letter to my younger self

Dear 16-Year-Old Baxter,

Right now you are young and idealistic. You think that all corporations are bad and therefore you do not support Starbucks. This ideology comes from a place of good but one day you will learn that things are not so black and white. One morning, when you are nigh on your 28th birthday, you will wake up extremely hung over. You do not yet know what a hangover is like because you do not drink. But it will make you desperate to do anything you can to alleviate it. You will already be familiar with the delicious products that Starbucks has to offer because you will have learned that sometimes corporations become such because they offer a quality service that is superior to their competitors. Regardless, you will, for the first time, visit the small, privately owned coffee shop that is around the corner from your apartment because you are always willing to give places like this a try. You glance at their pastry case and find that their selection of brownies and bagels will not help you recover this morning. You must have eggs! You ask, with a twinge of hope in your voice, if they sell anything with eggs in it. The man behind the counter tells you, with a hint of snark, that he sold all of those things for breakfast. It is only 11:30, which is still technically morning and also on a holiday so your request for a breakfast item is not unreasonable. You tell the man that you will need to move on then and head up the block to the Starbucks. When you arrive there, they greet you with smiles and friendly banter. You order a breakfast sandwich and a chai and they have these things in stock. They sympathize with your hangover as they pass you exactly what you wanted. You return home, satisfied and on the road to recovery. On this day, you will be extremely thankful that a place like Starbucks exists. This does not make you a capitalist pig. It just makes you an American. And while the world on the whole has not really gotten better by the time you are 28 (it, in fact, gets worse in a lot of ways), you will understand that this is not necessarily a bad thing.

Oh, and one more thing. You aren't fat.

Love,

Me

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