As I sit at my neighborhood Starbucks, reluctantly finishing up teacher prep for the following week, I can’t help but eavesdrop on the patrons.
As a mother and teacher, I am highly skilled in keeping a straight face.
Conversations at 8 in the morning don’t make any sense, especially if you’re a silent, uninvited guest. A group of women in their thirties talking about their husbands’ and children’s behavior, which is one in the same according to one fair-haired woman. A couple of college guys after a run discussing on how difficult it is to write without lines.
A older woman who just came up to me, I kid you not, to wish me a happy Easter and a reminder that Jesus loves me.
To which I replied, “Thank you… And He loves you too!”
She beamed and yelled, “Amen!” and left without another word.
If my friends were sitting next to me, they would have politely waited until the woman exited the establishment before losing it. Not because they are disrespectful and hate Christians or old people.
I have a very dry sense of humor and sometimes my delivery is unintentionally suspect.
It’s a gift, really.
The lady caught me off guard and I don’t like being rude, especially since I know that there is a tendency for many to be uncomfortable and even downright ornery when it comes to matters of religion, Christian or otherwise.
We get the usual religious prowlers [strong word but I’m going to keep it; it was a spelling word for my students this week] all the time. The Mormons on their bikes with their awesome suspenders. The Jehovah’s Witnesses and their pamphlets. My aunts who are some sort of Christian that always leave me with more questions than I have time to ask.
But I don’t mind. It does not take anything away from me to listen to them, to smile, and to accept whatever they would like to share even if it means we recycle it after they leave. Usually that’s all they would like to do.
Now if people started to overstep a boundary and wanted to teach our children what we don’t believe in, we’ll politely decline and thank them for their time. There is no need, no obligation, no desire for me to argue. That is just what we believe.
About thirty minutes ago, a dad walked in with his two little boys. They were obviously running late but for some reason dad still needed to come in for a cup of joe.
He handed a drink to the older boy of about five.
Boom. No problem.
He then handed a drink to the younger boy who was probably about four. The boy’s face crumpled up.
Now I’m a sucker for the little ones so I felt bad for him. For a millisecond because I, for one, do love coming to Starbucks a couple of times a month. I will bring my children here even less frequently because come on, four dollars for a drink? Times three kids times me? Um, no thanks.
The dad said, “What’s wrong?”
The kid said, I KID YOU NOT, “DAD! I DON’T WANT THIS! I WANT MY USUAL!”
Yeah, pretty sure I could not keep a straight face.