It was pushing midnight. I was tired. Amanda was tired. We still had an hour’s drive ahead of us.
“Honey, you awake?” I asked Amanda.
She answered with the purring of her snores. She had been asleep for an hour and had been wanting me to avoid stopping if I could to save time and money.
But the orchestrated music on the radio, the warmth of the car, and the loneliness of the road – had made it harder to keep my eyes open than it is to keep Amanda out of Express when we go to the mall, which is nearly impossible – mind you.
Driving through the sleepy town of Blackstone, Virginia – I knew there was only one place I could go to get coffee this late at night: McDonalds, but McDonald’s coffee and me…. Well, lets just say we have a past.
You see, every time in the last year that I have tried to buy coffee at McDonald’s – it results with some tragic ending. The last time I went to McDonalds to have a Cappucino or Coffee, I was blessed to find a wad of hair in my mouth. If you have ever had an immediate desire to gag while drinking a scalding hot beverage, you might know that it is one of the most unpleasant sensations you will ever experience.
I was desperate though. I am about to fall asleep at the wheel, and the car I am driving is not even mine. Nope. I am driving my father-in-law’s big beautiful, white, Silverado truck. So I’m even more cautious of the consequences of running off the road in someone else’s truck.
So – again – I’m desperate in my need for hot black energy, and I decide to forgive McDonalds of their last McCafe travesty in the hopes that they will be able to redeem themselves.
I pull up to the drive thru, and a very…. umm…. (How should I put this?) …. disgruntled employee speaks over the speaker.
In a loud, angry tone, a voice comes over the loud speaker that sounds very similar to Tyler Perry’s Madea. “This is McDonalds. Can I have your order?”
So – in response I say – “Sure, you can!”
“Hello. Can I have your order!” She says against with more ferocity. I don’t want to make this lady mad – so I just get straight to the point.
“Yeah. Can you just make me a coffee with some cream in it.” I innocently request.
“How much cream you want?”
“I don’t care. Just a little bit.” I respond just trying to get her to give me the okay to move ahead.
“How MANY creams do you want in your coffee, Sir.” She is obviously getting mad with me now.
“How about 3 or 4? It don’t matter. I just want a few in there.” I respond.
“3 or 4, Sir?”
“5 is fine.”
“Huh?” A pause. “Okay. First window. ” Pull ’round.”
I pull around to the first window, and I see a coffee sitting there. No one comes to the window though so I pull up to the second window. I can now put a face to the angry voice. It’s a rather petite African-American young woman. “How are you tonight?”
She just looks at me like I’m stupid.
In an effort to make her laugh, I say “Look!” Then I take my finger and push up both corners of my mouth to show her how to make a smile on her face.
She smirks and says “For real?” She then says “Can I help you?”
“Umm… I ordered the coffee, ma’am. I’m just waiting on …..” But before I can finish she starts yelling. “Doretha! You was supposed to get this coffee to him at the first window!!! Why did you let him come up here?”
A young teenager with great reluctance approaches the angry lady bearing my caffeinated salvation in hand. “I’m sorry sir. Here you go.” The young girl hands me the coffee, and runs to the back of the restaurant ( probably to avoid the wrath of her superior). I hand the debit card to the angry lady who took my order – again, trying to make polite conversation.
As she hands me the card back, I tell her “You have a great night!” She smirks and says “Yeah.”
Well – it wasn’t the best of experiences at McDonalds, but it was at least interesting. And I had my coffee. It was kind of like a coffee and a show.
I take a sip of my coffee – expecting something awful to be wrong with it because of how the lady at the window was acting. To my surprise – the coffee tasted great.
Sometimes we expect the worst of people because of how they might have acted in the past, but we need to remember that if we always assume the worst about people, we never give people chances to redeem themselves.
How many times have you hurt someone – especially your family? The thing that is important to remember is that if other people continually held our bad deeds against us – we would all be unworthy of being trusted.
Obviously – you should never put yourself at great risk by trusting someone who is prone to hurting you, but when we build up expectations that the only thing a person can do is let you down – you ignore the good in anticipation for the bad.
If you live your like treating other people like this – it will only ensure that you make yourself and others miserable by overreacting to condemn people when they actually do nothing wrong.
Trust me. Wait until you find out what happened at the last drink of coffee in my next post.
At this McDonalds – I had a history. I had some grumpy service. I had a bad assumption about my coffee. And I will have a bad overreaction to the very last drink.
In the next post – you will find out how my reaction to that last drink shows why you need to hope for the best, rather than always assume the worst.