On my recent trip, I decided I needed to get hot chocolate at a convenience store. I'm not really sure why, it is August, after all, but this girl gets what she wants . . . if it costs less than 99 cents. (You can call me a diva if you want--I'm totally used to it.)
Back to the cocoa. I got to the checkout and placed the Styrofoam cup on the counter. The cup was covered with images of steaming coffee mugs, coffee beans and words like Coffee.
Before I go on, you need to understand that I am bound by a religious covenant to not drink coffee. It is a kind of physical reminder of spiritual commitments I've made. Similar to the Jews' choice to avoid pork, or the Seventh Day Adventists' vegetarian diet.
"Just the coffee?" the checker asks.
Not wanting to complicate a simple transaction with, No, actually, it's just hot cocoa. But, yes, just this, thank you, I replied with a shrug and an "Um, yeah."
I knew it was just cocoa, but he didn't. He doesn't know me, he'll likely never see me again and wouldn't remember me if he did; I was just one more in a line on the day of a very busy gas station. But I felt ashamed for holding that cup, for letting him believe that a good Mormon girl was drinking coffee on her vacation (something I would never do). I felt like I was a disappointment.
Yesterday, I had to take my wedding ring in because one of the prongs had become loose around the diamond. After nearly thirteen years of always wearing it, my left ring finger is a little thinner and bears a distinctive tan line. I am feeling a bit like I did when I walked out the glass door holding the steaming cup of what looked like coffee: False.
I don't really have a point, though I guess I would just say that if you see me with a cup of coffee or a thick tan line where my wedding band should be, don't let your mind wander. It's not how it looks.