Chestnut Hill: Death by Starbucks

Sounds like someone’s dying for a coffee.

There’s a new guy at Starbucks, and he’s obsessed with getting everyone’s name right. He’s also super friendly, and even though statistically speaking it’s unlikely that he’s a serial killer, because he’s not a White Man, it makes me nervous.

He’s very polite, but a bit… Intensely nice.

It’s that weird ‘corporately mandated’ kind of nice… It’s that ‘thank fuck I’ve finally got a shit job’ kind of Nice. It’s that ‘Friendly because my fucking life depends on it’ unnerving Nice.

Or, it’s simply Serial Killer Nice.

So, either way, I don’t want to mess with him… And, he can’t get my name right…

Last week, his first week, it went like this –

Me: Lara

Him: Sara

Me: Lara

Him: Laura

Me: Lara

Him: Clara

And every time he got my name wrong, his smile, and his eyes, Got BIGGER.

I began to worry that I was going to actually break his face – POP!

Like a balloon.

So, I decided to just give in, and I ended up with Clara, the name of my abusive step-grandmother, scrawled on an enormous frozen drink. I had my Clara-drink in my hands for at least two hours. Trust me, nobody wants to be Clara.

I just want Starbucks, without a side of Childhood Trauma.

Soooo, today, I decided I don’t want to stress either of us out, because I don’t want his weird smile to get so big that he pops his face, and I don’t want him to know my name… so I told him my name is Matty.

I gave him the first name that I thought of… my husband’s name. Anyway, that is just logical. If the dude is really a serial killer, my husband is responsible for fighting him off, so I feel like it’s only polite of me to make sure that this dude knows his actual name.

Him: Matty?

Me: Yeah.

Him: M… A… D… D… Y? Is it Madeline?

Me: It’s just Matty, with T, not with D. Matty.

Him: M… A… T… I… E?

Me: Umm… Yeah?

Him: Ahoy, matey!

Me: Umm, OK.

Him: You look a lot like another customer who was in here last week, named Clara!


Me: Is your name Dexter?

Him: What? Wow, Dexter, again? So weird, you’re the fifth person in a week that has asked me that! Weird, right?

Me: Yeah, super weird…

(I give up. At this rate, I’ll likely end up dying of dehydration.)



About Lara B. Sharp 5 Articles
Lara B. Sharp is a middle aged, neurotic writer and a performer, originally from New York City. She has written for, and performed in, a number of national and international theatre productions, and is a regular participant of live storytelling events in New York, London, and Philadelphia. She is a Smith College graduate, menopausal, and a feminist. Lara is represented by the literary agency Chalberg & Sussman, for whom, between hot flashes, she is writing a memoir about her demented childhood. In her free time, she relaxes by sharing her humiliating life experiences on her Facebook page. In 2016, Lara, her two cats and her English husband, moved from Europe to Philadelphia, for the pretzels. (She relocated to the Falls in March 2018). Sometimes, she’s funny.

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