Thursday, May 8, 2014

two drinks on the bar and a heaping serving of responsibility.

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I watched a woman spill two drinks on the Starbucks Pick-Up-Here bar. Then blame it on a barista. No one was mad. Not even the owners of the lost drinks (because she had her paws on someone else's coffee). She couldn't say it was her doing. And it made me wonder, why the denial, blame, fear of ownership? Oh how that wasn't my doing, she claims. Though we all knew different. 
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Responsibility. It means managing money, not drinking too much, being wise with your time. It's weighty and muscle-growing (if not in the tendon, protein-packed way we know). 

Fault. It's ownership. It answers that question: how did this happen? It's that little something where you owning your stuff. 

Fault. Responsibility. Two words with such different connotations, yet such a mingling of meaning. Not always do the two intersect but when they do: it's spending intimate time together in blurry photos necking at the bar, lounging tangled lazily together along a beautiful turquoise ocean kissing the white sand at their toes, holding hands fingers laced and sweaty.  
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As I stood there watching the baristas make up for the spilled drinks double time, while another wiped up the mess with a towel and mop, I wondered why. Why couldn't the spiller take responsibility for what was obviously her fault? 

Did she think she'd have to pay the difference? Would it mean never returning to Starbucks again? Were there invisible Coffee Spill Police outside waiting to detain her? 
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Admitting fault sucks. Oh how it does. But it's our responsibility. It's our commitment to one another in relationships, in love, in life. It's the choice to say: I did that and it wasn't right and, well, as hard as it is to say, I'm sorry. It's the realization that good or bad, happy or sad, we belong to each other and I'm depending on you to do your part while I do mine. 
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Everyone got their coffee. The Spiller swiftly swooped up her Venti Caramel Macchiatto and headed for the door, scone in hand. And, I surprised myself. No snark, no eye roll, no caustic comment to the flustered barista instead a prayer for the Spiller's heart. That she'd learn love lives, that we aren't all waiting around to bite one another's heads off, that she's allowed to mess up despite what might tell her otherwise. 
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Take responsibility, allow those lessons to seep into the deepest parts of your soul. Because you'll learn, my dear, that love lives, grace it gives. We aren't all laying in wait to bite your head off when you mess up because you will. And, lovely one, you're allowed that -messiness. You're allowed to spill, to make mistakes, to whoopsy daisy. 

15 comments:

  1. I love how you have this ability to take something as simple as a Starbucks spill and turn it in to this amazing life lesson. You are one special lady.

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  2. I love this! It's so hard to admit your faults, me included. But when you do admit to your faults, it's amazing how at ease the entire situation can become. Happy Thursday!

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  3. theblahblahblahgerMay 8, 2014 at 6:48 AM

    Taking responsibility and owning our faults shows integrity. It's a sign of maturity and of a full awareness of who we are in this world. It's not an easy lesson to learn and for many, no matter their age, it's one they struggle to understand no matter how many opportunities they are given.

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  4. You have SUCH a way with words and your ability to turn such a simple experience into such a valuable life lesson amazes me.

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  5. That last paragraph had me tearing up. Thank you, sweet girl, for your lessons and your reminders of love and grace.

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  6. so good. so so good. and so proud of you for taking the high road. i myself think i would have taken the snark road.

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  7. You see beauty and truth in the simplest things which I so admire, my friend.

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  8. I absolutely adore reading your little life lessons. They are lovely.

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  9. Oh this is so so good amber, although your writing and words always are, so I'm not surprised! This is such a hard thing to do sometimes but freeing at the same time. I messed up at work last week and it was totally my fault, an accident that I couldn't blame on anyone else - thank goodness it could be fixed but that moment of 'oh shit, what did I just do' was terrifying! But I owned up to it and for sure learned my lesson on 'triple checking'!!

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  10. First off, that picture makes me want some starbucks more than I can ever express right now! Not good as it's after 8pm...haha But really, this is such a good visualization! I think a lot of the time a person's likelihood to shy away from taking responsibility for something has to do with their pride or feeling embarrassed- when really, as you mentioned- no one even really cared about the spill.

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  11. I'll never get tired of reading your life lessons!

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  12. I know this isn't the point of the story, but as a former starbuck's barista...GRRRR. ;)

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  13. The spiller sounds like a real a-hole if I'm being perfectly honest! But you've summed it up perfectly.

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  14. Awesome post! I think taking the time to learn from even the smallest mistakes or faults is a wonderful thing to be able to do. :)

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  15. It gets to be so hard to remember that we're not perfect... And that all of them out there aren't either! I can remember being so ashamed of even the smallest of mistakes throughout my years, mishaps that only stuck in my little mind and, yet, I'd let it make me shy and embarrassed in front of others. Now it's about reminding myself of grace, the power of forgiveness, and the fact that we're flawed!

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