The Thoughts of a Barista Who Waited Too Long to Ask a Stranger What He Meant by "the Regular"

  1. "Coming right up!"
  2. Wait.
  3. I don't know that guy.
  4. I don't know what his regular is.
  5. I should ask him.
  6. He turned around.
  7. I'll ask Paul at the register.
  8. "Psst, Paul, the guy in the peacoat over there. What's his regular?"
  9. Paul said he's never seen that guy before in his life.
  10. Ok, Paul, I don't need you to go on and on about how you never forget a face.
  11. I'll ask Mary.
  12. "Pssst, Mary, do you know what the man over there in the peacoat's regular is?"
  13. Mary doesn't know what a peacoat is.
  14. How does Mary not know what a peacoat is?
  15. "It's like a heavy wool jacket."
  16. I think? Is that a good way to describe a peacoat?
  17. She doesn't know his regular.
  18. What do I do?
  19. I feel like it's been too long to say something.
  20. Think, Rachel, think.
  21. He confidently asked for his regular. You don't do that unless you are sure the person taking your order knows you.
  22. I really don't think I know him though.
  23. I would have remembered that mark on his forehead.
  24. Like, he has a really distinctive birthmark on his forehead.
  25. Maybe when he said "the regular," he just meant regular coffee.
  26. Like, black coffee: it's the regular drink.
  27. Does that make sense? "I'll have the regular drink please. You know, coffee."
  28. I don't think anyone would say that.
  29. It's been two minutes.
  30. I can't possibly ask him what the regular is now.
  31. There is quite a line forming.
  32. This is so dumb. I'm just going to ask.
  33. "Sir, sir! Sorry, what did you order again?
  34. He cheerily said, "oh, I ordered the regular."
  35. What the hell.
  36. Is that like an item on our menu I don't know yet?
  37. Like a seasonal drink to go along with the gingerbread spice?
  38. There's no way Starbucks has a drink called "The Regular."
  39. Do we have one of those secret menus?
  40. Like In n' Out.
  41. I'll ask Paul.
  42. "Pssst, Paul, do we have a secret menu?"
  43. HOLY SHIT, WE DO!
  44. APPARENTLY THEY HANDED IT OUT AT ORIENTATION, AND I WASN'T PAYING ATTENTION.
  45. Ok, just going to do a quick scan for "The Regular" on the laminated secret menu Paul handed me.
  46. We have something called "The Mermaid's Dilemma" that involves hot sauce.
  47. Why would anyone order that?
  48. I don't see it.
  49. I don't see "The Regular."
  50. We have something called "Seattle Tear Rain," but we don't have "The Regular."
  51. Mary is yelling at me. I know we are backed up, jeez. I'm trying my best.
  52. This is his fault.
  53. You can't be comfortable ordering "the regular" unless you are 100% positive you have a relationship with me.
  54. In fact, you need to wait until I see you once and make your drink before you can even order.
  55. Then, we have an understanding.
  56. You and me, birthmark peacoat guy, do not have an understanding.
  57. I'm just going to make him a Venti Chestnut Praline Latte.
  58. No one has ever ordered that.
  59. It'll teach him not to be presumptuous.
  60. "Here you go, sir!"
  61. He said thanks and paid for it.
  62. What.
  63. I just watched him have a sip and give a refreshing "ahhh" on the way out.
  64. I will think about that man every day for the rest of my life.