The Time I had to Check a Fool at Starbucks
So, this has nothing to do with journalism, but I need to tell you guys about the foolishness I beheld at Starbucks a few months ago.
This was a Sunday. The Lord’s day. Son-day. The Holy day. And I went into the Starbucks around the corner from church to get my signature blueberry-yogurt muffin and a bottled water before getting my worship on.
I waited in the long line and was super excited when it was my turn to order. Naturally, my stutter was too (😒). When I say I could NOT get one word out, I mean it. I was struggling to order my precious blueberry muffin. That’s when I heard him.
Behind me in the line, some boy laughed this hearty, pretentious laugh and, seemingly to his friends, said, “is she serious? What’s wrong with her? Guys, look!” He did not say this with concern, no. His disrespectful tone gave him away: he was attempting to make me a punchline.
The lady at the register looked at the boy, rolled her eyes then looked back at me.
Now, I would love to tell you guys that I let this slide, that I let this little boy live. Since it was a Sunday, I would love to say that I was sanctified and Holy-Ghost-filled and refrained from cursing this child out.
But NO. I turned around with my best Michelle Obama eye roll and looked this child in his face (this guy was clearly a grown man, but I’m gonna call him a child anyway).
Side note: This dude was just what I expected. He looked like one of Donald Trump’s sons. He looked like the kind of guy who mixes up “you’re” and “your.” He looked like his daddy bought him into NYU. He looked like he’d go purging if he could. He had creases in his pants. He looked like the kind of person who eats kale. I don’t know why, but I just KNOW he’s had a mullet at some point in his life. He looked like the ghost of white privilege past and present. But let me get back to the story.
So, the thing about me is, when I catch an attitude I get really fluent. And I had an attitude. So I said (to be honest, I can’t remember my exact words, but it went something like this):
“First of all, you’re rude. I stutter. So it takes me a bit longer to order, but you need to chill. You’re gonna get your bland coffee and your funky little scone. And laughing? How old are you? 3? You just made yourself look foolish in front of all of your little friends. Bye, Felicia. Actually, you look like a Dylan. Bye, Dylan.”
And I added a hair flip for affect.
I turned back to the lady at the register who mouthed a “you go, girl” and I politely ordered my signature blueberry-yogurt muffin and bottled water. She took my order, I paid and then stepped to the side.
Trump Jr. and the Privilege Posse were up next to order. I didn’t give them a second look, but I’m sure I heard one of his friends say, “Dude, you were really rude.”
All jokes (and eye rolls) aside. There is a way in which we, as a society, respond to the “disabled” — whether it be a stutterer, amputee, someone with mental illness, whomever — and it’s not appropriate.
I wholeheartedly believe that there should be no one who simply “doesn’t know” what stuttering is. And even if they don’t, the idea of someone speaking, walking, thinking, functioning differently than most should not prompt negativity. We need to get our lives.
But I’m sipping my tea.