Day 23,694:  Paying More for Less.

I rarely buy coffee out anymore. I’m now a devotee of K-cups at work, and finding our own beans at home. I’ve never been a Starbucks fan, and am now starting a new life 180 degress from Pike’s Peak in the decaf lane.  But, today, I took a leap back on the wild side. I did a Dunkin’ Donuts drive through.

The order was simple – medium decaf, cream  (the treat) and no sugar.  I paid my $2.12 – double what I’m used to paying, and drove to the office for an afternoon pick-me-up.  Three minutes later when I got to my desk and took a sip, I knew instantly that my order was not only messed up, but reversed. I got black with sugar.

Normally, I’d eat the $2, be disappointed, throw out the cup and sadly make my normal dunkin 2K-cup.  I’d weigh the time to go back along with the gas and conclude it wasn’t worth it. But, mot today. Today, I decided to go back. The trick was what to do at the drive through – try to chat about it at the ordering station, or just drive through?  I drove through.

At the window, two new helpers appeared, heard my story, and made good. Then, they engaged me in positive banter and just as I was preparing to drive away, the taller of the two said, “Can we get you a free donut for the mess up?”


My brain chattered – free donut. It’s free. Chocolate donut. I could give the donut away.  I could ask for Munchkin’s instead. I could make someone else happy with a donut. I could…

“No,” I said. “Thanks. Nice offer. I can’t,” and  drove away.

The truth is I didn’t want a donut, didn’t crave a donut, didn’t need a donut, and would have to pay for the free donut if I ate it with extra pounds on the scale tomorrow morning. Yes, my system is that sensitive.

I gave up “free” several years ago with cosmetic offers at Lancome and Estee Lauder. Buy X amount of product and get a cosmetic bag and blush and mini-lipsticks and mascara all for free. Except I’d rarely use them, and they became bathroom clutter.

At one point, years ago, my kids’ school had a drive for new cosmetics for women in homeless and battered women’s shelters. It felt good to empty all the extra product for a cause. I don’t have access to the donation outlet anymore, and now free is just a gateway to extra stuff I don’t need, want or use.

Now, I’ve come to terms with getting less for the same price. I’m happy to get just what I came for even if I could get more for the same money. I’m really happy if I can actually get what I want with just one trip through the drive through instead of two. That might be asking a bit too much, regardless of the price. Still, it’s an eternal percolating hope.

Staying Focused on Common Sense Gun Sanity: These days everyone is asking for donations, but there are ways to stay committed with free actions. Calls to Congress are free. Two actions, Women Against Gun Violence are recommending are to ask for a “No” vote on National Concealed Carry Reciprocity and to ask for a “Yes” vote to support Diane Feinstein’s bill S2095 introduced in November 2017 ban assault weapons and high capacity magazines. Not sure how to get a name or phone number? Here’s the official list.