like her mother’s.
“Patience, honey. Mommy’s trying,” the woman said. The child stopped tugging. A moment later she unlocked the machine. She pointed to an open armchair and handed it to her daughter. “Go sit right there. You can play games until Mommy is done.”
“Okay!” The little girl skipped to the chair and climbed into it. With her legs straight in front of her, her shiny shoes barely reached the edge of the seat. She didn’t notice. She was already absorbed in an exciting game of “Angry Birds.”
Her mother and I were finally at the counter.
“Hi, Mr. Steve!” said the young man at the cash register. He smiled at me before turning his attention to the woman.
“Hello, Tim!” I said, shaking my head, glad for the distraction. “Busy morning! . . .”
On my way out, I saw the woman tucking the little girl into her car seat in the back of a BMW X5. She was on the phone again. The little girl was still playing with her iPad, until . . . Suddenly, abruptly, she held the iPad up to her ear. “Hello?” she said.
Images: Pinterest and personal
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