This morning found me standing in line at Starbucks. A ritual that happens more than my pocketbook or my husband would like. As any good barista would, mine knows me by name. And as she tops my cup with heavenly whipped cream, she says, "Whoa, you're throwing me for a loop here. Two drinks?" To which I replied, "Huh?" with a quite confused face.
"Is this not your peppermint mocha too?"
Being 'pre-caffeinated,' I continue to make the face that had previously accompanied the 'huh?' which is mouth slightly open, brow furrowed, head cocked slightly towards 1 o'clock.
The barista, being much more lucid than I, realizes her blunder and points at the woman next to me, "Oh, there are two of you!" Meaning, there are two 'Kellis' (Or as this morning's cup read, 'Kellie.')
Now, had clever Kelli been present (I take it she was still snoozing), she would have quickly quipped, "Oh no, it's third grade math all over again." Because there was not simply one other 'Kelli,' but three. Of course, as I said, clever Kelli was still snug in her bed, so not-so-clever-in-dire-need-of-caffeine-hence-the-trip-to-Starbucks-Kelli made a strange face and dashed for the door.
Ah, I remember the day when clever Kelli was always present. Ready to strike down idiots where they stood and make groups of people laugh on command. (OK, I might have made that last part up.)
I remember a particular history class in high school. It was one of those great ones, taught by a coach. One day, the door was locked. So three of us were standing outside the door, waiting on the coach. An older, and mentally inferior student walked up, sees us standing there in front of the shut door and asks, "Is it locked?"
To which I grab the handle, shaking it furiously and reply, "I guess so. Maybe that's why we're standing out here."
He makes a slightly hurt look and says, "You don't have to be such a smart ass."
I grin and hit him with my favorite 10th grade comeback, "I'd rather be a smart ass than a dumb ass." just as the coach rounds the corner. Fear washes over my face, until I recognize a glimmer of laughter in the coaches eye. Proud to see such a little girl putting an older guy in his place.
Clever Kelli threw her shoulders back in triumph and marched in behind the coach, leaving the upper class-man shocked.
But, sometimes, clever Kelli doesn't know when to hold back. Her forked tongue betraying me at the worst times.
Like Intro to fine arts my sophomore year of college. The teacher had this odd thing where he wanted to take a photo of all the students so that he could learn their names. On the first day, I dutifully stopped and posed against the brick wall outside of the auditorium for my photo. The following week, he asked if everyone had gotten their photos made. Looking at me and pointing, he said, "What about you? Did you get your photo taken?" I shake my head emphatically. He moves on to another target.
The following week, he mentions that he is still missing a few photos. Again, he points at me, "Have you had your photo taken?" A guy beside me rushes to my defense, "Yes, she did. On the first day."
Later that week, I was sitting in the student center early in the morning. I see that very professor walk by. I look at him, he looks back, I look back down and keep working.
The next week as class was wrapping up, he decides to out me in front of the entire class, "I saw you in the student center last week. You didn't say 'hi' to me."
Clever Kelli is poised and ready to pounce. Before I can stop her, she retorts, "Well, you've yet to recognize me while I'm in your class, I just figured you wouldn't know who I was outside of it either."
Audible gasps could be heard, and the guy sitting next to me whipped his head around so fast, eyes bulging. Sometimes the problem with clever Kelli is that she doesn't think past that moment. What does one say after publicly calling out your professor? How does one hope for a passing grade in a terribly boring class, which, God forbid, you have to take again?
Clever Kelli lives in the now. She doesn't live in the future. And sometimes, that's OK.
And sometimes, it's not. So for now, I keep her on a tight leash, lest she pop off at a Vice President.