Neuroses of a Modern Gentleman

Despite all the blog entries about nice clothing, rare cigars, fast cars, and other luxuries that consume my thoughts, I also have my share of neuroses. And I’m curious to see if they afflict other men that would consider themselves "modern gentlemen". So, if our readers like this, there’ll be more to come (I have plenty of "excessive anxiety or indecision and a degree of social or interpersonal maladjustment"); if not, I’ll keep my neuroses to myself and the rejection will probably just cause me to be even more anxious. 

Neurosis #1: A few weeks back, I was in a Peet’s Coffee on a very hot morning, so I ordered a small Iced Mocha. They put iced drinks on the counter without a lid, so I head over to the "supplies counter" (for lack of a better word), and reach into the slot labeled "Small/Medium Iced Lids". As I hold the lid over the cup, I notice it’s not going to fit — it was too big, and probably misplaced.  

What do I do? Throw it away and waste a perfectly good lid? Or put it back, and risk being yelled at by a germophobe?

Let me make a couple points here:

  1. The lids for iced drinks have holes for a straw, so grabbing the outer edges of the lid means that my hand will not have touched any part of the lid that a future user’s lips would touch (the same would not be true of lids for hot drinks);
  2. I would have no problem using a lid that someone else handled in the same way, since I believe that germs are just part of life, and people that obsess about avoiding germs are destined to live miserable lives.
  3. California is the #1 state in the nation in recycling, and I like to think I do my part to keep it there.  

Fearing anger from a germophobe, I throw it away. So I grab a lid from the other stack of plastic cup lids labeled Large Lids thinking the lids just got swapped accidentally. As I lower it to the cup, I notice it’s the same size as the last one, and again, won’t fit. Now what do I do? Again, I throw it away.

So now I think that maybe just the top lid in the Small/Medium stack was wrong, so I grab another one, and yet again, it’s the wrong size. At this point, I’m exasperated. I’ve thrown away two perfectly good lids, and I’ve got another one that won’t fit, and evidently they don’t have any out that actually fit my cup.

Giving up, I throw it away, and as I do, I notice two guys sitting near the window looking at me as though I have just poisoned the planet. But I know, with as crowded as Pete’s was, if I had put the lids back after touching them, someone would have accused me of a Seinfeldian "double-dip", and I would have been equally chastised. It was a lose-lose situation.

Am I crazy?

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