From the Archives

From the Archives: So You Think You Are a Starbucks Fan? Lessons Never Learned.

“Ready, Set, COFFEE…and GO!” seems to be the riddle of everyday life for most people. Why do we need coffee? Why do we like it so much? Why does it look good in pictures? Why can just one cup of coffee get 1M likes on instagram? Is it a god from the divine serenity of Mother Nature?

I started drinking coffee since…well let’s just say, I remember sitting in the front seat of my father’s truck…well, I always had preference and my brothers were always sent to the back because…well that’s the way it should be right? Running to the truck from the kitchen because time was always of the essence for school, my dad would start the engine, take a right turn out of the neighborhood, drive through exactly one stoplight to get to my destination–no, not school, duh, Starbucks! Everyday, from day one of Junior High until I could start driving years later–tall, white chocolate macchiato…my dad had the order memorized…shortly, thereafter, the order became tall, nonfat, soy, chai tea latte, dirty…then we could continue driving towards my non-priority stop–school. I drank my coffee black at home, but at Starbucks I ordered different because it was like going to buy a bottle of water…you pick the prettiest bottle, of course.

Just to set the tone, yes, I love coffee, no matter what.

So, once upon a time, my parents decided to take our yearly vacation trip…this year, Guatemala…absolutely fabulous, definitely recommend the adoring country, so just go, cool, thanks! Anyway, at that time of my life, I was in the years of having a bottomless stomach, so eating was an every two seconds thing, and if I did not get food, well…I would find my resources…like what I did in Guatemala.

As tourist, we went to their annual coffee festival in, as I have emphasized, the amazing country of Guatemala. The people are so divinely friendly, angelical to say the least, offering coffee almonds, coffee this, coffee that, practically any food with coffee…all free…all given like presents as I walk towards every stand to see the different beans and exhibitions laid out–like a queen, no…a princess. So I had a lot, and I even had many pure coffee beans just to taste, but I ate them like blueberries, just popping them in my mouth.

As I asked about 200 times when lunch was going to be, my family finally landed at a quaint restaurant near the festival. I obviously had my fabulous appetizer from the festival, but I was ready to eat hard core, now.

We sat down, I started pouring the bottled water into the glass, but I was hands were shaking…I’m just looking around to see if anyone noticed but…naw…

I started feeling weird like if my heart was pumping twice as hard, but for some reason (and trust me it was not like the Grinch, where I became unsassy and sweet all of a sudden), I translated that into “maybe, I just need to pee?” So, I excused myself from the table and went to the bathroom…for about 30 min…my father knocks on the door: “umm, Laura? is everything ok? The food is ready, and…well, it’s been awhile. Are you sick?”

Sorry if this is TMI, but I was sitting on the toilet (it was a small bathroom like half the size of a walk-in closet at a studio apartment), with the toilet seat closed, fully clothed don’t worry, I was not doing anything because as it turned out I did not have to pee, I just felt numb around my legs. I tried standing up, and…I fell. I opened the bathroom door stumbling on my legs and my dad has the whole “are you drunk again face?” (which obviously not at my age). He could tell I was breathing strangely, just huffing and puffing like I had ran a marathon and won, of course. I stumbled on a nearby sofa in the waiting area of the restaurant with the help of my father.

Bam, I couldn’t move my legs at all at this point. I remember looking at them and punching them just to make sure I could feel pain, which I could, but I could not move them. I was more worried about that than the tour guide, who was trained as a nurse, unable to get a pulse because my heartbeat was going so fast.

The next best thing was to take a taxi to the nearest hospital because at that point I’m on the point of passing out and looking at stars in the corners of my eyes. As they picked me up and threw me in the back seat of the taxi (because an ambulance is just out of the question where we were located), we finally arrive to a clinic. They roll me in on a bed, and the nurses immediately poke my arm with an IV, which at that point my arms had zero sensation, so pretty much all I could do was blink. I went through two bags of IV fluids. The nurses told me I needed to pee to get out all the caffeine. That seemed simple enough, but wait…I can’t move…

So yes, they hand me the plastic bucket that forms to my fabulous rear, and I was expected to pee in front of them on the bed in the bucket without moving my legs for a better target…one of the weirdest experiences in my life.

Don’t fret, fifteen minutes later after a heart test with all the wires stuck to my chest to make sure my heart was not in danger of a future heart attack from the shock my heart had, I walked, no, I skipped out of the hospital ready to eat my meal that was clearly gone…yes, only 15 minutes…so I had to wait for breakfast, my favorite meal of the day.

My breakfast the next day?

Fruit and of course, coffee 🙂

Here I am today, drinking my second cup of coffee by the way…

Lessons to not be learned:

  1. If you can’t feel your legs, then you’ll probably end up peeing in a bucket with an audience.
  2. I was about 100 pounds at the age of 13 or 14, so definitely take into consideration how much of anything you consume.
  3. Guatemalan coffee is still my preferred choice, and I still buy the whole beans, so I can grind them myself and leave my habitat rejuvenated…I guess it’s my version of yoga?

What’s your lesson not learned? 

**As for the picture, I had a weird time in my life when I had a fascination of circles, dots, or bubbles, explaining my outfit in the picture, and of course, I would be smiling, as my mom is crying in the corner. Furthermore, my whole room back at home had dots and circles on the walls, and by the way, my walls were lime green…yes, I was a freak…well, I still am as a 24 year old, I guess…but hey, YOU BE YOU :)**


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