Thursday, April 11, 2013

Confession Time

Here it goes:  My name is not Pete P. Peters. 
In fact, my first name ain't even Pete.  My real name is somewhat unusual.  The kind of name that, upon introduction, often prompts a quizzical "Huh?" or a "say that again?" or a "there must be a story behind that . . ."  Alas, there is no story.  Just a gift that has kept on giving for 40 years.  Perhaps my parents thought too hard.  Whatever.  I'm over it.
However, some time ago, I stopped giving my real name during various quasi-social interactions, such as waiting for a table at a restaurant, or when placing an order at Starbucks.  "Pete" is just much easier.  Especially early in the morning.
Now, anyone who's been a regular at a local coffee shop knows that the so-called "baristas" take pride in learning your drink order and memorizing your name.  I suppose this passes as grade-A customer service.  For me, however, it's proven problematic over the years.  Several years ago, I'd frequent the local Starbucks on the way to work in the morning.  My usual drink at the time was a non-fat vanilla latte, and my name was Pete.  After a few weeks, the baristas would see me waiting in line and get my drink started.  By the time I hit the register to pay, there would be a non-fat vanilla latte waiting for Pete.  Except, some days I didn't want a non-fat vanilla latte.  And, quite often, I would forget that I was "Pete."  As a result, at times, I'd be forced to drink a beverage I didn't really want; and, I'd look like a goddamn jackass as I stood there, staring into space as the barista looked at me, repeatedly calling, "non-fat vanilla latte for Pete . . . non-fat vanilla latte for Pete . . ."  Some days, it sucked being Pete.
Things finally came to a head after a year or so.  I was hanging out with friends at a bar in Bethesda, Maryland, on a Friday night when I ran into one of the baristas from Starbucks.  This early-twenty-something girl comes over and starts talking to me.  I had no idea who she was.  I didn't recognize her outside of her element.  If I were in Vegas, I would have assumed she was a hooker.  But as soon as she called me "Pete," the proverbial light bulb went off.  We then had an awkward 10 minute conversation, all the while my friends were laughing their asses off behind my back, wondering why this chick is calling me Pete, and assuming she had me confused with someone else the entire time.  
Following our encounter, I made my own coffee in the morning and drank it in the car from a travel mug that inevitably leaked all over my shirt.  I started going to the Quartarmaine Roasters across the street. On occasion, I even went without coffee until I got to work.  But, I never went back to that Starbucks again.  Pete had blown it for me.  That fucker. 
Fortunately, however, I recently found another Starbucks close by.  I started going there regularly about 3 months ago.  These days, my order is a medium coffee and a turkey bacon sandwich.  When I walk up to the counter, I'm usually greeted with a "hey Pete, what's up?"  I pay with my credit card, which, incidentally, was not issued to any guy named Pete.  This, however, has yet to raise an eyebrow.  Some days, I wish I could order a latte and a sausage and egg sandwich; but the baristas are always on the ball, and my order is usually in before I even reach the register.  Pete is a creature of habit.  Soon, he'll have to find a third Starbucks in the area.


  1. Tell the truth -- you were named after a soda!

    Mountain Dew P Peters?
    Sprite P Peters?
    Royal Crown P Peters?
    Green River P Peters?

    1. I think you may be on to something here!

    2. Hey - I had a soda named after me.

  2. Pete - the most important question is: Did you close the deal with the barista? Who cares if she calls you Pete when you get her in bed? And as a bonus, free coffee for life (or at least until things get awkward :-) )!!!

  3. That is an awesome story, "Pete." Really funny. And made better by the fact that I know your real name. Or at least the name you told me when we met. I never did look at your driver's license.

    However, I personally cannot stand it when people use fake names on blogs. I just don't like that one bit! :-)

    I'm with PM, tho, did you bag the Barrista or not? I mean, there must be a reason you chose a double-phalic name for a psuedonym!

    Oh, and remember....You gotta have heart!

  4. Solid performance again with this blog Mr. "Pete" but dammit, I want the rated "R" Pete where he closes the deal (not he really funny nice "other guy" who is totally "PG") .. esp. if drinking a vanilla latte is all it takes to remain in the game with a 20 something .. Pete should be getting laid a lot more than that other guy anyway!

  5. You don't seem like the shy type to me. I figured you'd just tell them that you don't want to drink the same thing every day - seems easier than Starbucks hunting...

  6. So, I'm not sure what to think of myself right now.
    I read this whole thing and not once did I wonder if you "closed the deal" with the Batista or not, but it appears that this is something everyone (else) wants to know.

    Lightning will probably do some sort or man-card revocation for that but whatever.

    Did you ever consider having a different Starbucks for each "order" that you could want.

    Want a grande mocha frap go to Starbucks #1.
    Want something with a turkey sandwich then Starbucks #2.
    Want a Vanilla Late and a quickie - Starbucks #3.

    1. You're a problem solver, Serge. That's why I like you.

      I guess now I need to move houses to an area with three new Starbucks and put your plan to work...

    2. @grrouchie: Nah -- you are currently in love and probably don't think of those things on a moment-by-moment basis like us old married guys do.

  7. Barrister embarrassed by a barista.

  8. My money is on Sarbucks #3 getting 90% of his business. Skip the latte and have time for a double quickie.