I was a jerk to the Starbucks girl
In my defense I did give her a choice though. When she asked how I was, I asked if she wanted the truth or a pleasant lie, and she said the truth is always better.
So I told her how I was. I said that my father is dying in hospice, and I need this caffeine so I can sit up with him again today. And so she responded that everything happens for a reason.
I know on a logical level that you as a clerk or a cashier or whatever, do not care how I am. You want me to come up, give you money for a good or service, and go away. However, we do this little societal minuet of pretending to care about the other person's life circumstances. I've always hated it, but I participate because to do otherwise is to force an uncomfortable confrontation on someone. It's just not good manners.
However, my father is dying in hospice and I needed the caffeine so I could go take my mother -- who also has kidney failure -- to her doctor in another county. Then I'll go sit with my dying father, who rolls his eyes and can answer yes or no questions, and mumbles, and occasionally swats at the air, and who really isn't there at all any more.
So that's how I was.
"See?" I told the Starbucks girl, "You should have asked for the pleasant lie."
I recall a time that a clerk at another Starbucks did just that, in fact. It was when my father was just in the hospital again, but I was still stressed out. However, when I offered her the choice, she chose the pleasant lie and so I said brightly, "I'm fantastic! Never better!"
And we went about our business.
I'm rambling, so I'll shut up now.
There's a creature on the lawn whose proportions are all wrong, and it stares at me with far too many eyes...