I also gave up alcohol for Lent the same year, which turned out to be very informative when it came time to look at my drinking for real. Coffee — strong coffee, like, you can float a horseshoe in it strong — is my cocktail of choice now, and yes, I know — I’m substituting. Yep, I sure am.
So, I pretty much know where I can get a good cuppa in every port. Very much like when I moved to New York City in the ’80s and my sister, Brenna —who’d already been living there a year — gave me the 411 on everything from the best grocery store to the best laundry (though they still have a shirt of mine because I lost my ticket) and best of all — best rest room, the Bonwit-Teller on 57th and 5th. And of course, I discovered, you can get a great cup of coffee just about anywhere in New York City.
But now I am back home in The City of Big Shoulders, and I must say, Chicago is no slouch when it comes to the lifeblood either. A new chain of shops has been opening in Chicago and they use oat milk as a non-dairy alternative. YUM! Oat milk cappuccino — my new fave for caffeine delivery. In a lovely cup, table by the window, breathe, eyes closed, sip, not a problem in the world.
One of the chain’s shops is in a very hip neighborhood where my son, Denvir, hangs out and works, so, last week I texted him to say I was going to be in the ’hood and did he want to meet for coffee? As I was walking up to the door, a good looking man was going in at the same time, we smiled, and he went to pull the door open for me. After a couple of tries we both notice it says “push.” We laugh, and he says; “I see pu— and figure, yeah, I can take it from here.” Oh, cute and funny? Hello!
We walk up to the counter, and I let him order first. He’s friendly and upbeat with the wait staff, and then he inquires about their OAT MILK ICED COFFEE! He orders two and then turns to me and says, “What will you have?” Whoa. I hesitated as if to say, “Really?” He reassures me and I ordered my fave.
I move over to the next counter to wait, feeling elated by the exchange. His order comes up, he steps up to get them, and I notice he’s wearing really cool shoes. Guys, you most likely know this by now, women are into shoes. ANY shoes. My order is next. His are to go. I’m going to stay and savor the moment.
I find my table near the window to wait for my kid, and look up. Mr. Dreamboat is at the door, hands full, we laugh a little and I want to motion for him to “Pull,” but we both get the knowing comic look, and he pulls the door open to the beautiful day and the lucky person who getting the second iced oat milk coffee from him.
Later, I realized that exchange actually healed something. Twice before, I had visited this shop and gotten slightly irritated. Once, I was cut off as I entered by a really rude dude. This fellow went right by me as I reached for the door, and was completely oblivious to anyone around him while he was checking his phone and made sure he got to the counter first. He seemed high to me. My son came around the corner at the same time and witnessed this sleepwalker and we just gave each other the “What the hell?” look. Which of course I love, because he gets protective of me, and wants to confront the jerk — ahh… my prince of a kid!
The next time was a few weeks later, and it happened again. I think it was THE SAME GUY! Honestly, what are the chances? This time, though, I was in a good place and just blew it off.
So, life is balance, yes? Even when it doesn’t seem like it, I still believe that everything is in divine order. I believe in the unseen world, and that we are in the field of infinite possibilities like fish in water. I believe that I am in the flow if I choose to be — not pushed, but led, by this field.
And we always have a choice. So, which scenario will I call up now? The dreamboat one, of course! That’s the one that brings me joy and lifts my spirits and my vibration. Because I want joy more than I enjoy complaining. Thank you, dreamboat man, for passing it on and paying it forward.
Oh, the ripples of a random act of kindness — as delicious as a good cup of coffee with a beautiful heart on top. Yum!