Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone. Or, if you hate Valentine’s Day, as some people do, happy Jeongwol Daeboreum, which is a Korean holiday celebrating the first full moon of the lunar year.
As a disclaimer, this story is totally fictitious. I only say that because my wife reads my blog and I really don’t want her mad at me on Valentine’s Day.
Her name is Sally, according to her nametag. I’m not saying I’m going to marry her someday, but I’m not saying I’m not either. Let me tell you how it all started.
On the day I met her, my day wasn’t going well. If days were rated by cable news, that one would have been Bad Dayocalypse. I don’t remember why now, I just know I was in the foul mood when I walked into the new Java Bean.
I’ll always remember the first words she said to me: “Can I take your order?” Then she gave me a smile that lifted my spirit to the heavenly realm. It was more than just a polite smile. There was something there.
When she handed me my cafe latte (with another glowing smile), my heart skipped a beat. She had drawn a heart in the cream on top! This girl seriously had a thing for me. Things were moving so fast, but I felt invigorated. The day had gotten a lot better.
My Barista Loves Me
Our relationship settled into a routine. I went to the Java Bean every day she worked (it took me a week or so to figure that out) and ordered my regular. Almost every time, she would draw a heart in the foam on top. It was like her signal to me that everything was still okay. I used to watch her work, trying not to be jealous when she smiled at other customers. That’s just her job. She has to be polite to them, I would think, over and over. It doesn’t mean anything with them, like it does with me.
Then came the day I happened to walk by the counter as she was giving another customer his coffee. There was a heart drawn on his too! It was almost too much for me. Had everything she had done for me been a sham? No, of course not, but was her love for me waning now? I couldn’t go back to the Java Bean for a couple days, but when I did, she smiled at me as always. I was tempted to say something cutting, but I didn’t. When I got my coffee, it had a string of three little hearts on top and all my anger melted. It was like this was her apology to me.
These days, we’re like an old married couple. I love our banter as she’s taking my money or making the coffee. “Cold weather today, eh?” I say. “Sure is,” she replies. Is that just like her? Boy, I love her.
I’m not sure if this has a future or not, but for now I’m just taking it slow. Still, no matter what happens, I know my barista loves me.