Rodalena Rants: Why is There No Small?

Chelly and I braved the frigid Houston temperatures yesterday (stop laughing. Stop it) to go to Target. (We needed groceries, none of which required a produce section, the meat department or an in-store gourmet delicatessen: we exist on carbonated beverages, Cheezits, yogurt, and granola.) It was freakin’ cold–I mean, y’all, we had to wear a jacket and everything: it was Below Forty. Seriously Cold. Especially if you’re a pair of scrawny girls. We looked at each other as we jammed our hands in our pockets and quickly walked toward the door, “I think we’re gonna need some Starbucks, ” I said.

“You got that right.”

Good night, Irene, these sizes aren't even in English.

Good night, Irene, most of these sizes aren’t even in English.

Inside, blessed canned heat and a screaming toddler greeted us. We grabbed a cart and proceeded post-haste to Heaven (aka Starbucks) where Chelly and I looked up at the menu. Both of us heaved a heavy sigh:

“Wait. Which one is their small again?”

“Tall,” I said.

“What? Tall? That’s ridiculous. What’s wrong with calling it a small?”


What is wrong with calling the small a small? One can’t even order a “small” anything anymore. In a drive-thru awhile back, Chelly attempted to order a small drink. The following ridiculous conversation occurred:

“We don’t have a small.”

“What? That doesn’t make any sense. You have to have a small.”

“The smallest size we have is medium.”

“So, you call your small a medium and your medium a large and your extra-large a large? So, technically, you do have a small, but you just call it a medium?”

“Yeah, I guess.” (That poor kid. His public-school-educated brain was under an extraordinary amount of stress as he strained to keep up with this conversation.)

Chelly let loose an exasperated sigh. Then, emphatically, she stated The Obvious Mathematical Truth: “You can’t have a medium without a small.”

Seriously, the woman speaks the truth. It’s like we feel like we’re being gypped by anything labelled “small”? Small things are good. I mean, the holidays are coming, and the best gifts come in those itty bitty boxes, people. No small… I swear…’Muricans….

We stood in line, muttering under our breath and shaking our heads and freezing as we looked at the Starbucks menu. In our dreams, we would have had the following conversation with the young hipster behind the counter:

“I’d like a small hot cocoa, please.”

“We don’t have a small.”

“Oh, yes, you do. Call it whatever you like, but it’s a small.”

“And, I’ll have a medium salted caramel mocha.”

“We don’t have a ‘medium’; it’s called a ‘grande’.”

“Grande is an adjective appropriate for describing things measured in metric tons. This is a cup of coffee. Gimme a medium. In fact, I’d like an Extra-Medium.”


We wrapped our cold hands around our small and medium cups the marketing Gods refer to as Tall and Grande and headed in the opposite direction of that screaming kid. In that moment, we came to a decision: this madness must stop. The only way we can stop this ridiculous abuse of adjectives is to revolt. Join the movement, people: bring back “Small.” Quit ordering grandes and talls and whatever other sizes those weird marketing people are foisting upon an unsuspecting public.

Go on: order a small. Or a medium, or a large. Really, it’s time.

I am the Venti.

I am the Venti.

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8 Responses to Rodalena Rants: Why is There No Small?

  1. I love it. I really do.

  2. CKoepp says:

    :D Reminds me of Political Correctness, particularly in education. When I was setting up small groups for center rotations, I needed some way to refer to each groups. I couldn’t use numbers because that would suggest a hierarchy. Likewise colors because of the rainbow and stoplights. Be careful using animals because some animals have a better rep than others. Oy…

    When I taught remedial math, I was forbidden to refer to myself with the obvious title. Nope. I was the “Accelerated math teacher.” :P

    Silly humans.

  3. You’ve convinced me. You can sign me up for your movement as long as you’ll consider adding a size to the small/medium/large scale. I’ve always wanted to walk up to the counter and say, “I want a mean cup of coffee.”

  4. BigRedOne says:

    It was -9 degrees when I drove my kids to school this morning. :)

    I think my former-fundy-CEO outlawed Starbucks…and Home Depot…Target (until his son got a job there)…

    Tall is too small. Grande is too blande. Venti is, well, I don’t know what that is.

  5. Jeff says:

    Love it! I used to have a roomie that would order “extra-medium.”

You look like you want to say something. Go right ahead.