Sue has always been economical. When we were first married it was by necessity. I was a poor graduate student and she taught at a small private school making half the salary of a public school teacher. She shopped garage sales and thrift stores. Our circumstances are better these days and she buys designer clothes, only the very top labels, from Goodwill. She claims the Goodwill stores in the wealthier metropolitan areas, in our case Austin, TX, have the greatest clothes that are in great shape.
When describing his mother and myself to others, my 30 year old son Nathan often tells of an incident that occurred in a department store 18 years ago. I was returning a defective item and was told that store policy was such that it could not be returned and no refund could be issued. As Nathan watched I went back and forth with the man with no results. When all other options had failed I finally told the man that the only thing left for me was to take the item back to my wife and let her handle it.
I told him that he had indeed exhausted me and it was just not worth my while to continue any further. My wife, however was different. “Sue will be here to see you a number of times. She will talk to your supervisor, his supervisor, and so on. She will call and write to the company president. She will do other things that don’t come to mind right now. She won’t stop. When this is over, you are going to give her the refund.”
At this the man changed his mind and gave me the refund on the spot. Nathan never forgot that.
I do wonder some times, though. While Sue makes her own coffee in the U.S. we do sometimes stop at Starbucks in Bangkok. Normally Sue and I will get a large latté and share it. The problem with this is that Sue likes an artificial sweetener while I prefer the hazelnut syrup. Sue decided we could easily fix things by having the barista split the large Venti size, into two mugs (don’t try this at home, kids). I tried to explain to her a how the coffee shop expected to make money. That was pretty ridiculous on my part. If there is one thing Sue knows about, from making the best coffee you will ever get, to where in the world the beans are grown, etc., it is coffee. She was not ready to hear me explain about Starbucks’ business model.
I really did not want to see this, and found that I needed to use the restroom, which was upstairs. They did go for it. Thai’s do like to be agreeable, and like to help you out when they can. When I got back she had two big mugs with mine fixed just as I like it. We had some of our imported German chocolate covered gingerbread (previous post) with it. It was great. Sue definitely does know more about coffee than I do.