Keeping the Spark Alive

Dear Greg of Starbucks,

Today I decided to drive through Starbucks on my way to work. This is a rare treat because we are currently working hard to save money and pay off our student loans. The line was rather long and I was getting pretty impatient. I got my order placed and finally got up to the window to pay. Instantly, I was greeted with a smile and my coffee as I passed off my debit card for payment.

Greg, the Starbucks employee, then asked, “Do you have a special someone that you’re celebrating with today?”

I explained that I do have a special someone, but that we are not doing anything special to celebrate Valentine’s Day. 

Greg, by this point, is leaning out the drive-through window to better see me and have a conversation. Keep in mind, this is right before work, so there is a major line of cars behind me, waiting for me to move. He said, “You have to always keep that spark alive!”

He then told me how he spends an hour a day on the treadmill. During that time, he typically listens to Ted Talks. He said, “You just HAVE to watch the most recent one I saw about changing the way we talk about love. So often our society uses phrases like ‘falling in love’ or ‘lovesick’ which makes us associate love with great pain and suffering. Watch the Ted Talk! The lady’s name is Mandy Catron. C-A-T-R-O-N.”

He then spelled it a few more times for me so I would remember. 

I drove away with a smile on my face and feeling so content. Greg, a complete stranger from Starbucks, held up the busy drive-through line to talk to me about keeping the spark alive in MY relationship and changing the way we as a culture talk and think about love. 

I watched that Ted Talk and it was phenomenal. Instead of thinking of love as madness or being crazy in love, Mandy Lee Catron urges us to think of love as a collaborative work of art.

Collaborating on a work of art entails compromise, patience, and shared goals. And each collaboration of love is different, just like each experience of love is different. 

In the Ted Talk, Catron said, “The beautiful thing about the collaborative work of art is that it will not paint or draw or sculpt itself. This version of love allows us to decide what it looks like.”

Thank you, Greg of Starbucks in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin. Thank you for hitting pause on your busy day to spread a powerful message and to remind me to focus on keeping that spark alive.