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Okay so this is a story/essay thingy that i had to write for my class. Tell me what you think.

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The Way I See It: Six Bucks and 1000 Calories Later

Tonight, I left my Math 102 class with mixed feelings. I felt good; because I’m sure I got an A on the test (did I just jinx myself?). But I also felt bad because I knew my consumerism essay on myspace was awful; it was totally off subject. I felt that the night would be a long, arduous one and that I would probably feel like I should give up somewhere between twelve and two AM. As I walked toward my car, I knew that I would need some liquid courage, or well, MY version of liquid courage: a Starbucks frappuccino. I drove down Avenue K, thinking about the delicious beverage that would keep me awake through the night when I had my epiphany. “DUDE! Starbucks!” I thought. It was then that I decided that my essay would be on the place that has virtually kept me going for the past three years. There is a Starbucks on Avenue K, but I decided to forego that establishment, afraid that they would not make my beverage to my standards. So I went to my Starbucks, the one by the Wendy’s on Avenue P. Yes, I claim that one as my own.

I knew I wanted to go inside, to get a feel for the ambiance of that glorious place. At 10:15 PM, I prayed that it was still open. Yay! I thought when the door opened. Immediately I was attacked by the wonderful, yet nauseatingly overpowering smell of strong coffee. I ordered my usual “double venti caramel frappuccino with extra caramel,” knowing that my stomach would be regretting that decision half way through writing the essay. The drink was just under five dollars, but I usually gave a one dollar tip, to sort of say, “hey don’t mess up my drink!” After I ordered, I walked around the store, glossing my eyes over every aspect of the room. Save for the three baristas, I was alone, which gave me a chance to remember every memory I had of the place.

When I was in high school, I had a fifty dollar a week habit. I was addicted (who am I kidding, I’m still addicted now). I, being the lazy, fat ass that I am, almost always go through the drive-thru. The idea of a drive-thru just for coffee is somewhat ridiculous, and yet, I find myself complaining when a Starbucks doesn’t have one. In the morning, there was a window of time where there was no people going through the drive-thru, but if you got there, even just one minute late; there would be a line that wrapped around the establishment. On those days, I went inside. Every time I went to Starbucks, there would be an Audi Quatro TT parked in the lot. It belonged to a teacher from Antelope Valley College; I know this because one time I was parked next to him and saw the faculty sticker on his windshield. When I was in line inside, I couldn’t help but stare at him. I hated him at first, because for some reason, he reminded me that my addiction was real. It was very much like Fight Club, where the narrator hates Marla for being where he was, exposing him for the liar that he was. I’d watch him order the same drink everyday, occasionally purchasing a pastry to compliment his caffeinated beverage.

I took yearbook in high school; I was always an editor. When we ditched class to work on yearbook, we would go on these things called “Starbucks runs.” One person (usually me) would take down the orders of our “hard working” staff and go to purchase the drinks. I usually went after fifth period, when some of the students would leave. My friends Raul and Nelson would come up to and say, “Michelle, my love! Let’s go to Starbucks!” So I would take them along; I was always grateful for the extra hands. We’d laugh and joke the whole way there (to my Starbucks, of course). Raul ordered a passion iced tea and Nelson would order a vanilla bean frappuccino. One of the boys almost always offered to buy my drink saying, “Damn it Michelle! You’re always paying for stuff for me. Just accept it.” While we waited, we perused the small selection of CDs, they had, often asking why a coffee place would sell music. Later on, we would learn that Starbucks would have its own entertainment company which made movies and Paul McCartney CDs. When we got our order, we’d sit outside and chat a little. I was always glad for these moments when I was away from the stress of yearbook.

Every time I go inside Starbucks, I pay attention to the people that are there. There was always a group of young college students inside. They would sit around two small tables pushed together, drinking cappuccinos, jamming to the indie rock that wafted through the building. They would always be discussing things like Voltaire or Plato; I didn’t really listen into their conversations, because that’s rude (and I didn’t really understand what they were saying). Then there were, what I call, the “fashionistas.” They would come in dressed in their designer jeans, Uggs, and humungous, face-eating sunglasses. The girls would always tap their feet impatiently and then treat the baristas with a cold, Maria Sharapova-like indifference when they ordered their “skinny, half-caf chai lattes.” I stared at the jealously, feeling that my Gucci sunglasses and Coach handbag were not up to par with what they wore. They pissed me off because I knew that even if they ordered my six dollar, thousand calorie favorite, they would not gain a single pound.
There was always an old (I shouldn’t call him old; middle aged, maybe?) reading the New York Times that they had on sale. I’m sure he didn’t buy it (I wouldn’t), I think he would just read it, then put it back. I liked him, he was the type of guy who I’d like to have a conversation with, even though I probably wouldn’t know what the heck he was talking about. Then there would be the business man, complete with laptop and files, sitting at the long table that had enough room to work on. I felt bad for him, because in my mind, I made up a story about how he had a nagging wife and couldn’t get any work done at home. These two men, probably drank regular coffee; the newspaper man with milk and sugar, the business man, black.

Then there was the mother who came in with her four children. She would wait patiently in line with a child at her hip, waiting for her turn at the register. I was sure that she would just snap when her kids were screaming orders at her for crème based frappuccinos, the only kind she would allow her children to get. The youngest daughter would get the strawberries and crème frappe, the two sons: double chocolate chip, and her teenaged, size zero “fashionista” daughter, a light vanilla bean, because she was watching her weight. As she waited for her order, she would walk around the store, browsing the merchandise they had on display. She would contemplate purchasing the lovely floral coffee mugs, the ones that would match the décor of her kitchen. Then, she would go to the high-tech coffee machines, lightly fingering them, wondering how they worked. Her youngest would beg her for the chocolates that Starbucks offered, her two sons, a rice krispy bar. The barista would save her from her children, calling out as her order was placed at the small counter. She left looking a little more harried than when she came.

My cruise through memory lane was interrupted and I jumped as they called out my order. When I got it, I asked for a coffee cup and sleeve, for research purposes, you know. The sleeve boasts Starbucks’ commitment to “reducing our environmental impact” by making them out of “post-consumer fiber,” which I guess is a fancy way of saying previously used. Now that I think about that, I’m kind of grossed out. Every Starbucks cup for hot beverages has a little thing called, “The Way I See It,” where people’s thoughts were inscribed onto the cup, giving them a brief moment of Starbucks fame.

The way I see it: Starbucks coffee is deliciously overrated, and I’m slightly convinced they put drugs in their drinks to keep people coming. Starbucks has taken over the world, I just heard Vince Spadea (a tennis player) say he misses American Starbucks. If there was any debate as to how Starbucks has taken over, people should just look at their shopping complexes because there is probably one there, if not a store then it’s in the Vons, or the Albertsons, or the Target. There are two Starbucks with in a two mile radius from where I live (three if you count the Barnes and Noble Café). People no longer drink coffee, they go out for a Starbucks. In the movie Fight Club, the narrator talks about how corporations will be naming things in space. One of them: Planet Starbucks. Now while I think Starbucks is overrated, I love it. I can’t even drink regular homemade coffee, maybe I should buy one of those mugs that looks like the Starbucks coffee cups. They’ve got me and practically the whole world hooked.

Well, six dollars and 1000 calories later, I’m done with this essay. And I guarantee you, that when I turn this in, I’ll be sipping on the liquid gold that is Starbucks.
 

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May All Beings Be Happy!!
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Michelle:wavey: even though I am a certified Starbucks hater, I never go through their doors unless someone forces me under gun point, I found your essay totally engaged my attention. You really write very well. Keep it up.
 

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Nice read. Overuse of semicolons and the repetitive 'always' are a bit distracting, and some of the commas disrupt the flow of the sentences. Otherwise it's well-written.
 
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