Coffee and Compliments
I need something to start my engine in the morning. Sometimes it's the frustration of waiting for the train or the sense of impending doom if I oversleep, but more consistently it's a cup of coffee. So when something gets in the way of my morning beverage, I get flustered.
I usually get my coffee from the coffee truck in front of my office. Recently, however, there has been a changing of hands and a very nice guy of indistinguishable Arab accent has taken over. He's been here two weeks now and he's gotten kind of well, familiar.
"Good morning, beautiful lady. What can I get you, my sweetheart?" has been his recent greeting. I usually just smile and order a coffee. I don't bat my eyes. I don't forget to put on a shirt or have my cleavage out for a show. Just to be clear, I'm friendly but there's no flirting going on on this side of the truck.
As the week has worn on he has taken to sharing more with me. "I am now...how you say....certifiable masseuse! You should come over for free massage!" This comment after I ask for, well, a cup of coffee.
Last Friday he forced a donut into my bag after asking if I have a boyfriend. When I told him I was, indeed, off the market he replied with: "No! You? Really? It can't be! You will change your mind and come to me. Here is donut!" As if the donut would cause me to see clearly.
Now don't get me wrong: I like a compliment like any girl, assuming it's not too nasty or from a stranger. (Or from a nasty stranger. Or from a homeless guy trying to get money. Or from someone's dad.) But if you're going to try to banter with me, at least let me have my cup of coffee first.
So I did something the other day I didn't think I had in me. I cheated.
I walked right past his truck to a coffee place across the street and he totally caught me. I heard him yelling "Hey! Hey! Where you going, pretty lady!" Now, in my own not-so-self-absorbed defense, I don't always turn around when someone says something like that. I mean, there are a lot of pretty ladies in this town, but I had a feeling it might be me he was calling. In response, I just squared my shoulders and kept walking. Sometimes you just have to use tough love.
After getting the coffee, I had to walk right past his truck, which is directly in front of my office. "What's in your bag?" he called out, looking hurt.
And I actually felt bad. So I had to lie. "I was in the mood for a cappuccino this morning; otherwise I would have come to you!"
And just like that our relationship changed. I had broken the trust. And when I got my coffee from him this morning it just wasn't the same. His "how are you doing, my sweetheart?" sounded sad.
Maybe it's time to switch to hot chocolate.