‘Tis the season. The season for eggnog. I love eggnog. I even love it when there’s no spiced rum in it. It’s also really good with coconut rum. Mmmmmmm.

But when I’m working or just not in the mood to get my drunk on, I order eggnog lattes. Starbucks uses soy with vanilla flavor, which I may have mentioned before as a cheap way to save a tiny little bit of money – soy is usually cheaper than extra flavoring. And even if not, you won’t be getting bovine growth hormone in soy milk.

When I order a soy eggnog latte, however, invariably I get The Look. The barista will pause, furrow their brow, and stumble with words as they try to process my order.

“…soy… but that’s… you know that there’s still dairy… we don’t have soy eggnog…”

It does not compute for them. So I always have to explain myself. “Yes, I know there’s dairy in it. Yes, I just want you to put in the soy where the milk would ordinarily go. You cut the eggnog with milk, right? Just substitute soy.”

Why is that so difficult to understand?

They all ask me the same thing. I assumed it was just a Starbucks thing. Until I and a friend stepped in to the Bikini Coffee Co. downtown. While waiting for the inked, bikini-ed barista to make my (non-soy – there’s no point when they don’t use vanilla soy) eggnog latte, I made a joke about how Starbucks treats me when I order soy eggnog lattes.

Once again, I got The Look. “Well… yeah… that doesn’t… make…”

As cute as she was when she looked perplexed, it was still a point of irritation for me to have to explain.

I polled my friends, and they said that I needed to order it differently. Tracy said I should ask for “half soy, half eggnog latte”. Kevin suggested I contact corporate HQ and tell them I don’t like all the pushback. I thought that running it all into one long sentence might work: “SoyEggnogLatteYesIKnowItHasDairyInItIJustLikeTheFlavorPleaseStopAskingMeQuestions”.

Well, today, I tried it Tracy’s way. And it almost worked.

I said “I’d like an eggnog latte. Can I get that with half soy and half eggnog?”

The barista replied, brightly, “I can do that!” My hopes for a no-questions order rose. She started to mark the cup, paused, then looked up at me. “So… you don’t want milk in that?”

Sigh. “No. Just put the soy in, in place of the milk, please.”

Seriously. Why is this so difficult? I just like the flavor that way.