Wish You Were Here: Breaking Up is Hard to Brew

photo: GMW

Dear Starbucks,

I miss you. It’s been one month, two weeks and three days since we last saw each other, (not that I’m counting or anything)… not that I’m pining for the purest, most unadulterated caffeine I’ve ever known or wishing I hadn’t ended things, (and so abruptly). But our love, it came with a cost, ($5.85 to be exact).

And sure, were there times I convinced myself (with a little help from those gold stars) that we could make it work, especially for $4.78? Does honeymoon start with an H?

(Dramatic sigh) I remember our love, faded now like an old Patsy Cline song or the stuff I dye my hair with on a Monday and by Wednesday leaves me looking like Cruella Deville.

But now I find myself unraveling, undone by my longing for you, or more specifically your oat milk latte light foam with maybe a side of marshmallow dream bar. That’s all it is, just a dream now, a dream that keeps me alive as I scrape shellacked breakfast cereal from the passenger seat of my mom van or dislodge the equivalent of a full head of hair from my shower drain or just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, attempt to refill a prescription for leprechaun at the pharmacy after hours.

It’s times like these, I remember your scent, your warmth but most importantly, your Buy 1, Get 1 Free between the hours of 2- and 4 p.m. on Thursdays and sometimes Tuesdays, if memory serves me.

What we had was steamy… who could deny it? Certainly, not the espresso machine; like The Notebook or Bridges of Madison County only without all the sex and obviously more coffee. Sometimes I park in back of you and my hand, it just grazes over the door handle and for a brief second, I really do consider jumping out and running into a very long line of people who didn’t think ahead to use the app and so will likely spend the better part of their morning waiting for something they could have made at home.

I’m not judging. I know all too well the power of a good franchise can be narcotic and sometimes nuanced, especially when you just need to escape for a 5 to 7 minute wait time from the incessant whining of a toddler who insists the buckles on his high chair must be fastened but only by him and only while holding a green matchbox car in each hand.

You knew me. I felt seen and heard and not just because you had a label with my name on it or thought to save my transaction history or make me offers I couldn’t refuse. Remember the time I bought four lattes four days in a row just so I could get half off one latte on the fifth day? A girl doesn’t forget these things. But because you made me feel awake again, alive, and like I wasn’t possibly, probably, positively going to lose my shit around 3 p.m., Monday through Friday and occasionally on Sunday mornings when my head was spinning with so many demands and not so polite requests from little and not so little people who think the word mom is synonymous with maid or when asking my daughters to pick up their wet towels off the floor might elicit the sounds one makes getting their toenails removed.

It was then that I needed you most. Then in those dire moments of my utmost despair and downright delirium that my hands searched and found you, oh mobile app, my mobile app. Oh, fearless leader in the battle against exhaustion, fatigue and sometimes just those days when it takes an excessive amount of restraint not to throw a couple of choice words (hint: arugula ain’t one of them) at my husband when he decides an entire bag of M & M’s might make a suitable bedtime snack for our two year old and then hands him off for the hard part.

Breaking up is hard to do and while you had me at Good Morning, Lesley, Good Afternoon, Lesley and shamefully on some days when I couldn’t hear my younger daughter spout one more TikTok “fact” on Antarctica conspiracy theories, (think aliens, elves and the government), Good Evening, Lesley too.

And while you’ll always be the one that got away or, more accurately, cost me the equivalent of a modest timeshare somewhere south of the Carolinas, it’s time for me to wake up and smell the coffee, the kind I brew myself, at home. And while Paul Varjak definitely said it best for me — “Okay, life’s a fact, people do fall in love, people do belong to each other, because that’s the only chance anybody’s got for real happiness.” — and while admittedly frightening, there’s perhaps no one in this world I relate more to than Holly Golightly, for now anyway, real happiness can be found with the one I truly belong to — my Nespresso Machine.

Until then, I won’t see you soon (or be parked in curbside spot number 4).

Affectionately (no longer) yours,

Lesley Kirschner