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Day 313: My epic (fake) love affair with Starbucks (that never happened)

Lakes of Canada is even cuter than this band, FYI.
Although this gang is pretty dang cute.

Hey, so remember awhile ago I profiled my frugal friend who was hitchhiking his way across Canada, with little more than a ukulele and his own amazing musical talent? So, he's wound up in Montreal and joined up with this amazing cute band called Lakes of Canada. They're raising funds to release their first album, and if you donate, you get a copy! It's totes win/win. So click here to donate and click here to watch a bunch of cute boys singing great songs.

And in other news...

My epic love affair with Starbucks, and how it's all a lie

It's ridiculously cliche to be a finance blogger who luuurves Starbucks' over-priced coffee beverages. But here I am, so bear with me. It feels like a lengthy love affair, but it really isn't.


Nom nom nom.

  •  I didn't actually go into a Starbucks until I was maybe 21 years old, visiting a friend in Toronto. We were walking down the street and I was like, "It's a Starbucks! Like they talk about on the internet!" And so we went in and I was like, "The drink sizes are called venti! I feel like I'm on a TV show!" I think I ordered hot chocolate that day.
  • A few years later (age 24?) Starbucks finally opened in my hometown. It was really weird, one day there was empty retail space, and what seemed like 24 hours later there was a fully-functioning Starbucks, complete with clientele. Almost like it was beamed in by alien technology. So I was excited to have one in walking-distance to my house, and I think I got maybe a decaf latte that day?


Starbucks drinks warm your hands better than mittens.
Although I guess if you had gloves with fingers, it wouldn't be an issue.

  • Much like the virus in the movie Contagion (or the board game Pandemic), several more Starbucks proliferated around the city. One early time I was waiting for my drink (my first decaf pumpkin spice latte) and the barista put out someone else's drink, calling out, "Something something complicated fake Italian words Frappuccino!" (*note: that's not exactly what they said, but I didn't know the lingo yet). The cool guys behind me were like, "What drink did they say that was?" And I was like, "Something something frappuccino?" (*note: that's exactly what I said. As noted above, I didn't know the lingo yet). The cool guys were like, "Um, you are so uncool." (*note: not what they said, but that was definitely the subtext)
  • When I moved to a different city, I suddenly began flying in airplanes way more I than ever before. And the Starbucks in the Toronto airport (the one near the Air Canada departures) became my home-away-from-home. I eagerly looked forward to my stopover so I could get a chai latte (my new drink) and one of their amazing panini sandwiches. Around this time (age: 26) Starbucks became synonymous with comfort, happiness, and being halfway home. And panini sandwiches.


If I climbed Mt. Everest, I wouldn't be surprised to find a Starbucks at the top.
I would also be pretty happy. Probably tired and oxygen-deprived, but happy.

  • When I went to Scotland, I was SO EXCITED to find a Starbucks and when I went in, it was SUPER COMFORTING that the decor and ambience was identical to the ones in Canada. And when I ordered a chai latte, the barista had a Scottish accent. This is part of the insidious power of Starbucks (and I guess also McDonald's, and other chain restaurants) - you get the exact same experience in every Starbucks all over the world, so it's like a piece of home. 

  • Although it's not actually a piece of home for me - I didn't grow up with Starbucks, I'd only been going to them for like 5 years and they make me think mostly about the Toronto airport (which, despite how many hours I've spent there, is absolutely not my home).


And at what point did Starbucks become synonymous with Christmas?
Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, Jack Frost nipping at your door with an eggnog latte...
  • Anyway, then I started a job located DIRECTLY ACROSS THE STREET FROM A STARBUCKS, which did not lead to anything good w/r/t my weight, sugar consumption, or finances. Let's just move on.
  • Today, I went to one of the downtown Starbuckii and saw to my great delight, they now carry panini sandwiches! (I have only had the delicious panini sandwiches in the airport Starbucks and ones in Toronto). I had a sudden, visceral feeling of nostalgic happiness. But what was I feeling nostalgic about? Oh, yes, the Toronto airport. Not my family, not happy memories of childhood - memories of being at the Toronto airport, waiting to switch planes.


And why are the cups so photogenic?

  • So, whatever. I can't stop associating Starbucks with happy (artificial) nostalgic feelings. It's a whole psychological thing that makes me love going there (see above re: insidious plan). I can make my own hot drinks at home, but part of what I'm willing to pay for is the whole ambience and atmosphere, and I can't get that at home. But I just need to control how often I go there. The end!


Well Heeled Blog said...

I love this timeline! It's scary to see how quickly Starbucks grabs hold of you. I first started going in earnest during high school, when I was studying for exams. Now I try to limit my visits to 2x a week. But even then that's $8 per visit.

Mry Jhnsn said...

I think you should allow your self that. Own your Starbucks and lve yourself for it ;)

Great post - following from NaBloPoMo

Taylor said...

Enjoyed your post! I'm not much of a coffee drinker. Don't like it, but I have this craving to want to be a coffee drinker so I can carry around a mug like a majority of my co-workers and friends. Weird, I know. When I frequent Star Bucks or another Coffee Shop, I usually order a Chai Latte (hot or iced depending on the weather outside) or some sort of Hot Chocolate. And I add lots of things to the Hot Chocolate so I can pretend my drink sounds cool like the others. :) Venti Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate, double whip, double shot of Caramel. :)
Have a great rest of your week!

Dorothy said...

I worked my way through law school as a barista at Starbucks, where I developed an appreciation for coffee and learned how to order drinks I actually liked.

Now that I have a "real" job, and it costs so much more for me to purchase "hand crafted beverages," I find that its much easier to resist the siren call (deliberately chosen imagery, the Starbucks logo is a siren) of my tall soy pumpkin spice chai (with whip and sprinkles).

But darn if it doesn't make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside whenever I do walk through the doors of my local Starbucks. :)

Annabelle said...

@Dorothy - SOY PUMPKIN SPICE CHAI? I did not know that existed. OMFG need to get to Starbucks STAT.

My money, my life said...

this post was really cute! I didn't even know that Starbucks sold panini sandwiches... There is something about each starbucks location looking exactly the same no matter where you go. For me it was so comforting to visit starbucks when I'm visiting the bf's family in switzerland. Everything is so unfamiliar to me there, but I can always trust a good starbucks drink to make me feel at ease :)

Lindy Mint said...

I seriously love your fake love affair story.

I used to HATE Starbucks. I was a coffee snob before they made it all trendy and sugar-fused. My best friend in college worked there and I mocked her daily (as she gave me my free iced soy chai).

But I know what you mean about Starbucks being synonymous with happy, and I can't even put a finger on why in my case. I'll be driving around town doing errands on a Saturday and feel the need to stop at a Starbucks drive-through just because it makes errands more fun.

Evil conspiracy. I'm going there later.

Serendipity said...

I've had a relationship with Starbucks since I was 18 and they decided to open one in our small town. Over priced coffees? YES PLEASE! I didn't drink them nearly as much as I do now. I have them now about three times a week. I know. Dangerous. And expensive. Ahem.

Anonymous said...

I visited my French friends who live just outside Paris and couple of years ago and they took me to my FAVORITE PLACE IN THE WORLD called La Vallee Village (look it up, it's amazing!). There was a Starbucks there and they were all like "Ooh French people don't go there - it's like McDonalds" but I convinced them to come in with me and they found out they have cheesecake (which you actually can't find anywhere in France) so I converted them. I was so proud of myself.

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