It took forever.
F o r e v e r.
I sat in my chair behind her as she had this long conversation with the poor clerk. As I far as I could figure she wanted something non-caffeinated ... and when she was shown the list of things that were non-caffeinated she looked confused and said, "But I want a coffee."
The clerk explained that these were coffees without caffeine. "Why are you trying to make me have decafeinated?" The clerk looked confused but eventually they settled on a coffee, with caffeine. Then she wanted to order a treat but she wasn't sure if she wanted the cinnamon bun or the cinnamon scone. It was impossible for her to decide if she wanted it heated or not.
And I steamed.
Hurry up. Just make the damn decision and hurry up.
I looked behind me, everyone was getting frustrated.
Then, then she asked if the coffee place across the street would be cheaper. The clerk said she didn't drink coffee there so she didn't know. Then she remembered that she'd been given a gift card, was it for Starbucks she wondered. It took 73 hours for her to find it in her purse and confirm that it was indeed for Starbucks. The clerk swiped the card while the old woman told her how her son had bought her the card for Christmas but she thought she'd never use it. Right then I hated her son, I hated her ability to reproduce. Come on!
Then, then, then she had to decide what kind of milk she wanted in the coffee. Her doctor wanted her to cut back on the fat, but skim milk didn't taste like whole milk, did it? The line up behind me first grew and then people just started to leave.
If she had any hearing at all she could have heard the frustration escaping me like a slow leak on a bike tire. But she didn't. Instead she just smiled at the clerk who busied about getting her order.
Finally she was done.
In an instant I was at the counter.
I smiled and quickly ordered. Two teas. One green, one black.
I looked back at the line up hoping they noticed my crisp efficiency ordering. Maybe in a wheelchair but quick, decisive, a man to be reckoned with.
The clerk was getting my stuff and keeping an eye on the elderly lady as she made her way to a table. When she sat down she looked up at waved to the clerk who waved back.
I smiled, sweetly, and said, "How do you keep your patience?"
The clerk looked shocked then she smirked, "Well, I'm just a clerk so her taking a little bit of time doesn't frustrate me like it does all the really important people in the line up."