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The Best Starbucks Trip Ever

I looked like I had been to Hell and back, and I had. The thought of meeting with a client to discuss their account over a cup of coffee at Starbucks seemed like a good distraction at the time. My world had been blown up into a million pieces, and I was desperate for normalcy, for routine interactions that required no emotion whatsoever. My tears, or so I thought, had run out. I had used up the last of them crying myself into a puffy-faced, red-eyed version of myself in the parking lot a few minutes prior. There couldn’t possibly be any remaining. Work talk over my usual venti skinny extra shot caramel macchiato would be just what I needed to temporarily erase the previous 48 hours from my mind. $5 of pure, caffeinated emotional recluse. And then I saw her standing in line.

Ms. White is magical. She was my son’s second grade teacher and had already changed our lives in so many ways. She believed in my son so much and loved him so fiercely that over the course of a school year he had started to truly believe in himself and his gifts. I love her. And I was terrified to see her in line that day because with her I would not be able to pretend to be fine. She would see through me with her unicorn senses. She would try to say it would be ok. Oh, God, she would even start crying with me. My client would show up and I would be a puddle. This cannot be happening. I cannot talk to her. I must run away. Eye contact. Shit. Now I need to try to be normal even though there is no pretending with this beautiful soul in front of me. I hug her and try not to start sobbing in her lap in the middle of the long line of latte junkies. She would literally plop down on the floor with me and let me lay on her and she would pet my hair and tell me that things would be fine. So instead of trying to figure out a solution between surface level and puddle on the floor, I ask her how her summer has been so far. And she starts crying.

She tells me through her tears that she has had the hardest time lately. She and her boyfriend had broken up and in a couple of hours she was going to be bringing her puppy to a shelter because she can’t find an apartment for the two of them. I ask her to tell me about her dog. “She is an eight month old goldendoodle‚Ķ” And then it happened. We were suddenly the only two people in the entire place. I started sobbing with her, and in hindsight she must have thought me the most empathetic human ever.

Then I told her. I told her that our four year old goldendoodle had been killed two days prior. That our kids left the door open and now blamed themselves for their beloved dog getting demolished by a teenage driver’s car in the street in front of them. I told her that our hearts were broken.

“Can we adopt your dog? Please don’t bring her to a shelter. Please let us love her.”

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Kari Shideman

I'm Kari...

and I am a Scorpio of Italian, German and Irish descent who feels things deeply and has shit to say about it.

I am a mother, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a cynic, a dreamer, an encourager, a believer in unexpected blessings.

I believe that life is both amazing and brutally hard at times. To be human is to connect with others, and to fully accomplish this, we need to live in the REAL. Life is not meant to go through on the surface level.

My hope is that somehow I will inspire people to dive a little deeper, to laugh a little harder, to live a little more connected.

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