Posted tagged ‘order’

Growing Up Clean

June 16, 2014

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                   June 16, 2014

 

                                    

 

There are some families who are well acquainted with dirt. It is welcomed into the house like the family dog, reclining wherever it pleases and shaking itself into a cloud of castoffs.

My family was different. Dirt, mud, and the other suspects were expected to stand at attention at the door and not advance from there. Our house was clean. The bald head of Mr. Clean was featured prominently in the closet, ready for action.

I wasn’t that into it! You might say that it was mandated to me to be clean. A bath at night, brushing my teeth, even cleaning my plate…those were like Biblical commandments. My underwear and socks always needed to be clean, also, because the threat of being in an accident and being found with dirty underwear was always a dreaded possibility. So every morning I had to make sure I put on a clean pair of Towncraft tighty-whities! My mom worked at Penney’s, so Towncraft was the only option for our family in those days.

My dad was clean…in a different way! Yes, his clothes were always neatly folded, but his cleanliness could be seen in tasks. When he sliced a tomato or an onion it was almost always a clean cut…a perfect slice ready to grace the top of one of his hamburgers. When he cleaned the grill it shone! The inside of the family car was always pristine. The lawnmower was seldom dusted with grass clippings, because Dad would keep it clean.

Mom was like an army sergeant inspecting the barracks. She would come in the living room right when the latest episode of Combat was at its tense climax and tell me that my room looked like a tornado had hit it. I was beg for a few minutes of “clean leave”, but would always be denied. Down the hallway I would run only to discover that the extent of the bedroom tornado damage was a bedspread slightly uneven in its slope down the side, and a closet door halfway open. To Mom “clean” was a state of utopia that could not be allowed even the hint of chaos.

My hair was clean…not from shampoo but rather from the barber. I was buzzed clean until I was in high school. Sometimes a few hairs in front were given amnesty, but the rest of my head resembled Mr. Clean.

When I look back on those days I realize that our family didn’t have much, but our house was always so spic and span we just thought our lack of clutter was because we were neat freaks.

Cleanliness was next to godliness, and our house was so clean we could touch godliness with a white glove!

The Grinch at Starbucks

December 26, 2013

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                   December 25, 2013

The elderly gentleman arrived at the entry door of Starbucks just ahead of a forty-something man with a serious look on his face and a cell phone attached to his ear. The senior opened the door and invited the other visitor to enter ahead of him. He did and gave his doorman a half-nod.

This was the second visit to the store that morning for the wiser of the two. The second cup of coffee was free for him, so he had taken a morning drive as he sipped on the first cup and then stopped back on his way home. His wife knew his routine, and knew how long it took him to drink twenty-four ounces of the dark roast.

The forty-something hadn’t changed out of his flannel pants, presumably the ones he had worn to bed the night before. He stepped up to the counter and gave no reply to the barista who greeted him.

Harry, the elderly gent, took his time moving from the entrance to his place in line behind the man. He stood there with his coffee cup in hand patiently waiting. The man in the flannel pants in front of him began giving his order…”Latte with skim milk…three shot mocha cappuccino…vanilla latte skim extra shot…americano…medium roast coffee…caramel macciato…three sausage breakfast sandwiches…and a pumpkin spice latte skim.”

     “What size on those drinks, sir?”

      The customer looked perturbed to even have the question be asked. “All talls!”

       “Yes, sir! That will be $31.55.”

       “$31.55! Good Lord! Are you sure about that?”

      The young woman with the patience of Job printed out a copy of the bill. “Yes, sir! Here’s the breakdown on each purchase.”

      The agitated mid-life crisis grabbed it and scanned the figures.

“Cash or credit, sir?”

      “Credit!” bellowed her challenger. The wallet was whipped out of his back pocket to show his disgust. He peered into the pockets of the fake leather, hesitated, and then searched again more frantically.

       “Is there a problem, sir?”

       “I’m missing my credit card,” replied the embarrassed adversary. “I must have pulled it out of my wallet at home and…”

       “Allow me to take care of it, my friend.” The voice of the elderly gentleman was friendly and understanding. “Amanda, would you put this gentleman’s purchases on my bill?”

       “I can’t let you do that. I don’t even know you,” said the man.

“No, but Amanda here does, and she knows that I’m going to get a refill on the dark roast before I even order, and leave me a little room for cream. Isn’t that right, Amanda?”

      “That’s right, Wally.”

      “Sir, I don’t know if…”

      “Let me ask you something, friend. I take it that you aren’t going to drink all of those lattes and drinks, and eat all of those breakfast sandwiches yourself. And I’m guessing that since you are wearing those flannel pants that you are returning home to a place where a few other people close to you are waiting to get caffeinated. This is just my opinion, but I would say it would be better for you to accept my gift here than to disappoint a houseful of people there.”

       The man glanced back and forth for a few moments pondering his dilemma, and then said, “Okay!”

       “Each one of us has found ourselves in awkward situations such as this. It is at those times that I pray that God would put someone behind me to pick me up from my mistake and let me know it will be okay. Perhaps some day soon you’ll be that person

next in line.”

        The man nodded with a look of partial appreciation and he slowly moved down a few feet to the counter where his drinks and food would appear. A few minutes later, with drink carrier and bag in hand, he stepped towards the door to depart. As he opened the door he hesitated and then looked back at his Starbucks savior.

“Wally…thank you!”

         Wally’s wrinkled face broke into a warm smile. He raised his coffee cup to the man and nodded “You’re welcome.”