Project Runaway / by Courtney Mehlhaff

Last week, as I am typically forced to do by the Monday morning sleepies, I went to Starbucks. I would do this every day, if I had money to burn and calories not to. (It's not as if I have so many other vices that I really need to limit my crazy lifestyle, but everything in moderation, I guess.) So a couple times a week, I do indulge in my sweet, sweet mocha.

On this particular morning, I ordered and handed the guy my gift card. He swiped it, handed it back, I said "Thank you," and walked down to the pick-up counter. The guy working the espresso machine then leaned over and said something to the effect of, "I like the colors you're rocking today," meaning he dug the graphic design on my shirt.

I thanked him, and he went on to say that the shirt I was wearing underneath really made it pop.

Let me just say this. While I do make the occasional effort to color coordinate, my wardrobe is typically super repetitive and boring. Beyond my clothing being comfortable, clean, not tattered, and age/work appropriate, I just really don't care. I never have. I probably should, but there are so many other things more worthy of my time and attention in this world.

Not surprisingly, I can't even tell you the last time I received a genuine compliment on my clothes from (essentially) a stranger. So I was pretty thrilled! What a great way to start my week, let alone my day. It was quite the little ego boost, and I prepared to leave with my cup of goodness and a warm, fuzzy feeling in my heart.

It was at this point, when I was about to make my triumphant exit, compliment tucked securely in that part of my brain reserved exclusively for happy thoughts, that the guy who took my order loudly informed me (and the rest of the patrons standing in line) that I still owed him $1.92.

I get it, Starbucks. Just trying to keep me humble. Heaven forbid I'd let my over-inflated fashion sense run rampant in downtown Minneapolis for two seconds. You never know the kind of damage that might cause.