December 1st is World Aids Day

by Esther Emery

skip_starbucksDear Starbucks…

A macchiato is not that, and your Breakfast Blend is not my favorite, but I do appreciate the attention you draw to World Aids Day.

In theory.

Dear Starbucks, I already know that you manipulate me, because otherwise I would never have forgiven you for beating out Seattle’s Best Coffee for the market share back when I lived in Seattle and espresso was the highlight of my straight-edge, teenage day.

Are you manipulating me now? 

You tell me that five cents of my purchase will be donated to a cause I really care about.

Is it possible that you are using my concern and desire to have impact to get the other three dollars and ninety-five cents? And maybe another dollar seventy-five for a pastry to go with it?  

I am easily distracted, it’s true. You flatter me by using fancy names like “macchiato” to describe that tasty icy thing that sort of resembles a milkshake. And you have very hip music on your CD racks. I totally got excited when I saw that you were selling the Decemberists, just like you knew I would.  

Today, I think I’m going to go one step beyond wearing the red ribbon, and even one step beyond wearing a red ribbon on Facebook. I’m going to skip the Starbucks specialty beverage and donate the whole four dollars to World Aids Day. 

It’s easy. And it helps.

P.S. Dear Starbucks, I do greatly appreciate the way you employ my friends and colleagues.

P.P.S. And I really dig the pumpkin bread.