Screw you all! I'm not giving up the Starbucks.

Another fantastic guest post by Melody Townsel. Mom, writer, and smartest person I know. (Note: Inspired by this past weeks' post on how to get herself some free Starbucks, Melody ran to the computer, powered by venti caffeine, and wrote this.)

Ever since our long national nightmare began with the collapse of Lehman Bros., I've listened to the MSM and the "pundits" and editorial writers and economic ambulance chasers like Suzi Orman tell Joe Sixpacks like me how to buck up and struggle on.

If you're like me, busy scouring up as much extra work as you can, dropping cable channels and substituting chemical-laden, corn-syrup laced processed crap for real, organic food, this pile-on may come as a surprise.

Grab your coffee and follow me:
Every day I wake up, hear the wrap-up of yesterday's economic development, and then get subjected to anchor after anchor's special take on how middle Americans like me helped bring this plague of locusts upon our collective head.

And every morning -- every single morning -- somebody tells me to give up the Starbucks. While my hair is still damp and my face is still a pasty white and I'm busy trying to make a pile by the door of everything I'm going to need to get through my day, some genius on the airwaves tells me just how selfish I am -- just how reckless and devil-may-care and spendthrift I am -- for insisting that my a.m. java have some body and flavor.

I'll be zipping up my computer bag and somebody will pop onto the screen and say something like, "Well, the American people are going to have to start giving up their Starbucks. I was at the mall this weekend, and people were standing around sipping lattes and buying big-screen TVs. We're drunk on credit, people, and we're going to have to start making sacrifices."

Sacrifice this! And while you're at it, stick this empty venti cup where the sun doesn't shine.

I mean, seriously. Starbucks? Giving up my daily coffee is the solution to our nation's economic crisis?

What the heck did Seattle's finest ever do to us? And what the heck did I ever do sufficient to warrant the requirement that quality caffeine be sucked from my pitiful, scaled-down existence?

Do I have a subprime mortgage? Nope. Went for the traditional, 30-year fixed like a good girl. Have I ever traded a derivative? I'm not completely sure I know what one is.

For the last year or so, I've worked harder and tightened my belt and changed my buying habits.

I've lost my pathetic excuse for insurance coverage, given that I was unable to pay both the $800-plus monthly premium and the apparently never-ending, endless-category-by-endless-category deductibles that cropped up EVERY SINGLE TIME I sought care.

I've given up the cool cable channels and the organic milk and the name-brand toothpaste.

I've cut back on my driving, I've dropped our fixed telephone lines, I've carpooled and co-oped and bartered and swapped and eBayed and craigslisted and recycled and reused and reinvented and repaired.

I've worn underwear with holes the size of the state of Texas and clothes older than I am. My funky, big-ass TV is even bigger and older than both.

In short, I've done every thing everybody has asked just about every time they've asked it. I've sacrificed everything I've needed for my tiny family to get by with fewer bumps and bruises in these tough times, and I have no plans to go buy a big-screen, high-def plasma TV.

But the bid to take away my Starbucks? That's just the bridge too far.

I'll admit it: I love that cup of Starbucks. The smell of it. The warmth of it. The slightly bitter taste of it. The feeling that it's a little bit special.

An ordinary-day luxury that truly makes me feel like I'm treating myself a bit well. Sunshine in a cup. Seriously. And I resent the fact that Wall Street greed is pointing the finger at one of my few "vices."

What did Starbucks ever do to the pundits? Why did that little green mermaid get targeted as the symbol of Main Street greed and avarice...the single-malt scotch of the proletariat?

Give up my Starbucks? I'm the single mother of an eight-year old. I need that daily jolt. Making it at home isn't remotely the same. And I refuse to feel bad about it. You can't make me.

Give up the Starbucks? I've given up everything from name brands to mammograms. But my daily fix? Not happenin'.

You'll have to pry my cold, dead fingers from the empty latte cup. Now, back away or I'll blow a scalding head of foamy milk all over you.


Buffie said...

I still make my regular visits to Starbucks too. As a mom, it's one of the few things that I do just for me and I have no plans to give it up either.

Mommy's Wish List said...

Me neither, Holly. AND I just got an email from some muckety-muck at Starbucks yesterday letting me in on a secret new program they're going to introduce next month...Starbucks Gold. It promises to give even more perks (ha ha) for regular customers. Sign me up!