That Time I Forgot What Milk Was

I’m supposed to be lesson planning so of course instead I am on Facebook. Here is a fun story that I blame on lack of sleep and forgetting the English word for ‘parve’ (non-dairy). Unfortunately, my friend Kathryn was there as well to witness my brainfart; otherwise this would have been a story of me being jetlagged in an airport.

I had flown in from somewhere to NY. It could have been Israel, or Denver, but I cannot remember because all I remember is my need for coffee. So my friend meets in Starbucks. Was this at the airport? I bet coffee places in airports have way weirder stories than other coffee places just because people are so out of it when they’re jetlagged.

Anyway, because I’m lactose intolerant, I am used to ordering parve milk. This is easy to do in Israel where you just say the word parve or just soy milk and they say sure and sometimes during summer vacation their 8-year-old sons are working there and taking orders and you are just astounded at seeing this 3rd grader efficiently operating a full-blown espresso machine.

Anyway, since this was NY and people actually follow child-labor laws, an adult asks me what I want and my friend is with me and I say can I get a coffee with soy milk and then the barista goes, “We don’t have soy milk” and my mind goes blank because I just need any kind of non-dairy product. But my sleepy brain instead was just like no soy milk??? NO SOY MILK? WHAT IS THE WORD FOR PARVE??

Instead I ask, “What kind of milk do you have?”

I think that’s a pretty brilliant question.

So then the barista goes, “We have whole milk,” which my jetlagged brain just did not process. Isn’t milk always whole milk? All of the milk is entirely milk?? When is it not milk??

Then my friend goes, “My friend can’t have milk, because she’s lactose intolerant, do you have any milk alternatives?”

So I think in the end I got some kind of (parve) coffee creamer.

Basically words are hard when you’re tired.

English teacher by trade, story writer for fun