Truth be known, I expected a little more preferential treatment last week at the original Starbucks, founded in Seattle, Washington, in 1971. To be quite honest, I expected to walk in the door and hear a sharp intake of breath from the barista, who would whisper frantically to the rest of the crew something like, "Heads up, guys! That's Googie! I recognize her from her blog pic!"
At the very least, I expected a free venti decaf skinny vanilla latte--skinny, of course, to balance out the calories in the hunk of iced lemon pound cake they would insist on serving me, also compliments of the house. However, hard as it was to believe, their eyes showed no glint of recognition as I found myself forking over the same amount I pay three or four times a month at the Starbucks in my smaller Midwestern hometown of around 20,000.
This is where I am a celebrity. Here, I am well known as "Beenie's Grandma." This Starbucks was the venue of my first public appearance with Beenie when he was a little over six weeks old. On that visit, I was inspired to ask for an extra cup so that I could snap this pic with my cell phone:
The extra print I made for the Starbucks crew shot us into an orbit of fame and notoriety, and it has been on their bulletin board ever since. Every time I go in, I glance at the wall to see if it has been taken down yet, but it has not. Because the pic has made such tremendous waves locally, I thought surely our fame would have preceded me to the west coast.
Just before the Seattle trip, I archived the pictures from my digital camera and cell phone in preparation for the fall and winter holidays. In the process of that, I made the Starbucks crew an updated print, snapped by my good friend and fellow Starbucks addict during another visit with Beenie over a year later:
Notice the intent look with which the child contemplates the cup this time. (It was empty, of course, so don't turn me in to the Division of Social Services for child endangerment.) With Beenie wide awake for this photo shoot, I'm sure you will agree that, once this pic goes up on the bulletin board Friday, we will surely be going viral.
At that point, it will be only a matter of minutes until our faces are recognized not only at the original Starbucks location at Pike Place Market in Seattle, but at its other 139 locations in that city alone (according to a "Show Me Seattle" tour guide named Dan) and its other 17,432 locations in this and 54 other countries (Statistic Brain, 12 Aug. 2013).
I am thinking I will take Beenie to Starbucks with me and snap his picture once a year until he goes off to college. (I may have to bribe him when he reaches those sensitive middle school years.) That way I should get not only worldwide facial recognition but also all the coffee and lemon pound cake I could ever want.