Why Starbucks Hates the Wolverines, Not Jesus

So, last night, once the little children finally drifted off to sleep, I jumped online to read the trending news.  The most important item of the evening was something about Starbucks.  To my horror, I discovered that Starbucks had the audacity to redesign its holiday cups for 2015.  They actually eliminated all holiday themes and replaced them with NOTHING.  Their cups are PLAIN RED.

As a pro-snowflake person, I felt insulted.  Removing any winter-related design is a clear attack on cold weather.  I was about to create my own hashtag protest until I read comments from a former pastor named Joshua Feuerstein.  I was relieved to discover that the people at Starbucks don’t hate snowflakes.  They hate Christmas.

Now, I’m not a religious person, so I had no idea that this was how we should interpret the plain red cups.  I felt growing rage as I read about the “War on Christmas” and how much Starbucks “hates Jesus.”  I had no idea that the manger scene actually took place in the North Pole.  Were the Three Wise Men actually Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph the Reindeer and the Abominable Snowman?  Was Jesus born in the middle of a blizzard?  If so, then I completely understand the former pastor’s outrage about the elimination of the winter scenes from Starbucks’ cups.

After all, a strong religious foundation is based on disposable coffee cup designs during the holiday season.  If you take that away from religious people, what else do they have?  Where else can they go for faith?  Based on this logic, I was eager to join the pastor’s campaign against Starbucks.  After plunking down $4.50 on the Starbucks counter for my caramel macchiato, I told the barista that my name was “Merry Christmas.”  I chuckled inwardly as I waited for my drink next to the large “Christmas” blend coffee display.  Take that, Starbucks!  That’ll teach you to attack Christmas and Jesus of the North Pole.

As I walked through the mall, sipping my Starbucks coffee in its plain red cup, I heard Christmas carols.  In November.  It occurred to me that as an agnostic, this should offend me in some way.  So, I stifled the warm, festive feelings surging within me to muster outrage.  I wrapped my fingers more tightly around that plain red cup.  I could feel its power against the conversion music that blared over the speakers.  I didn’t want that music to accidentally convert me, so I quickly left the mall and its blatant “War On NON-CHRISTIANS.”

When I returned home, a friend of mine expressed outrage that Starbucks colors were green and white.  I frowned, as I contemplated his comment.  Those are the colors of the Michigan State Spartans.  On further reflection, Starbucks also has a lot of red and white in its stores.  The colors of the Ohio State Buckeyes.  With increasing concern, I realized that I hadn’t seen one single display in the store with maize and blue, which are the colors of the University of Michigan.  I could only draw one logical conclusion.

Starbucks hates the Wolverines.  And so begins my hashtag protest campaign:


The Five Reasons That I Love Starbucks

Clearly, I have addictive tendencies, because in addition to my Facebook “issue,” I have another problem.  Starbucks.

I spend way too much money at Starbucks.  It’s ridiculous.  Who pays $4-$5 for a cup of coffee?  What am I getting for the money?  Some steamed milk, espresso shots and flavored liquid sugar.  I mean, syrup.

So, what is it about that place that keeps luring me in?  Why don’t I take all of the money that I spend on caramel macchiatos and buy something to improve the “slobby chic” look that I sport each day?  Here are five reasons:

The Unlimited Supply of Caffeine

I’ll be honest.  I gave up coffee during pregnancy, so for a while, I functioned like a normal human being without it.  But after my daughter was born, I regained my dependency on caffeine.  Once again, I suffer from headaches without coffee.

So why don’t I just stay home and brew my own coffee?  You can’t see me, but I’m making a face.  I spend my days getting food and drinks for other people (a.k.a. the kiddos).  To me, it’s worth looking like a hobo to have someone bring me a drink for a change.

The Smell

I’m a stay-at-home mom (SAHM). I do my best to keep the house clean and fresh.  But in the battle against stink, I’m losing.  Each day, I play two games:  “What’s that smell?” and “Where is it coming from?”  Is it food?  Is it old diapers?  Is it small animals?  I have no idea.  I think the kids are secretly stashing crap under the floor boards.  Why?  Either to get me to take them out of the house or to drive me crazy.

They’re successful on both fronts.  I can stay home with them and remain ensconced in the stench of decomposition.  Or I can go out in to the world, see real adults, and inhale the aroma of freshly ground coffee at Starbucks.  It’s no contest.  Coffee beats decomposition.

The Greeting

My children are adorable.  They really are.  But the way they greet me each morning leaves something to be desired.  My four-year old son growls at me.  I didn’t think I’d have to deal with this for another ten years, but yep.  He’s already a cranky nightmare when I have to wake him up for school.  My one-year old daughter smiles until I place her on the changing table.  Then she winds up to bite, slap or kick me in the face.  For some reason, she prefers to sit in her own filth.

When I go to Starbucks, no one growls at me.  Someone actually smiles without physically assaulting me.  It’s a refreshing change.

The Language

As a SAHM, I don’t get to travel much anymore.  I mean, my kids watch Barney and during the past season, that dopey purple dinosaur has been visiting different countries.  But he still speaks in English, so I don’t consider that foreign language immersion.  When I go to Starbucks, I get to pretend that I’m visiting a foreign country.  And not just any foreign country.  A really snooty foreign country where they treat you like garbage if you don’t speak their language.

For those of you who don’t know, Starbucks has its own language.  It’s called Bux-ese.  I’ve spent the past decade studying it, so I’m fairly fluent.  I can order a grande, nonfat, no foam, extra drizzle, caramel macchiato like a native.  So see, kids.  It pays to stay in school.

The “Crappy to Happy” Hour Shift

The social calendar at our house includes a daily event called “Crappy Hour.” Everyone is invited, but the only people who show up are my son, my daughter and me. It involves a lot of blatant defiance, yelling and tantrums. My husband manages to leave the house right before it starts. His excuse is work, but I have my doubts. I think he’s just going to Starbucks.

Once I manage to drop my son off at school without pulling the hair out of my head, I have thirty precious minutes before I have to rush my daughter back home for the morning nap.  Apparently, I’m not the only one with this window of opportunity. Sometime after nine in the morning, a herd of stroller-pushing SAHM’s descends on the local Starbucks. All of us have the same frazzled look.  We just survived Crappy Hour. It’s time for Happy Hour. Or Happy Half Hour. Whatever it is, we’ll take it.