Whatever happened to hot chocolate with marshmallows?

As I've mentioned here before, I sleep very little.

Even when I do go to bed at a decent hour, there is something about an alarm sounding at 4:40am that's just jarring to my system. Previous to these crazy hours, I was NOT a coffee drinker. I LOVED the smell of coffee beans, coffee brewing, the coffee aisle at the grocery store... but never the taste. I'd often get some type of tastebud-friendly hot beverage to look like I was a grown-up drinking coffee, while I was really reveling in my coconut hot chocolate or caramel apple cider. However, since I now awake before the sun, I pump the coffee in all of it's caffeine-fueled glory into my body as quickly (and early) as possible.

Brian and I always stop at a Dunkin Donuts on our way to the train, but I just wasn't feeling it today. Since I'd only ever had coffee with enough cream and sugar to turn the drink a lovely light caramel color, I always order a flavored syrup to mask the coffee taste (still love the smell, can't love the taste). The coffee craving just wasn't there this morning, so I skipped it while Brian ordered his.

It's cold again today, and as I waited on the platform for my train with the brisk wind whipping around me, I felt alive... fresh... rejuvenated! "Coffee is for fools with no true energy! Forget caffeine-- high on life is exactly what I am, yessir!" The train pulls in, I grab a seat, scroll through my blogs (good morning, Big Mama!), so alert and annoyingly wide awake, smiling at all of my fellow (oh so grumpy) commuters. With a bounce in my step, I flounce from the train to my shuttle, perkily greeting my favorite bus driver and finding a seat. And then we idled. And wait... and we wait some more. We probably sat there for a good 15 minutes, waiting for more passengers to load on. By the time we finally pulled out of the parking lot, I was passed out cold.

After continuing to nod off three more times in my 20 minute commute to work, I deemed a morning stop at Starbucks absolutely necessary. Now, while I am a fan of Starbucks over DD, no questions asked, I just can't bring myself to rationalize spending $5 a day on a cup of coffee. For that reason, Starbucks is more of a treat than a necessity. Knowing that my Grande Skinny Cinnamon Dolce Latte is about to pumping through me, I might have quickly scurried/jaywalked across the street to the Starbucks next to my building. After I placed my order and moved to the side to wait for my drink, I noticed who was waiting next to me.

Now, at this point in my story, it would be really fun if I could say "Giselle and baby Benjamin!" or "Mark Wahlberg!" or (my personal favorite) "Jenn, Ben and their girls!" (Boston-related celebs, my friends). Fun, yes. What actually happened... no. Not quite. Would have made for a fun Tuesday morning though. And Jenn is always running into Starbucks while Ben is off filming movies-- girlfriend needs the caffeine to keep up with those babies!

So yea. I notice the group of customers who are also waiting for their drinks... and they're no older than 9-10 years old. Um... what? When did KIDS start drinking Starbucks? Am I that out of the loop with the trends? I mean, Starbucks does have a handful of kid-friendly drinks: variations of hot chocolate, apple juice, caramel apple spice, all of which I would be happy to drink. But these kids were hard. core.

"Grande Awake tea Latte for Vivi!"
"Tall espresso Macchiato for James!"
"Tall non-fat peppermint mocha, no whip, for Bryn!"

Y'all, I had to pick my jaw up off of the ground. Act like little kids, for goodness sakes! Is it just the trendiness of walking into school holding a Starbucks cup? Because I NEVER see little ones waiting in line at DD for a drink. Munchkins, yes. Espresso, no. And for the love of pete's sake-- the non-fat, no-whip girl was skin.and.bones. There's no telling who's coaching her to take all of the goodness out of her Starbucks indulgence, but I can for sure say that it was NOT necessary. Needless to say, I was a little bit thrown off by my fellow customers this morning. If they're drinking this much caffeine now, how much will they need to get going when they're old and almost 25, like me?

Ah, well. God bless the teachers who have to deal with their little caffeine-flooded, espresso-driven bodies today. By the end of today, they might be needing something stronger than a stop at Starbucks can fix.

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