I’ve been going to Sonic every morning for twenty years. I get a Route 44 Diet Coke. It starts my day off nicely, not just because of the drink, but because after that many years you tend to cultivate relationships with the people who work there. I don’t even have to push the button when I pull in. Beverly sees me, comes over the speaker and says something like, “You look grouchy. Need a Xanax?” She never gives me a Xanax, but sometimes she gives me free drinks. That’s the shit.
Beverly is somewhere in her fifties. Her hair is died an unnatural red and it pokes out of her visor like chicken feathers. Her eyes are that super light, damn near evil blue. She’s very tan and has deep wrinkles, but I find her face very pleasant to look at. I enjoy her particular style of conversing and her mannerisms are unusual and charming. Beverly attends NA every single day and is on probation for ten years. I’ve never asked what she did but she was a very bad girl. She doesn’t like alcohol. She has three grandchildren and she likes them. She works hard and doesn’t like when they hire meth heads who are unreliable and always stick her alone on the shift. She was married for seventeen years to Benny who can now fuck off for all she cares. Beverly is a Leo. These are all things I’ve picked up from our transitory conversations in the morning.
Recently, though, my morning drink stop changed to Jack in the Box because Sonic started opening later. This makes me sad because the diet coke at Jack in the Box sucks. The ice is all wrong. It’s big and melty. They put barely any in there so by the time you get where you’re going, you have one giant lukecold sucky drink. At Sonic, the ice to drink ratio is always perfect and the ice is tiny and light and fluffy. It’s a pretty fucking magical experience. In truth, I could go somewhere other than Jack in the Box for my diet coke, and probably get a pretty comparable drink to Sonic, but I don’t really go there for the drink.
I go there for Mike. Every morning when I pull up to the speaker, a deep voice greets me. “Good morning, this is Mike. It’s a great day! How may I help you?” Well good morning, Mike.
It took me a mere three days of ordering before he knew my voice and what I wanted. These are the things that make life worth it.
Our relationship blossomed very quickly. Mike knows me. I know Mike. We are buddies. We have an unbreakable bond. At least until Sonic changes its hours back. And the reason Mike knows me is because he’s always taken the time to talk to me while I wait for my drink. He knows my story. I know his story. He’s my Jack in the Box Beverly. Every morning is special. Until today.
Before I continue, I feel it’s necessary to provide some information relevant to the story.
- If you wear glasses, you’re smart.
- If you tie all your hair on top of your head in a ball, you’re lazy and can’t bother taking the time to fix your hair. BUT, if you pull bangs out where they fall down the side of your face, your hair looks so beautiful and you must be going to a ball. This is considered the fancy bun, even though it’s actually lazier than the lazy bun. Go figure.
- A bun/glasses combo: If you wear a fancy bun with glasses, you are a school teacher.
This morning, I wore a fancy bun, and of course I wore my glasses because I’m a blind motherfucker and nobody needs a Friday morning massacre because I plowed into a pack of hobos at the Jack in the Box. I wore the fancy bun because I woke up late and didn’t have to time to screw with it. And because people would assume I spent hours on it and I was attending a ball later.
When I pulled up to the window, Mike was making my drink and his manager greeted me. I’d never seen this woman before in my life. She was a black lady, probably fortyish, with a big gold grill beaming back at me. “Well good morning! You all ready for school today?” she shrilled.
Ready for school? She looked at me for literally two seconds, made a judgment, and her confidence level was SO HIGH that she was right that she blurted that dumb shit out of her fat mouth.
This may not seem like a big deal to anyone else but this sort of thing really gets under my skin. Who likes to be summed up with one look? Nobody, that’s who.
A school teacher? What if I was a stripper? Am I not believable as a stripper? That shit is offensive to me. I could’ve been on my way to stick my vagina in someone’s face this very morning, lady. Or maybe I’m an assassin. And you’re next. Maybe I’m the CEO of Jack in the Box randomly checking the drive through for quality, and suddenly now my credentials are stripped away and I’m a school teacher. As the CEO of Jack in the Box, you’re fired. Maybe, lady, I run a splinter cell of ISIS, and now you’re gonna be all blown the fuck up for being a judgy infidel.
“Well good morning! You all ready for school today?” She’s grinning from ear to ear, awaiting my response. I could’ve done the same to her - profiled her based off two seconds of information. ”Well good morning! Don’t pop a cap in my ass G, I’m just looking for a diet coke up in here!” or “ Well good morning, you ready to smoke some crack today?”. But I did not do either of those things because I’m not a fucking racist or an inconsiderate profily profiler.
I looked at her, expressionless. “I’m not a school teacher. I don’t even like kids.” Mike grinned at me. He knew that. Fucking Beverly knows that. My nieces and nephews know that. My coworkers know that. Tom Brokaw knows that. But she didn’t take the time to know that, or anything else. Her expression suddenly changed. What? This ratchet bitch doesn’t like kids? She made a rotten egg face. A judgy, rotten egg I’m about to call CPS on you face. At least this time she was judging me based off of some actual information.
I took my shitty drink and drove away, thinking to myself that this is exactly what’s wrong with the world. People are all too ready to put you in a box based off absolutely no real information other than your skin suit. We have to do better. Tomorrow I will take her a coupon for a weave and see if I can somehow mend this relationship.
In the meantime, Happy Friday! Be good to one another.