Gelf-Care 30-Day Challenge Day 29: Cawfee Tawk

Yesterday morning I did well in my spinning class and since I sweat my ass off, I wanted to treat myself to a caramel macchiato from Starbucks. My favorite drink of theirs and one I usually only get if I have a free drink on my card. In December I swore off buying coffee out and made it at home every day. Something I’ve wanted to do for a while because I don’t like wasting money on it nor waiting in line for it. However, I had gotten into a routine of buying it out regularly and I am happy to say I nipped that in the bud after 30 days (now almost 60 days) and now it feels weird to set foot in a Starbucks, Joe’s or any other coffee establishment.

But yesterday I really wanted to do it. Mostly because I am going to start a clean eating plan in the next few days, so I thought I would treat myself to some sweets before I do away with sugar for a while. Even though I’ve dedicated this month to self-care, I have to admit that I haven’t been as good about eating healthfully. As I stated on January 1, I have a massive sweet tooth that I want to get under control, yet I seem to have consumed more sugar at night than I normally do and I’m paying for it in my clothes.

My BFF and me all farklempt dressed up as Linda Richman (The whole costume came out of my mom’s closet. I only had to pay for the Lee Press-on Nails) circa 1999. Oy.

My BFF and me all farklempt dressed up as Linda Richman (The whole costume came out of my mom’s closet. I only had to pay for the Lee Press-on Nails) circa 1999. Oy.

Regardless, I still wanted “one last drink,” if you will, so in I went. I saw that they had a new drink on the menu, a Cinnamon Shortbread latte. I love trying new things and I’m a self-proclaimed cinnamon whore (seriously, I put cinnamon in everything - coffee, yogurt, oatmeal and I put so much in that it creates a small cloud that I have to wipe away with my hand.)

This new latte is described as a “Rich espresso with buttery vanilla shortbread sauce, topped with a dusting of cinnamon and nutmeg. It's shortbread made sippable.”

Dusting my ass. I’ll be adding more.

I was intrigued, so I asked the barista if it was good.

“I love it,” she said.

So I decided to try it.

When I took off the lid to add my cinnamon and possibly more sugar (not because of my addiction, but because sometimes it needs one more), it was filled to the brim and started to spill. I quickly wiped it up, took one sip expecting to be delighted with the taste, but I barely tasted anything. Their sweet drinks are known for being extra sweet and this tasted like normal coffee.

I noticed a guy wiping down the bar and asked him what he thought of the drink. He said he hadn’t tried it yet. Then, I told him I really didn’t like it.

“You should send it back,” he said.

“I would feel bad,” I said.

“Don’t. They’ll make you a new one,” he said.

“Really? Are you sure?” I asked.

“Of course. We want you to like what you ordered and we’re not that busy right now. There’s barely anyone over there,” he said. (Here’s to being an early riser!)

And with that I did something I never do. I sent it back and ordered a new one.

“Hey, I hate to say this, but I really don’t care for this drink,” I said sheepishly.

The barista politely said, “No problem. What would you like instead?”

She said it like it was no big deal. Like she remakes drinks all the time. Like she’s just taking a new order.

To me, it’s like I was asking for a kidney. I felt guilty. My Dad is Catholic and my Mom is Jewish, so I’ve completed cornered the market on guilt.

I also felt bad like I was putting them out, wasting a drink, their time and ingredients. I was worried that they’d roll their eyes and be annoyed with me. Think I was high maintenance. I was so worried that they’d judge me and I felt like, “who am I to deserve this?” Feeling entitled to something does not come naturally to me and I know all of my uncomfortable feelings are very common among women.

However, most of these fears are not true and even if they do get frustrated with me, it’s probably not just me. It could be a cumulation of other people being difficult.

The point is it comes down to standing up for myself and asking for what I want. Not being afraid to do that even in a small way like this because believe me, it trickles over to other areas of my life where the stakes are much higher.


I still felt uneasy about it, but was looking forward to the new drink. Another woman called out my order and I thanked them again for being accommodating.

I walked over to the doctor bar (where they have all the ingredients like chocolate, nutmeg and most importantly, cinnamon), added a shit ton of cinnamon, wiped away the cloud, took one sip and was disappointed. I barely tasted any caramel. After having more caramel macchiatos than I care to mention, believe me, I know what they’re supposed to taste like.

Was I going to send it back again? Hell, no. I’m not an asshole.

Did it even cross my mind? No.

Was it a good test for me? Without a doubt.

I decided to let it go (not something that comes naturally to me - see last month’s “See Ya, Bucko” Challenge) and chocked it up to the person making it.

That exercise was less about getting the right drink. It was more about me getting comfortable asking for what I want in all areas of my life, not feeling guilty about it and not worrying about what other people think.

It’s definitely a 30-day challenge I’ve considered doing (standing up for myself, that is.) After all, it’s about time I woke up and smelled the coffee. Am I right? ;)

Are you good about standing up for yourself? Would you have sent the drink back the first time? The second time?