I just fell - into the trap set out for expected-to-be-bored office workers. The bait had been laid out a few weeks ago, I had noticed it but hadn’t fallen into the trap.
Today was the day of the fall.
We reached our destination, knowing what I wanted: to ask whether the trap was vegan.
A few widened eyes, some baffled responses, the default “I’ll check” were dispersed into the familiar air. “We just add mince pie syrup”, the reliable barista said. “I trust him” I thought.
After staring at the bottle inquisitively, I said I could have a look and used my vegan powers to scan the ingredient list in French ‘cause that was at the top: “all safe”. I also thought no, why would I want that list of ingredients, and then next thing I know, when the lady with the icy eyes asked me what I wanted I heard myself say, almost embarrassed: “The festive...thing...coffee. With non-dairy milk” hurriedly added at the end.
That’s it. It had been said. It had been ordered. The fate of the syrup pump was sealed: it was to squeeze out its flavourful sugarbomb sticky sludge, summoned in the ceramic Starbucks cup I had reached from the kitchen cupboard. I paid. I even waited. I got it. The smell alone made my hair gray a little. I tasted it... The least festive feeling...that of coffee death
But above all today I had the realisation that I had fallen into a capitalist trap of selling and buying a feeling that just brought a little sadness and miserably uncomfortable sugary confirmation that we’re humans who crave feelings, which is sickly sweet.
Today was the day I tried the utterly unpictured “Festive flat white”.