Congratulate me. I finally used one of the two “buy so many cups of coffee [or tea or hot chocolate or fuckaccino or, god help me, chai] and then get one free” cards that I’d accrued at Tea Lounge (Seventh Avenue)! This may not seem like a big deal to those of you who not only live on the edge but fly by the seat of your pants, but to me, it was an undertaking of major proportions, rivalled only by my weekly quandary, “Which two varieties of hummus should I buy? Or should I substitute one container of hummus with one of baba ganoush?”
See, I wanted to “save” my free drink for a time when I didn’t have paper money (an indication of prosperity). It seemed like a waste to use it when I had enough do-re-mi in my wallet to cover the cost. Only when I was down and out and schlepping my meager belongings in a filthy bandana tied to the end of a large twig, one eye swollen to an “X” and the other bloodshot and runny, shuffling in my holey-soled oversized shoes, could I warrant using this card in lieu of cash.
And I wasn’t the only obstacle standing in my way. There were the kidz behind the counter at Tea Lounge. When I dared to be bold and hold the card out as I ordered my usual “large coffee with soy milk and no, no sugar, I’ll put stuff in it myself, thanks”, invariably the cute gamine waiting on me would say, “Don’t you want to save it for something really good?” Apparently there is no price limit on the free drink. But there was a limit on the insults my innocent cup of coffee could take, so naturally it would get all offended and pout and say, “Hello? I’m right here. I can hear you!” and, well, let’s just say no one was very happy for the rest of the day.
So I continued to save it. And save it. And saaaave it. Just like my virginity. (LOL!) And then, just like my virginity, I surrendered it with all the fanfare, hoohah, pomp, and circumstance befitting such a momentous occasion, and ordered a 480-ounce cup filled to the brim with world peace, Olivier Martinez, and Pilates.

If you want to try to beat the system, print out the card shown above, punch holes in it where mine were, and present it to a counter-kid at Tea Lounge! There is something on the back of the card, however, so you might want to be careful. I won’t tell you what it is, because I do not want to be an accomplice. If you do wind up getting caught and going to jail, don’t worry, because I can scan you a Get Out Of Jail Free card from Monopoly.