Sunday, March 17, 2019

Slice of Life 2019 17 of 31: The benefit of a mistake

Throughout the month of March, I am participating in the Slice of Life Story Challenge. I am happy to co-host this event with the team at Two Writing Teachers. Everyone is welcome!

I went up to the counter for the third time to se if my coffee was ready. Nope. Not there. 

"Excuse me," I said, annoying people who were waiting in the Starbucks line. They'd get over it. I just wanted to find out the status of my mobile order. 

"We don't have any orders," the barista said. "Let me see your receipt." 

I looked at my receipt and debated how to tell Fran and Clare that I might have made a bit of a mistake. We were hanging out for a coffee after a great day of learning in New York. We were at the Starbucks at 115th and Broadway. I'd ordered from the Starbucks on 111th and Broadway.

"At least it's nice out," I said. "And we could all use the steps."

The three of us continued our conversation walking down Broadway, and sure enough, our coffees were waiting, unclaimed at the counter. 

But the story's not over...

We said goodbye, and I walked back up toward the garage on 120th, happily people watching, thinking about the great learning of the day, and sipping my coffee. Ahead of me, a familiar face, although so out of context, approached me. 

"Laura?" I said sure but not sure. 

It couldn't be. Laura lives in northern Vermont, and she wouldn't be at a TCRWP Reunion Saturday-- she was my mentor throughout my MFA program in Boston. She was so out of context. But it was Laura, and it was great to see her, as she really is one of my favorite people. 

I met her daughter who was surprised at how much I knew about her. (People in MFA programs spend a lot of time together!) We caught up for a few minutes, and I will email her later tonight. 

Sometimes mistakes are great! I couldn't help thinking that if I'd ordered the coffee from the right place, I would not have run into Laura and her daughter. 

Happy Slicing,


  1. Wow, what a great mistake! How exciting to see someone from your past. I love this NY moment here: "'Excuse me,' I said, annoying people who were waiting in the Starbucks line. They'd get over it." Ha! So New York of you. Glad you finally got your coffee and saw your friend. So sad I couldn't make it yesterday... we could've hung out :(

  2. Oh, those tricky mobile orders, but because of them, you got to walk, chat and even meet an old fried. Perhaps it was the right order anyway.

  3. What a great mistake! What a cool coincidence! I've visited NYC a few times over the past two years and been amazed how there can be two Starbucks within three blocks of each other.

  4. I truly believe all things happen for a reason. How wonderful you were able to meet up with your friend and meet her daughter. I am envious that you were at the Saturday Reunion. I am sure your day was filled with excitement and learning!

  5. Love that!! Life does work in mysterious ways. So glad you had a chance to see her. I am so glad we also had a chance to connect!

  6. Serendipity over coffee! This is a great silver lining story; it would be good to share with students, a way to find the treasure in a troubling event.

  7. Don't you love it when you realize that decisions or even mistakes we make lead us to something we may have otherwise missed? Recognizing this serendipity can make it easier to brush off mistakes in the future and become less frustrated by those minor annoyances. Love that you got to hang out with Clare and Fran, too -love those two peeps!

  8. Oh I love this! Happy twist. And I can just picture you rolling with the "mistake." So envious that you went to the Saturday reunion... I haven't ever managed to get there.

  9. I;d say the luck of the Irish was your side!

  10. What a fun plot twist! Making lemonade out of lemons....or macchiatos out of mistakes as it were.

  11. I love running into people in unexpected ways and times! How awesome!