I forgot to mention a few things about Mother’s Day, like talking to all of my sisters in one day, which was a great treat. All of them live out on the left side of the country (looking up from Mexico–for you Canadians, who are looking down on us, they’re off to your right), so I don’t get to see them much, only when I travel out there. Two are mothers, and the third had stopped by Mom’s grave today with flowers–she’s the only one of us who lives close enough to do that.
I did mention that Mama, 3B, and I went out early for lattes and pastries, but I forgot to mention what happened at our lovely local coffeehouse. Since we’d been there last, they’d done some remodeling. It looked like maybe a new espresso machine, and there was some redecoration–or maybe it’s been so long, we forgot what the place looked like. But the big surprises came just after we ordered our lattes.
First, the guy behind the counter who wasn’t pulling our shots handed over a blue box to Mama, saying, “Happy Mother’s Day, from AOL!”
I’m sorry, what now?
OK, thanks for the free mug that advertises the world’s largest continuously disintegrating ISP. Full disclosure: thanks to Brother #2, I was one of AOL’s first customers, and revelled in the ability to communicate almost for free with Brother #2. That is, until AOL got enough money to market themselves without having enough money to buy bandwidth for all of those people who believed the ads. That was back in the days of, “Thanks for calling AOL. If you’re having trouble connecting, try going to our home page . . .” My love-hate relationship with them has never ended. And no, I’m not with them anymore. We’re with Verizon now, the phone company that not only still oversells its bandwidth as though it were a dotcom boom darling, but also has hung up on Mama more times than we can count, due to incompetence, bad connections, or apathy.
But back to the cafe . . . after getting a free (and probably phthalate-laden) ad for AOL to carry around, we went to get sleeves for our lattes, which are now sponsored by Sprint, as it turns out.
I’m sorry, what now?
What the hell happened to our locally-owned coffehouse while we weren’t looking? Is there no establishment that won’t whore itself out to corporations? Is there nowhere that a company won’t try to stick its logo? Probably not, I suppose. But still, nothing ruins the smooth taste of a cafe con leche like the bitter stink of conspicuous commercialism and its bastard child, overconsumption.
And to think that we intentionally bypassed Starbucks to go to our local java shack. At least Starbucks has svelte, buoyant waterfowl on some of their coffee cups.
*oh yeah, about that title. . .