pay it forward.

after my saturday morning run, i was on my way to starbucks when i realized that i had forgotten to put some cash in my bag.  i had this awful feeling. i did not want to drive home to get cash or my debit card.  i knew once i got home, i would not leave.  i knew i would be without my routine, celebration coffee.  i needed that iced coffee.  i deserved it. 
i don't take my purse while i run because it would just be left, unattended, in my car for hours.  just seems like more of a hazard and something i'll worry about while i run.  i run to not worry.  i run to clear my mind. 
i did however find my starbucks gift card.  score!  i knew it had some credit on it but i had no clue as to how much.  none.  so, i pull into starbucks and dig through my car searching for dollar bills, coins, money.  any money.  i walk in completely uncertain what is going to happen.  the starbucks near my house has some prissy customers and workers that aren't exactly the most friendly bunch.  you can tell they all try so hard to be different that, in turn, they look the same.  they color their hair.  the males blowdry their unique hairdo.  they wear toms or converse.  they have piercings.  can you picture them?  it almost surprises me that they work at starbucks.  i want to inform them that it completely defeats their purpose but i don't want spit in my coffee so i just keep my thoughts to myself. 
anyway, the young cashier asks for my order.  i sheepishly reply that i'm not sure and that it will depend on how much i have left on my gift card.  swipes card - $1.45.  one dollar and forty-five cents.  you can't get anything at starbucks for less than two bucks.  i'm embarrassed.  he can tell.  as i'm counting my change i say that i don't carry my purse while i run and i forgot to grab cash so this will have to do.  he then asks how far i ran.  i tell him twenty miles.  he then says, "what a great accomplishment.  you can have whatever you want.  on the house.  we'll get it."  are you serious??!  does he have this authority?  does he see the tears that are collecting in my eyes?  i try to get him to take the giftcard and change but he refuses.  i still got my venti, iced coffee with cream.  for free.  i was so happy i wanted to jump the counter and give him a hug.  i had said thank you several times but it just didn't do justice to how grateful i really felt at that moment.  as i left the coffee shop, i realized that i needed to pay it forward.  i am a firm believer in karma.  the universe gave me a treat and i needed to pass it along.  i haven't had the opportunity yet but my eyes are open and i'm patiently waiting for my chance.

dear mr. starbucks employee,

thank you, thank you, thank you!  i will not tell your boss.  and i know you're glad that i did not jump the counter and hug you.  i'm sure i smelled like roses.  i will pay it forward and good karma will come to both of us.  gracias.

your sweaty, saturday morning customer

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