Planner season

The two middle-aged men in front of me were taking a very long time to choose a coffee drink to order. Emphasis on "a very long time": another barista ended up taking orders for everybody else in line, much like the servers at, say, Jollibee do during the lunch rush. A bunch of order slips in one hand, ballpen in another.

"What's your order, sir?" she asked me.

Remember the cute barista I blogged about a year ago? I haven't seen her there in a while, a fact that I've lamented since. But this barista taking orders from me has pretty much taken her place. This time I remember her name: I decided to be creepy and look at her name tag, but not creepy enough to make up a fictional conversation in my head like last time.

"Isang large double chocolate."

"Ice blended?"

"Yes, yes."

"Sir, naubusan na po kami ng whipped cream..."

"Ah, okay lang. No whip naman ako, eh."

"Okay, sir. Your name?"


She spelled my name right, to my delight. Now here's a cute barista who can spell my name right. But that's not the story I came here to tell.

Anyway, I finally got to the counter, puzzled as to why those two middle-aged men took forever to pick their drinks, although that's pretty much offset by that new cute barista. Never mind the slightly bushy eyebrows. She's cute.

"That would be P185, sir," the other, not-so-cute barista said.

"Here you go," I said, giving her a P500 bill.

"Sir, do you already have the card for the planner?"

Welcome, once again, to planner season.

"Wala pa, wala pa."

I wish I could say I don't understand the fuss behind this rush to get planners for 2013, but I do, I kinda do. Three years ago I attempted, successfully, to get one of those Starbucks planners. Seventeen drinks, amounting to roughly two and a half grand, all to get a planner that may or may not look good on you. I didn't have much use for my planner, though, because my memory would kick in: I used it to list down shows I have to watch for work, but television shows tend to be easy to remember, and with not much of a social life to plan, it fell into disuse. Even the coupons.

The following year, I did the same, but things got worse - I ended up working at home - and so there was less of a reason to have a planner. As if I knew that when I went around sticker-hunting.

Somewhere along the way I realized I preferred Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf more than Starbucks, so I ended up getting stickers - or, in this case, stamps - for their own planner. Err, "giving journal". It's not as fancy as Starbucks - it's less of an accessory and more of a marketing tool, and I don't really like marketing tools on my utilities - but it does the job. I never really set out to get all twelve stamps, though. It just happened. At least until the final stamp, which I only got a week after the end of the promo period, or maybe two weeks - and I got a free pass because I only had one stamp to go, and they still had stocks around.

That'd be my planner for this year. That got used a little more often, since I had a job that doesn't just require listing down television shows that you have to watch. Now I actually have meetings to deal with. Meetings to remember. And nothing helps me in remembering things than writing them down in something, because digital calendars in those fancy devices don't quite cut it. I guess it's me and my snobbish, Monocle-ish thing for things that you do with your hands. That barista at the Starbucks branch I used to frequent knows this. "Mas gusto kong may sinusulat talaga ako," I told her, as I claimed my second (still useless) Starbucks planner.

"Write it down on a notebook?" I told Rainy last week, during a random Twitter conversation (like most of my conversation nowadays, sadly) where I lamented not being able to blog about something because the timing is off, to which she suggested I create a private blog so I don't have to feel held back. I know, that was a long paragraph, err, sentence. "If I write it, I'll forget it, though."

"You don't like hand-writing?" she replied.

"I do! That's how I started. I write far too many notes for blog entries."

"I think that's your safest option, then."

Right now, my CBTL planner - giving journal - is sitting unused in my bag, because my memory proves to be far too efficient when it comes to remembering dates. Also, when I write them down, I will forget about them. Like writing blog entries. I know it's not supposed to work that way, because I always assumed that when I write something down, it's like committing that thought - or in this case, a date - to memory, and you won't forget it at all. But I've been bypassing that.

And now it's planner season again. You have people tweeting about beginning their bid to get their new (inevitably, Starbucks) planners, buying seventeen drinks to get their as soon as possible. A friend's cousin has one already, I think, that it's only been a week or two. That has, of course, led to some "unbelievable!" comments from other people, all out to make themselves look cool, at least while Christmas is looming.

The barista gave me that planner card she was talking about. Twelve stamps, again. Complete all twelve and you'll get their planner, which, disappointingly, doesn't look very different from the one used ever so slightly. Marketing tool. This doesn't encourage me at all.

But might as well try. It's just twelve drinks, and that amounts to roughly two thousand bucks worth of caffeinated chocolate in ice blended form. I can get there, right? Or I can just skip all the sugar and go for a Moleskine planner. Does that cost considerably less? I'm not sure. Also, it looks sexy and functional and far from a marketing tool. Or maybe I shouldn't do anything at all, because I won't end up using those planners anyway. My memory, it's far too complicated for planners.

And your responses...

Rainy. Mentioned. Yeayyyy!

Blogger Rainy Martini11/07/2012     

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