IF SOMEONE, SOMEDAY, decides to write my biography it will be the dullest book ever written.
I admit it – I am not a very exciting person. I move slowly – even more so in cold, rainy weather like today and my brain is marginally creative, operating as it does within the boundaries normally occupied by an 11 year old boy.
And I am a creature of habit.
It’s not that I don’t like change or that I am afraid to try anything new – it is that if I find something I like or that works for me I see no need to change. That can make for some very snore inducing days for those nearby.
I was reminded of my predictability this afternoon when I stopped by the Chapel at St. Arbucks to come up with about 500 – 700 words for this blog.
I pulled the Toyota into the same gimp spot that I have pulled into for years. I walked up to the counter to place my order and the young barista beats me to the punch, saying, “Venti Green tea, iced tea, unsweetened.”
I handed her my fancy-schmancy St. Arbucks card as she adds, “In the mornings you order iced coffee and in the afternoons you order iced tea.”
That pretty much sums it up. I’m a coffee in the morning, tea in the afternoon kind of guy. That gal has me pegged accurately.
What would happen if I broke with tradition and ordered the tea in the morning and the coffee after lunch? Would lions lay down with the lambs? Would dogs begin to consort with cats? Would the Chicago Cubs put together a winning season?
It’s hard to tell. Maybe something – maybe nothing.
I find that there is a certain comfort in my regularity. It cuts down on my decision making time allowing me extra moments for quiet reflection on the world at large. It certainly speeds things up at St. Arbucks. There are mornings when I walk through the door and my iced coffee is already sitting on the counter waiting for me. They see me pull into the parking lot and they put it together. There have actually been a few days when more than one barista has seen me coming and there are two coffees waiting for me.
“No extra charge. Consider it your free refill.”
The only variation in this morning ritual comes about when there is someone new at the register. I give them my order and then, per their recent training, they ask me my name.
“My name is Spartacus.”
“My name is Chuck Finley.”
“My name is Heisenberg.”
I try to mix it up for them. Most days when I do that one of the experienced baristas will blow my cover.
“Don’t listen to him. His name is John.”
See? Even when I try to break out of my habitual rut somebody pulls the rug out from underneath me.
On most Friday evenings my wife, the lovely and more diversified Dawn, and I have dinner with a couple of friends. We always go to the same restaurant and sit at the same table. When it comes time for me to place my order someone will speak up for me. They are invariably correct.
A few weeks ago I surprised them all and changed my order. I said, “I’ll have what she’s having.” It was a change, but just a small one because she ordered what I usually do – but I asked for raisin toast instead of rye.
I’m a rebel.
As I write this I am seated in my usual chair at St. Arbucks. Beside my computer is my Venti, green tea, iced tea, but I set it on the left side of the table this time.
I’m trying, people. I’m trying.