Letter To the Parents of the Woman in Front of Me in the Hotel Coffee Line

Dear Parents of Oblivious Bitch,

I was in a hurry. Correction. My wife and I were. Even though we were on a weekend-get-away. We were in a hurry. You’ve been there. I’ve been there (recently). We’ve all been there. And your oblivious bitch daughter has been there. But she was probably unaware of that, too.

As you know, it’s not a good feeling. You’ve got somewhere to be and a limited amount of time to get there. There’s the inevitable traffic, red lights, etc., There’s a pit in your stomach, a voice saying over and over: Hurry up! Get going! Let’s go! And you hear this voice from the moment you wake up.

You hear it in the shower. While getting dressed and brushing your teeth. While hurrying out the door, making sure you don’t forget anything in your haste, like a hotel room key, car keys, phone…whatever. Then you hear the voice get louder and more urgent as you decide whether to wait for the elevator or make a dash for the hotel stairs at the end of the hall.

You hear it, insistent, as you get on the elevator, stopping at every floor, as the person nearest the buttons apparently is unaware of the door close button. But, finally, you make it to the ground floor and the voice quiets. You think, we’re going to make it. We’re fine. Let’s stop and grab a quick bite at the continental breakfast, but then you hear it again. Louder and more insistent than ever. You hear it in the coffee line behind your oblivious bitch daughter.

I know I’m in the second person here, and it’s kinda weird, but I thought you really should stand in my shoes, which happen to be in line waiting for coffee behind the oblivious bitch that you raised. So let’s keep going!

You realize that she’s talking both on her phone through an earpiece and to her friend in line. She’s having two conversations, neither of which are very interesting or have much in the way of anything remotely worth sharing. She’s just like, talking, to both people, but not saying anything, to either one of them. It might be strangely fascinating, if you weren’t so pissed off, in a hurry waiting behind her.

Your daughter is wearing trendy workout attire but it’s unlikely she is either coming from or going to exercise. Now the hurry-up-voice inside your head starts to scream obscenities because your daughter is taking what feels like a century to prepare her light roast hotel coffee with cream. It’s excruciating watching her open the creamer. Then she goes for a second creamer and the voice inside your head yells another expletive because now you know how long it’s going to take to open that creamer. And your fear is confirmed. There’s no learning or improvement in the second creamer opening process. It’s agony. She has long, well-manicured nails, but somehow can’t seem to get the necessary leverage or pressure to lift the little flap part. In fact, the thought occurs to you that maybe you should reach past her and just open one for her, when somehow, despite her shoddy technique, she manages to open the second creamer and moves on to sugar.

You watch in horror as she moves through one, two, and now a third packet of brown sugar. She is telling someone about the brown sugar, whether it’s her friend or the person on the phone is unclear. Brown sugar is everywhere on the counter. A legit line is forming behind you, us. Your oblivious bitch daughter now can’t find the stirring rods, the little wood sticks, even though they are right in front of her face. She does manage to recognize them, like somehow the light traveling from the ceiling and windows, reflecting off the wood sticks, is traveling slower, much slower, into the pupil that is essentially just a hole in your oblivious bitch daughter’s eyeballs. She begins to stir her two creamer three brown sugar light roast hotel coffee like she is on a veranda, looking out at a glorious sunrise beyond a gentle flowing river, with birdsong in the air, like she literally has all day to stir and sip and enjoy her coffee. The whole process has been surreal, slow-motion, a coffee hotel line nightmare.

As mad as you are, as anxious and annoyed, you can’t help but be curious, even amazed, that your oblivious bitch daughter wouldn’t cast a single glance at the growing line behind her. Seriously, not even one little check over the shoulder. No teensy glimpse out of the side of her eye. Nada. It would be incredible, if it wasn’t so necessary and urgent for you to have caffeine before speeding off into traffic.

What a bitch.

After an eternity, she is done. It’s over. All things must pass. She is still talking. Little nonsense sentences that cause a rise in your blood pressure. Who she is talking to remains unclear. Finally, though, it seems the debacle is over and the rest of the poor, tired, weekend- hotel-chain-guest slobs can get a cup of joe already. But no.

Your oblivious bitch daughter needs a sleeve and a lid. She futzes around for another decade, like it’s the first time she’s ever done this and the lukewarm hotel coffee is scalding lava. Time is literally crawling. The voice inside your head is so mad, it is beyond screaming mad, it’s a vicious impotent tone, saying very dark, sarcastic things. Like there is some weird pleasure in the agony that is this line, which is now almost behind you to the door. Still! Not so much as a glance back. From her or her bitch friend. And now you begin to wonder about the friend. What kind of bitch person is your bitch daughter friends with that she can’t even turn around and say excuse us, on behalf of the bitch daughter?

Almost…almost…the lid is on. The sleeve…yes…almost…it’s unfolded now…it’s in position, careful…sliding…almost…yes. The sleeve is on. Both the lid and sleeve are on. When there is no applause the room feels empty. The first recognizable human characteristic manifests itself as she now disposes of the empty creamers and the used stirring rods in the correct little coffee garbage can receptacle. It’s slow, but at least she does it.

I should pause here and say that I’m not taking joy in this. This is not vindicating. It doesn’t feel good, like you think it might. I’m not doing this for pleasure— rather, I feel a true need to inform you. Because that wasn’t the end. If it was, I would’ve rolled my eyes, complained to my wife, and then laughed about it while sitting anxiously at a red light before gunning it at the green and driving like a maniac on the highway. Like a normal person.

But no. It wasn’t the end.  

Your oblivious bitch daughter decided at that moment to also get a hot tea. That’s right. A coffee and a tea. And that hot water, as opposed to the lukewarm light roast, was clearly very hot, so you can just imagine, but let’s not focus on that, for now.

Instead, let’s call attention to the astonishing detail that your oblivious bitch daughter did not throw a glance behind her on the way to this second beverage. One glance, one apologetic look with an insincere smile, and this letter doesn’t get written. I might think it. But the actual writing of it would not occur.

Obviously, it’s too late for your oblivious bitch daughter. I’m quite confident that if you called her up and asked her if the hotel near the beach that she stayed at on a Saturday, with three weddings going on, was busy, she would say no, it was just her and her friend that is ok with ½ of a miserable conversation.

Enough already. I’m exhausted, you’re exhausted. But this NEEDS TO BE SAID. WRITTEN. In no uncertain terms.

You failed as parents.

Like big time. Your grade is an F. I can’t help but wonder. Why didn’t you smack her on the back of the head, like the rest of us do, when you were supposed to? When she was seven and taking forever putting syrup on her waffle in the hotel breakfast line. That’s all it usually takes. A few smacks. I’m sure you’ve been successful in other facets of life, as evidence by the nice workout clothes, well-manicured-creamer-fumbling-nails, phone and earpiece you probably bought for your oblivious bitch daughter that almost certainly doesn’t work or contribute in any meaningful way in society. But you failed as parents. And not just your daughter. You failed all of us.

Good day,

A Concerned Citizen

P.S.

As if to confirm just how appalling of a failure you are as a parent, not three hours later, after my wife and I were late to that thing we went to, I was in a gas station behind a woman wearing a fanny pack and a t-shirt that said, “You will see me struggle but you will never see me quit.” She bought a diet cherry Pepsi, a large bag of FUNYUN’s chips, and a Hershey bar. She took a really long time finding her credit card in her fanny pack. Her t-shirt really told the truth. It was a real struggle. Then she realized that the diet cherry Pepsi’s had some kind of two-for deal. She bought another one, heading back to the cooler. She fumbled with her phone and keys and the fanny pack all over again. She had questions about the payment and some obscure gasoline rewards program that the non-native English-speaking gas station attendant either didn’t understand or know about.

        Now, you might be thinking, two sodas, a bag of FUNYUN’s, and a Hershey bar is not a proper lunch time purchase. And that might be true. But that it is not the point. The point is there were two distinct differences between these two experiences.

  1. I was not in a hurry.
  2. She apologized. Once at the beginning and once when she went for the second Pepsi. And then, for good measure, she wished me to have a “blessed” day. I will, I said. I will, right after I write this letter to the parents of this oblivious bitch.

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