Friday, August 05, 2005

False Advertising

So I packed the kids up to go to Starbucks today because earlier in the week I was handed a card that said, "The Ultimate Summer Celebration. Come celebrate summer with us!" This Starbucks card asked me to join them as they "celebrate summer with refreshments and fun for the whole family." It was from 4:00 - 6:00 PM, and as my girls are usually done napping by this time, my husband doesn't get home from work until 6:30 and my six year old son loves the non-coffee frappucinos, I thought why not? It sounded like an event that might involve music, face painting, maybe even a jump-a-round thing. And since the Starbucks is only a five minute drive from my house, if it sucked we could just go home.

Well, it pretty much sucked. We got there at about 4:30 and there were no cars in the parking lot. From the outside of the shop there was no sign that this was "the ultimate summer celebration." I began to fret that maybe I had the wrong date. I could see two young ladies sitting inside at a table enjoying some drinks, and when we went in there was a man working at a laptop computer. As I walked over to the counter I noticed a tray of cookies and little plastic Starbucks shot glasses filled with Tazo iced tea. I knew then I had the right date. As I walked up to the counter, two cheerful employees told me there were free samples today of the tea or frappucinos and the cookies. They also mentioned that there were "tattoos" and chalk for the kids. While I was listening to them, Ian and Emma were running back and forth behind me and Zoe wouldn't let me put her down. So now, I felt obligated to order something for myself, so I could get the kids the free samples we had come for. I got a tall nonfat iced mocha and the kids got the vanilla bean frappucino sample, as well as a tea sample (I called it juice) and some cookies. The drink samples came in the plastic shot glasses, which Ian and Zoe polished off in no time flat. The temporary tattoo was a little black Starbucks girl or something, and I decided to skip the chalk. Within two minutes of sitting down, Emma spilled her tea sample, covering half the table, her right leg, and the floor around our table. She also got her cookie all wet with tea and no longer wanted it.

Despite all of this, my kids were really happy and thrilled with the experience. I rarely take them into a Starbucks (or any other restaurant for that matter), mainly because I have to spend at least $8 if they come with me and it usually ends up with something spilled and me telling them repeatedly not to run around. But today was actually kind of fun. Emma ended up helping Zoe drink her frappucinos by holding the cup for her, which was super cute. Ian read all the posters and signs in the store and asked me questions about them. So, I guess it didn't completely suck, but it definitely was not the "ultimate summer celebration."


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