“Like music and art, love of nature is a common language that can transcend political or social boundaries.” Jimmy Carter, Christian, American president
Things started innocently enough. I did an interview with the teacher of an elementary school class that was asking local restaurant owners to call it quits on plastic straws — à la Starbucks. By the time the story was done, there were impassioned pleas from fifth graders, photos of a sea tortoise with a straw stuck up his nose and a casual-but-sudden decision on my part to stop using what a Southern cousin refers to as “sissy sticks.”
That’s right, I’m sipping like a big girl. Sort of.
Going strawless has been a lot harder than I thought it would be. First, this is Appalachia, not L.A. or even Seattle. Servers — just like cashiers confronted with a mound of canvas bags at the front of my grocery order — are generally confused. Some of them actually throw the refused straw in the garbage for some reason, making me wince. Those poor, poor turtles.
Some of the servers clearly wonder if I have, well, difficulties. It’s almost as if I have said, “Oh, don’t worry. I don’t need a fork. I’ll just eat my lunch right off the plate.” You laugh, but I can see that very thought in their eyes. It’s there, trust me.
There’s also the problem with ice. School being back in session and a sense of calm having fallen over the house, my mother and I did a massive refill-the-larders run this morning. We deserved that Mexican lunch. We really did. But, the ice nearly did me in. Without a straw, any iced beverage is liable to turn into an avalanche, spraying my face and shirt. And, it did.
Maybe I can’t sip like a big girl.
But, problems aside, I’m doing my best to stick to this last-straw thing. I’ve even checked with my favorite coffee place to make sure I can get iced coffee in one of their refillable travel mugs. It has a sippy spout, so I can see this actually working out. For me and for the turtles.