I understand that readers of this Blog look for life changing, if not globe affecting, punditry. At least this is what I gleam from what you tell me in person, through comments, emails and the odd mail box bomb.
I interact daily with people that, in some form or fashion, change the world. Some times (and, always hopefully) for good. I get to wage commerce in-and-amongst them, offer advice, and from time-to-time, get to be taken seriously. For that I get to be referred to as a Cultural Architect and run point through organizations like the, certainly far from self-effacing (but pointedly paranoid) Prudent Society of Optimistic Gentlemen. Being a Prudent Gentlemen has both it’s rewards as incredible demands – mostly in terms of demands and expectations around a service and commitment to community.
With that said, I most often view myself as a Dad first. I do train fiercely for extreme and adventure races (but, I love training more than racing). I also get to be a youth soccer coach. And, I am pretty good at all of those things.
Then again, sometimes I am just an oaf.
Realizing this – and, discussing it on such a public platform, such as this Blog, is crucial to my own development, as well as yours because it keeps (perhaps it puts) so many things into perspective.
I also understand that this is shaping up to be quite a dramatic and verbose (nothing entirely new from that view point) prologue for my point.
Of course, there is a story.
So… As readers know I am decidedly no stranger to Starbucks. Every barista from Alpharetta to Peachtree City knows my beverage of choice: Vente Ice Chai – nine (seriously) pumps of chai, one pump vanilla with whole milk.
Facing a day with naught less than empire building prospects, I broke my “one chai a day” rule and popped into a SBUX near my offices on the way back from the UPS Store (how is it our offices are a catalyst and spawning ground for dynamic change yet bereft of legal size envelopes?). I strode through the door and was met with the usual “BRIAN” from the crew. On the rare occasions when I actually have to pay, I don’t have to state my order and it’s always prepared and ready in expedited fashion.
In any event, one of the Barista’s at this particular SBUX is a rather quiet young gal that I suspect has few ambitions in life other than not falling asleep at the wheel. You will understand when I manage “cow” as part of the description. “Simple” comes to mind. My family in England my use the descriptor “thick”.
I understand this is cruel But, this is coming from a fellow (me) that will do anything to inspire his daughters to reflect and represent only the best our genetic coding can muster on any given day (have I shamelessly boasted regaled you recently about how well Haley Anne is doing in public school – having emerged successfully from the ranks of the home schooled, and in soccer, where, as a formidable defender she demonstrates both her will and domain over hapless forwards? Or, how brilliant Emma Jo is in terms of her art and keen insight?).
I digress in parallel with setting myself up.
However, given all my chest-thumping arrogance and notions of, generalized superiority, this stage-setting is relevant.
I had come to the conclusion that this gal was pregnant. Time often throws itself into a vortex for me. Entire months can come-and-go as the world moves slowly around me. Well, her belly had apparently begun it’s expansion last year some time. But, I would swear that I asked her when she was due only last month, and she told me October. Every time I see her I inquire about how she is feeling; her due date; and add how great it is to be a parent.
Okay… This gal had Barista duty today and was moving like she was in a fog (while manning the cash register she reads every button like a First Grade Dick and Jane book). As I awaited my chai at the stand observing her titanic struggle with a cloth hopelessly pitted against a growing puddle of milk and some frothy substance, I asked her (ironically, I might add in a tragic sense) if she was ready to be a Mom.
“I already am a Mom”, she responded.
“Cool. Are you ready to be a Mom again?”
“No. I’m not going to be a Mom again.”
“Well… When your baby comes, won’t that make you a Mom again, in a manner of speaking?”
“No. I don’t think so.”
“Okay. So, when is this one due?”
“Lets try it this way… When do you give birth?”
Reader – have you heard of the phrase Cow Tipping?
She had gained quite a bit of weight by my estimate. And, I found myself both unsettled and concerned about how realistic the “cow” thing just might play itself out. I did some quick calculating and made out that was seven months away. This was either going to be the longest pregnancy of record, or I was really missing something.
“So… You are having another baby?”
“What happens in March?”
“I don’t know.”
“What does you having a baby have to do with March?”
“That’s when I had my baby.”
So… There I was a bit flat-footed, and not feeling like much of a card-carrying MENSA at the moment.
After something of a pregnant pause, if you will, she looked at me and asked:
“Do I look pregnant?”
Once again, faced with an Kobayashi Maru.
When I tell Joanne this story she will simply opine: “It was just none of your business”. She might add: “You were being an ass”.
IN celebration of own ly lack of demonstrated genius this day, let’s go with a poll and stir up some controversy:
Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.
Brian Patrick Cork