Page's Turn

Coffee with an attitude

November 21, 2011

I can’t properly function without coffee, so every morning after carpool, I race over to “my” Starbucks near 34th and Wisconsin.

I park on the street alongside the lot and groggily head toward the entrance. Inside, I know Amanda, Tameika or Emily will recognize me and get my latte started. Is there a more chipper person in the morning than Amanda, the manager at Starbucks? She deserves major credit for running--in my opinion--one of the best Starbucks in town. 

But today there’s a line snaking all the way to the front door.  A well-coiffed blonde comes out as I’m entering and mutters to me, “It’s a mob scene in there. I don’t know what is going on today.” She’s looking svelte in a black suit and Tory Burch patent leather pumps. I’m clad in yoga pants and a long-sleeved T-shirt with a smear of toothpaste on the front, which I just noticed. It’s a good look.

Feeling a little insecure and unkempt, I walk in and see a slew of well-turned out Washingtonians waiting in line for their lattes, macchiatas and mochas. Sun streams in through the windows and you can see eye  shadow sparkling on women’s eyes. My mood is not so sparkly.

 I really just want things to speed up so I can take a swig of coffee. Please let me get out of here before I see anyone. Yes, I realize I could have made my own coffee, avoided the crowd, and saved the four bucks I’m about to shell out.  But trust me, my home brewing does not compare. Plus, I’ve become accustomed--some might say, addicted-- to plastic lids.

I’m thinking all this while Tameika, another upbeat barista, walks along the line taking orders. She gives me a smile and says, “Venti latte, right?” 

“Yep, thanks. It’s really crowded in here today, isn’t it?’

I expect to hear a complaint or heavy sigh, but instead hear this: “Yeah, and I LOVE it this way!”

It was hard not to be swept up in her cheerfulness. And I thought about that quote I see everywhere: “Our lives are not determined by what happens to us but by how we react to what happens.”

Every so often we need an attitude adjustment. Tameika had a good one. And it gave me a wake-up call--even before the caffeine!

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Top dogs in Georgetown

October 4, 2011

President Obama popped by a party on N Street Friday evening, creating quite the buzz--and gridlock--in the East Village for the second time in two weeks. One neighbor walking by commented, "Wasn't he just here?" 


By Sunday, the neighborhood had gone to the dogs--literally. But in a good way! The Reverend Stuart Kenworthy anointed neighborhood dogs (and two cats) with holy water for the annual "Blessing of the Animals" at Christ Church on O Street. The ritual took place in the church's leafy courtyard where canines of all colors, shapes and sizes were blessed in honor of St. Francis, the patron saint of animals.


Despite a few yaps and, possibly (I'm not naming names), some unholy water landing on nearby box bushes, the courtyard at Christ Church remained a peaceable kingdom.

Creatures great and small (Photo by: Page Evans) Creatures great and small

Angus and Tank (Photo by: Page Evans) Angus and Tank

Rev. Stuart Kenworthy blesses the animals (Photo by: Page Evans) Rev. Stuart Kenworthy blesses the animals

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Taking Off!

August 26, 2011

My two children are taking their first flight without either parent. Hardly a big deal, I know. Plenty of kids fly solo. And it’s not as if my girls are alone. They have each other. Plus, Peyton is 14, perfectly capable of making her way through an airport. And Katherine, 11, enjoys being in charge.


Flying solo. Just thinking about it gets me all Hallmark-y. They’re off. They’re leaving the nest. They don’t need me anymore. Come to think of it, I’m the one who will be left flying solo. Obviously, they’ll be back, but I can’t seem to stop the waterworks. Is there Botox for tear ducts?


Adding to my pain and suffering, the airline charged an extra $100 for their tickets because they are “unaccompanied minors”  in need of assistance. That, even though I’m walking them directly to the gate for the one hour, non-stop flight. I’m the one who needs assistance.  An in-house shrink would be nice. Or perhaps a pinot grigio? Actually, make that a vodka.


As we wait at the boarding gate, I pace the blue carpet, swallowing the expanding lump in my throat, and text their father, my former husband: “I’m trying not to cry,” I type with my thumb.


“Oh no...try to stay upbeat...we’ll see them in a week and it will be good for K,” he texts back. I’m sure he’s thinking I’m overly hormonal. And he’d probably be right.


I check in with the girls, who are reading their newly purchased magazines: Teen Beat and Teen Vogue. If they are nervous, they’re not revealing much. Wish I could be so calm. Peyton, her hair braided in a single pony tail, is wearing an apricot peasant top, skinny jeans and metallic Jack Rogers. She looks chic. She the teenager she is. “Please don’t cry, Mommy,” Peyton says. “It’s embarrassing.”


Katherine is a full blown tween--neither here nor there. Her blond hair is in pig-tails and she's sporting chipped toe-nail polish the same hue as her pink Old Navy flip-flops. Unlike her sister, she has yet to be self-conscious about attire. She still plays with Barbies, but would never admit that to her friends. And even though she can cross the street alone, I like how she still reaches for my hand. 


When the girls were younger, I constantly complained about sleepless nights, whining, interminable play dates. That’s when older parents would always say, somewhat smugly, I thought, “It goes so fast. Savor every moment.” Now those words don’t seem so trite.  It feels like just yesterday Peyton was pedaling her tricycle down the sidewalk, a grosgrain ribbon clipped in her curly hair.


But those parents were right. It does go so fast--as fast as their plane barreling down the runway, about to take flight.

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