This past week, Starbucks launched its highly anticipated “Oprah Chai,” and while most females swooned in elation and most males were like, “Huh?”, I stifled the smallest hint of panic.
Yes, panic. There are few things I hold as dear as my beloved Starbucks chai. As a non coffee drinker, I’ve tried lots of chai lattes at lots of coffee shops, and there’s just nothing that compares, in my humble (and correct) opinion. While Oprah has been meddling in what I feel to be far too many of America’s most beloved treasures, it seems she just can’t stop scrawling her name on stuff. Her blatant narcissism is no secret, but I ask you Oprah, is nothing sacred?
First, she tried to fix Lindsay Lohan. Sure, on the surface, this might seem like a compassionate act on O’s part, but I assure you, it’s not. Anyone who puts Lindsay Lohan on TV is doing it for the money. And as an unemployed, unmarried, broke, nearly-30-year-old, she is attempting to rob me of one of the few people on this Earth that makes me feel good about myself. Not cool, Oprah. Not cool.
Strike two: Pharrell. Any sane girl in her 20s (or 30s, or 40s) will tell you: do not mess with Pharrell. He has the boyish face of a teenager, but somehow, despite that, an unquestionable sex appeal. In Robin Thicke’s misogyny parade that is the Blurred Lines music video, Pharrell dances like Bill Cosby, and besides all that, females are drawn to him on the most primal evolutionary level because it’s pretty obvious that his DNA contains the secret to the fountain of youth. And what does Oprah do? She makes him sob like a baby.
He’s understandably verklempt at first, overcome by the worldwide success of his now obnoxious tune, “Happy.” And because a misty eyed Pharrell will never go viral, just as he’s about to contain his emotions, she twists the knife, bringing up sweet Grandma, all while phoning in her own emotion and reminding him that the kind of impact he’s had is mere muscle memory to her. I’m pretty sure she’s trying not to yawn. She’s a monster.
Up to this point I’ve been willing to give her a free pass, taking into account all the good deeds she’s done, all the girls in Africa she’s saved, all the cars she’s given away, and all the boring doctors whose careers she launched.
But how. dare. she. touch. my. chai.
Look, I would never knock it without trying it, so here I am, at Starbucks, staring my half-consumed enemy in the face. I’ve swallowed my rage at the fact that a large costs $4.75, an increase atop the recent increase in price of many Starbucks drink items. But only momentarily.
BECAUSE IT TASTES THE SAME.
Don’t fool yourselves Oprah fans, it’s the same thing. Maybe a touch sweeter? Does it come with a car? Come on, we’ve been duped into being excited about paying 80 cents more for a thing that was really really good before Oprah scribbled her name on it. We’re fools. And she’s sitting on her mountain of gold bullion, deciding what cherished thing she can claim next.
What is the secret, 80 cent ingredient that has made my wonderful chai suddenly Oprah-worthy? My money’s on Pharrell’s tears.