Bob McPhail 6:31 a.m., May 19
If I was only allowed one word to describe people from the Northeast it would be, intense. I say this not as a derogatory phrase but as a harsh reality that has grown over the past few decades. Schools, business’, even our extracurricular loves like sports are all intense. Early morning and late nights are what drive the majority of people to enjoy their suburban colonial home with their two SUV’s and half acre of backyard. This character flaw however does not make friends. We have all had that “hard-ass” boss, the “Nazi” teacher, and that “obnoxious” neighbor who enjoys wearing his blue and white Yankee attire every time he mows the lawn, washes the car, or attends your Sox cookouts. While I have spent the majority of my life enjoying my loathing for that neighbor and take pride in my “who-the-hell-are-you” attitude, I have come to realize that the rest of the world accomplishes great things without that attitude. Upon moving to California, I was told that the closest Dunkin Donuts was in Las Vegas. Of course I believed none of them (because how dare someone tell me something I don’t want to hear, right?) and took it upon myself to look it up. Well, those are 5 great minutes of my life that I will never get back. Everyone was right. It was at this moment that I have a small amount of trust in the general public. That was until my co-workers 2 months later led me on a wild ice coffee chase promising me that the land of orange and brown bubble letters was only a few exits down the road. Being proven wrong the last time I had not listened to anyone else, I figured that maybe I was wrong. Maybe I didn’t type in the right zip code or that I was looking on the wrong sight. Well, 2 hours and half a tank of gas (at 2.75 a gallon) later I was proven that my original believes about the opinions and factual knowledge known by the general public was correct. No Dunks, anywhere in San Diego. With this boost to my ego but acceptance that I won’t be sipping on a French vanilla ice coffee with a plastic and hot cup (because Californians are anti-Styrofoam), I was forced to find a new Java-Love. I searched the streets high and low. I went into the expensive trendy coffee houses, I went to the organic stands, and I went to the places where the array of thick incense fills every corner of the room, where people sit and sip and ponder the great questions like, “Why are we here?” or “Was Michael Jackson REALLY a kid-diddler?” These places were okay. Maybe kind of creepy but hey that’s a character builder so I won’t judge. All of these places filled my morning routine until I drove up to the talking wall that offered a polite and energetic voice. Completely shocked that someone would 1. Be happy to be working, 2. Be happy to be serving me, and 3. By happy to be working, serving people, at 7am on a Friday, I sat back and enjoyed the experience. As I order my coffee and drove to the window to pick up my morning present to myself, I was not worried about how long the coffee-genius was taking because I was too busy reading the daily motivational quote that not only made me happy to be alive but also introduced me to a poet that I had never heard of. As the window opened, I was (of course) questioning the legitimacy of the coffee. There has to be a downfall right? Wrong. A happy, enthusiastic, and professional looking woman appeared. She greeting me, asked me how my morning was, and told me to have a great day at work in the most caring and meaningful way. Mom, is that you? As I drove away and took the first sip into my cup of skepticism, I was again amazing. My taste buds dancing as the strained Columbian coffee bean flavors filled my throat. That was a wonderful moment. I then spent the next 10 minutes fight traffic lights, crazy break-happy California drivers, and bad talk radio in the pleasant of mindsets. I beeped at no one, I smiled at the man who cut me off, and I laughed at the fools trying to merge into my car instead of the next lane. As my time in California has grown, I have spent many mornings and afternoons in the line for Better-Buzzed Coffee. I look forward to speaking with the women at the window and driving with an absolutely delicious cup (it’s recycled plastic, RELAX) of ice coffee. I used to start my morning by reading Facebook status updates of people who I haven’t talked to in years; now, I start my morning by reading the positive quotations displayed in a variety or neon colors. Better-Buzzed coffee has taken my intense-stressful morning and has transformed it into a happy-joyful moment before I go to work. I am enlightened and caffeinated and my day has not even started. This has proven to me that it is possible to be happy and pleasant without the rush of rude glares and quick car cut offs at the beginning of the day. Thank you Better-Buzzed for making me a happier morning traveler!