Forgiving the dude in front of me at Starbucks

How quickly are you to forgive someone? How quickly do you turn the other cheek? How quickly are we to forgive and forget?

Case in point:

This Friday I was in Sioux Falls for a classis meeting. I headed from Corsica to Sioux Falls early to spend some time relaxing away for a bit before the evening part of the classis meeting. My choice? Starbucks of course. My choice of drink? A pumpkin spice latte. And I was eying the last chocolate chunk cookie. It looked so big. So yummy. So chocolatey-chuchky. And all that was between me and it was one customer. One simple customer who ordered a coffee…and then one of everything in the bakery cabinet. Yeah. One of EVERYTHING.

I stood there for a second and stared. So did the barista. She looked at him and asked him for clarification: “One of everything?” He simply said “Yes.”

So I had to chime in “Does this include the last chocolate chunk cookie I’ve been eying?” He looked at me and said “Yes. They should have more.”

Me: “And what if they don’t?”

Him: “Then it’ll taste twice as good.”

Dude. Not. Cool.

What do you do in a situation like that? How do you react?

I simply shut my mouth. Why deck a dude in the middle of Starbucks when they’re playing smooth indy music and I was about to order a calming pumpkin spice chai latte.

A few scenarios went through my mind. I could say something sarcastic to the barista about the dude after he left. I could say something smart-alecky to the customers around me who were also watching the last of other bakery items disappear before their eyes too. I could say something to the dude that was firm yet assertive about my personal feelings about his choice to buy the last chocolate chunk cookie and how his remark made me feel.

Instead, I decided to forgive his statement and let it slide off. I didn’t say anything to him. I didn’t say anything about it to the barista. I didn’t say anything to the long line of customers who had joined in with amazement of the dude’s buying power.

Forgiveness is one of those things you gotta do and sometimes you have to do it on the fly. At that moment, I had to make a decision: Do I fly off the handle and yell at the dude for being selfish, greedy, and mean; or do I accept it and forgive him for his comment and actions.

I had no control over his actions. I only had control over mine. And at that moment, I decided to forgive and let be. I had no control and neither was I going to attempt to take control of the situation. There was no reason to to tell the truth. It was what it was.

Now, this doesn’t mean I still don’t have to like it. It still bugs me. But that’s my own baggage. I forgave the dude even when he was mean.

After he left, I saw the still bewildered look on the barista’s face. She just looked at me with sadness in her eyes when I ordered a chocolate chunk cookie. “We have brownies” she said. I ordered my drink (yes a pretentious pumpkin spiced chai tea latte) and sat down and read my book.

And so, I forgive. And each time it comes up again in my mind, I forgive. I forgive.

What would you have done in a situation like this?

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2 Responses to Forgiving the dude in front of me at Starbucks

  1. friendcal says:

    I would have taken the brownie…no question. Well, accept maybe this one. Forgiveness in my mind implies that a sin has been committed. For what sin are you forgiving the man? Gluttony? Meanness? Assertiveness? Indecisiveness?

    • jbenton8 says:

      I think it’s a combination of not only the indifference he had to others’ feelings but the meanness to which he replied to my plea for the final chocolate chunk cookie.

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