It is past oh-one-hundred, and I am editing, still. Magdelana fell asleep on the couch snuggled with Mum and baby brother, and I carried her giant form to bed. Johannes requested a diaper change a few minutes ago, so I spun the roulette wheel and pulled off a slick move in the semi-dark, praying to avoid a midnight shower. Came out clean. He grunted thanks, and started loading up the next one.
I went into the late evening with loads of work still to do, and a score of unfinished home projects. I had no time for fun.
So logically, I decided to drop it all and take Gang of Four to the river. Grabbed a huge iced chai in town...
...went through Starbucks drive-thru and ordered a venti iced soy chai, light ice, with whip, plus one shot of decaf espresso. Was a mouthful. Guy taking the order was laughing. Girl handing us the drink was laughing. Bad laughing? No. Good laughing, the kind where everyone can laugh over something a little ridiculous without making anyone feel stupid about it.
And whatever else there is to say about Starbucks, let me say this:
1. They make good, consistent coffee.
2. They have consistently friendly workers.
I go local. I support local. I like local. Go Mom and Pop. But I don't really apologise for liking Starbucks as a company. Give me something better, and I am there. But don't give me that bored, slumped shoulder, no eye contact, sigh of annoyance over being bothered to take an order and imply that I should respect that "Friends Don't Let Friends Drink At Starbucks" sticker peeling on the register when you are not giving me any better coffee, experience, or smile than Howie Schultz & Company does.
I may change my mind next week. And yes, they probably were laughing a little at us. But they were still nice about it. And laughed to our faces, instead of snickering behind our backs.
So we headed across the 14 to a beautiful little shaded park area overlooking the Columbia. Boat trailers and gasoline fumes and burger juice from Little Puffin Cafe on the water sneaked their way up as we sipped chilled chai and Naked smoothies. And one of us sneaked his way onto a breast or two for a late evening treat.
Magdelana and I raced around, and jumped massively. We may have laughed very loud, once or twice or continuously. We used an awful restroom, which most public ones are, but they did have both seat covers and hand soap.
And then we cruised home, soundtracked by ERIK SATIE and ANTONIO VIVALDI. Settled in, the Others nodded off, and I logged on back to work, and here I am.
I am glad we went on a date.