I was questioning the Starbucks menu at the Los Angeles Airport; either I couldn’t see it properly or what I was looking for just wasn’t there. My eyesight is poor and I have owned the same glasses for about 5 years now despite my continuously increasing stigmatism. My contact lenses are up to date, but I make a point of wearing my glasses on flights longer than two hours so I don’t wake up from a nap with my eyes glued shut. Waiting in line, the seasonal drinks were tempting, but I would have been content with my regular coffee. The Caramel Brulee Latte in particular both looked and sounded promising; the promotional image showed it with plenty of whipped cream and caramel drizzled generously on top. Squinting, I could just make out that a tall Caramel Brulee was $4.05. Anything at the airport costs almost double what it should. Not quite convinced I should make the purchase, I began hunting for the calorie count when the cashier asked for the next in line.
Now closer to the menu, I continued my search for the elusive number that would tell me how much that latte was going to contribute to my daily calorie intake. Not wanting to hold up the line, I had just opened my mouth to ask the cashier, who was waiting patiently for my order, what the drink’s calorie amount was when I remembered my location. I remembered something about a law that food and beverage stores in New York had to follow. A Starbucks on the West Coast was in every way just like the ones on the East Coast except minus some surplus information: how many calories you were consuming per Starbucks product purchased.
It was not my failing eyesight and inaccurate glasses that were hindering me from finding what I needed to know in order to make the decision on my order, it was the unavailability of the information. Without the knowledge of what my holiday drink might contain, I ended up saying, “Just a tall coffee, please.”