We are living in one crazy, funny day and age.
Okay, now truth be told, the “funny” can be seen as tragic in some instances or empowering, depending on which road you choose to take.
This thought came to me most recently as I left the Starbucks located on the east end of town. Now, a few years into our existence of being a two Starbucks town, it’s amazing just how many people depend on this place for their daily fix – be it a cup of joe, some food or hot tea.
Before proceeding, I’ll be the first to raise my hand in admission of guilt, as I too am an offender. So much so, that prior to the West F and Yosemite Starbucks closure for construction, the staff warned me. Yes, you read that right, as a regular a few of the long timers brought the remodel to my attention weeks before the doors were locked for the transformation to begin.
Monday of last week, social media was all ablaze with anxiety and a bit of hysteria as community members came to grips with their morning ‘go to’ being fenced in and closed down. Making light of it, I shared with a friend I was actually included in the company memo (I was – kind of).
Later in the week, I made my way to the east end location, collecting food for myself and java for some office mates. Hitting it at just the right time, the wait was minimal and the service just as good as my regular spot.
I feel it important to note here, that I have tried to break up with the mermaid surrounded by green on multiple occasions. The proximity to our downtown location, however, has resulted in a companionship more than serious relationship and I’m at peace with that.
Last Friday, though, a reality hit me and hit pretty hard, as I pulled into the parking lot of the east side location. As I pulled to the back, prepared to hit the drive through yet again, for a quick pick me up and a bite to eat, I was hit by a line of auto drivers with the same intention.
An analyst by nature, I quickly assessed the line versus walking in and accepted a walk inside would serve me better. Upon coming out the Drive-thru line had grown, now stretching to the start of the building, almost reaching the parking lot entrance.
My first thought simple, Oakdale has graduated to a two Starbucks town, without a doubt. As I climbed into my car, recognizing the length of time it would take those further back to actually get what they came for I thought of the insanity of this.
It is safe to say the car approximately eight cars back and then some, would be there 10-15 minutes or more, before driving off with their desired purchase. As I reflected on this, “first world problem” hit me and hit hard.
Only in a country of abundance, would one sit in their car for an unfathomable amount of time for something easily acquired at another location. Then there’s the financial cost, which is far from the 20-cent cup from back in the day.
It’s what we do right? Without even thinking, sit parked staring at our phones, perhaps texting or holding a conversation with a friend or loved one while the world spins around us. Waiting, stopped at a standstill for a special blend equal to one or two gallons of gas. Yeah … that’s a first world problem illustrated.
In short, this piece is nothing more than a reflection and perhaps for some a wake up. The next time we think we have it “bad” look to a coffee house, local restaurant parking lot or even a shopping center. We as a society continue to live in abundance, that’s blessing. Regardless of the bank account balance, job or social status if you find yourself in these places/circumstances I challenge you to shift your vision to gratitude.
Because after all, a first world problem; that’s a good problem to have.
Teresa Hammond is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 847-3021.