Saturday, June 14, 2014

Why my pancreas hates Starbucks

Starbucks in Shanghai does these tricky things to get me to buy their product. Like for instance offering a fully decadent Caramel Ribbon Crunch Frappucino which tastes like Heaven in a frosty cold cup. But they only offer it for a short period, such as the month of May. And then, as if the drink itself wasn't enough, they also give you a punch card which they stamp every time you purchase one of their limited-time-offer beverages. Collect enough stamps, and you get a bracelet. Collect even more, and you get charms for the bracelet. 

Something you must know about me, I'm a sucker for bracelets. And I come from the school of more is more, stacking several at a time on my wrist. The quirkier and more uncoordinated (both with what I'm wearing and with each other), the better. (Side note to family and friends: yes, they make the perfect gift for me. Only 193 days until my birthday!). So when this year's bracelet from the Shanghai Starbucks was a brown leather cord with a silver accent, which is unlike anything else I currently own, I knew I had to do whatever I could to obtain one. Including drink a whole bunch of Frappucino beverages during the month of May. 

The bracelet itself required seven stamps, the last of which I acquired at the Shanghai Pudong airport when I took my visiting friend Lori back to catch her flight home. I was pretty excited. Or it might have been all the caffeine and sugar racing through my bloodstream. 

To get the first charm to put on the bracelet, a miniature silver Frappucino, you had to get an additional five stamps. There was a point that I didn't think I was going to make it. Caramel Ribbon Crunch Frappucino beverages are best enjoyed in moderation. Not as a daily treat (didn't I just write about a recent weight gain? Shame on you Starbucks for exploiting my love of caramel and bracelets!). 

But as you can see, I slid in under the wire, collecting my mini-Frap charm on the very last day of the promotion. 

Want to know how many times I've been back to Starbucks since then? Zero. I don't think my body can take another Frappucino any time soon. My friend Jen did an early morning coffee run for me, taking my punch card with her to get me that precious stamp, and she watched them make it. "Here is your diabetes in a cup. Don't blame me if your pancreas tries to kill you." Yeaaaaaaaah, not a good idea to drink an entire day's worth of calories in a single sugar-filled cup. Maybe next year's bracelet will be super ugly?

Here's how I normally wear my bracelets, stacked up. From top to bottom: the English Rose I got at the Tower of London, turquoise beads with silver happiness charm I got my first month in Shanghai on a fun shopping trip with a now-dear but brand-new-then friend, the Starbucks road-to-diabetes bracelet, and a string of green stones put together by a woman who escaped from the sex trade industry who now designs and sells jewelry to support herself. I have a handful of others I rotate through as well. And like I love to say, there's always room for one more! Did I mention there's only 194 days until Christmas? 


  1. I love the bracelet!! Funny about all the Frapps, though!! Ha ha ha. You crack me up. :)

  2. Oh man! I'd totally fall for that trap. I fall prey to the risk of losing my Gold Card status here.. They tell me I'm going to lose privileges and I go buy buy buy Starbucks. I barely even drink coffee.


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