Today I decided to have a smoothie for lunch.
Upon ordering, I asked if they could make me a dairy-free smoothie. The young man said “sure, that’ll be $7.95,” to which I replied “I haven’t told you which smoothie yet…” This should’ve been my first clue that this was going to be a rough situation.
After a while, they called my name. But once I walked over to retrieve my smoothie, the same young man handed it to me with a nonchalant “it has milk in it, is that cool?” and then he turned around to go make another smoothie! – as if it was in fact cool that my dairy-free smoothie contained dairy.
“Wait, no, sorry I needed it to be dairy-free,” I said sheepishly as if I was the one who needed to earn back his trust. He said, – I kid you not – “there’s really not that much dairy in it. My mom drinks these and she’s lactose intolerant.”
Normally in these situations I just blankly stare at people, awkwardly laugh, apologize again and flee the building, all the while mentally spewing terribly clever comebacks but not vocalizing them.
But not today. I’d only had a mere three cups of coffee at this point in the day and I was in no mood to sit idly by and be slightly poisoned.
I said, through a gloriously condescending smile, “It sorta sounds like your mom may actually be tolerant of lactose.” Evidently I was smiling a little too genuinely because he laughed and let it roll off like a joke.
After his laughter faded, he looked down and we stood there in silence for a few seconds until again making eye contact. He then looked at the smoothie on the counter. Then back at me. Then back at the smoothie. Then back at me. I was experiencing a real-life Old Spice commercial. I gathered from his baffled, darting eyes that he expected me to just take the smoothie and leave. He verified this assumption when he began looking behind me at other people in line and waving them forward with a nod of his head.
I did not budge. And I refused to be the one to ask for another smoothie. I wanted him to offer it. Not because I am entitled, but because I am a psychopath. A hungry, lactose intolerant psychopath.
I stood there, head tilted like an adorably annoyed puppy, waiting for a chance to lock eyes with him and silently coerce him into making me a new smoothie. It took him what felt like years to finally realize I was not leaving with a smoothie that could send me to my grave (but only a little bit to my grave). “I mean… can I get you something else?”
VICTORY. I never win these situations. I was elated, but also knew I had to keep my cool. I couldn’t let him in on the fact that I never win these situations. For all he knows, I always win. I always get what I want (in terms of smoothies and virtually nothing else).
I ordered my new & improved smoothie (a different flavor – just to be safe) and again asked if it could be dairy-free. He said “sure!” and by his blind willingness I could tell that he didn’t even realize we had a situation.
Long story short, I finally got my dairy-free (as far as I know) smoothie and with it, a sense of conquest. When it comes to frozen treats, I will never give in. Even if my opponent is unaware of the battle. The lesson here is probably to lower my intake of caffeine before noon, but regardless, I won this situation.