Despite Starbucks’ 40th Birthday yesterday, my romantic life sunk to new lows. While reading about Laura Mulvey‘s reclamation of the sadistic male gaze, a boy of no more than twelve years propositioned me, “A latte for your thoughts?”
I admit, regardless of the pedophiliac scenario in the making, I was tempted to accept his offer. Fortunately, the previous day had brought a $50 Starbucks gift card my way, and so I was able to resist the temptation. However, I had to press the matter: “Is this a pick up?”
His response, “Only if you want it to be, babe.” Without a hair on his chest, this boy was acting like he’d been in the game for years. I was impressed and slightly disturbed. When I was in middle school, I was still convinced boys had cooties– or worse, the three letter word: STD. Thanks for that one, Dawson’s Creek.
Despite my lack of response, this boy– we’ll call him Adam– persisted. “Babe, do I need to up it to two lattes?” Oh, now he was pulling at my caffeinated heart strings. I informed him that he could purchase whatever he’d like, but if he should happen to find himself standing in front of a Starbucks barista with little thought as to what to purchase, I highly recommended the venti skinny vanilla latte.
Within five minutes the aforementioned latte suddenly appeared beside me. “Now can we talk about you, me, us?” The locals were looking, and I was getting an eerie feeling that they thought I was some sexually predatory babysitter.
I convinced him to accompany me to the pharmacy, where I had a prescription to retrieve. His response, “Woman, you sound like my grandmother.” He wouldn’t be the first boy to tell me I sound like a seventy year old trapped in a twenty-one year old body.
After a moment of hesitation, he acquiesced and we began the short journey across the street. Adam wasted no time, “So I like you and all, but I really like this other girl. She’s more of my generation than you, you know? But she doesn’t see me. How do I get her to see me?”
As a Cinema and Media Studies major, I too often steal advice from films. Taking a cue from “Love Actually,” I responded, “Learn to play the drums. Start your own rock band. Girls dig musicians.” Granted, I am an exception to that rule. Though at his age, I would have given up a lifetime supply of Starbucks to go on one date with JC Chasez of NSYNC.
He seemed enthusiastic about this possibility, and whipping out his iPhone began to look up locations for drum lessons. When we arrived at the prescription counter, he had found a feasible option, and with a quick Justin Bieber-like whip of his hair, said, “Babe, I’ve gotta roll. It’s been real. Enjoy the latte.”
The entire tween experience probably lasted for less than five minutes, and yet that little musician in the making is now indelibly imprinted on my brain. Instead of fantasizing about my life with James Franco, I am dreaming of lattes funded by Adam. I now realize I’ll know I’ve found true love with I think of the Mister in my life before calculating the minutes until I consume my next latte.