A chronological–yet not exhaustive–history of how Starbucks stays failing me

I’m not the first person to lament Starbucks’ spelling of her name. We’ve all laughed at the memes:

But I am consistently impressed—and equally perplexed—by the myriad ways Starbucks baristas manage to *&%$ up this simple four-letter word. E-R-I-N. My name is so basic. In fact, I was always jealous of my friends with prettier, cooler, longer names. To this day, my bestie, Michelle still rocks her high school-era nameplate necklace. And it still looks awesome, eight beautiful letters to balance out the chain. My name always looked like crap on jewelry. Too short to anchor a necklace, I’d catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror and the name part would be somewhere up around my shoulder…


I tried different types of chains, different lengths. I can’t tell you how much cheap, gold-plated “jewelry” I copped at U.S. 1 back in the day trying to be fly. I probably spent like a whole $30 total. Shout to my Franklin/Brunswick fam! Also, the 90’s.


A friend gifted me this necklace for my birthday in 2014 after I told him of my nameplate struggle. He could have spent a million dollars on it and it still would have looked this sad. Thanks anyway, boo. xo

But back to Starbucks. As the majority of the baristas I encounter are white, I often wonder 1) whether they’re not familiar with the name Erin (which I’ve always found difficult to believe), 2) if they figured they misheard me because: black, or 3) if they heard me correctly and just expect that my Erin is spelled more creatively??? Over the past 30+ years of life, I’ve grown accustomed to people spelling my name A-A-R-O-N. I rarely, if ever, roll my eyes anymore when I receive letter addressed to “Mr. Aaron Jackson.” And if that is how these baristas were spelling it, fine. It’s still ridiculous, but it’s a ridiculous I’ve come to accept. But alas, here are a few of the variations I’ve gotten:

May 14, 2015

November 2, 2013

This one is super Key & Peele-esque. A-Aron…?

April 25, 2015

April 25, 2015

This one was was actually spelled correctly, but my friend Kelly and I were at a Starbucks in Boston, where misspelling our names is akin to blasphemy.

July 3, 2015

July 3, 2015

I am almost positive no one in the history of Erins has ever spelled it this way.

September 16, 2016

September 16, 2016

Heron. Like the bird. Or Gil Scott. Or the drug.

September 18, 2016

September 18, 2016

The hell??? Arren? I give up.

I could never have imagined there were this many ways to get it wrong. Do you have any crazy Starbucks fails you can share? Fellow Erins out there–have you felt my pain? Please leave me a message below.

Let’s Go Knicks


Last night, I went to the Knicks/Wizards game at The Garden with my boy T.O.N.Y. He’s a Knicks superfan even though he lives in DC and has season tickets to the Wizards. It was my first time at a game in the Garden since middle school and the first game since Derek Fisher’s firing, so it felt kinda like Christmas. My teams are 2-for-2 on firing crappy coaches this year and I’m all about it. During one of the commercial breaks the people with the t-shirt cannons came out and started shooting them into the stands and people in the crowd lost their s***. I’m always amazed by how crazed people become over the high-velocity propulsion of shitty, free t-shirts towards their faces. The video below is me saying as much.

Not 20 minutes later, as if on cue, I caught a t-shirt with my jaw. I secured it with my right hand as it hit me so it didn’t go tumbling into the next row… It was like the David Tyree helmet catch and OBJ’s one-handed grab had an awesome catch baby. I don’t think that last sentence makes any sense, but I’m not deleting it. I’m sure that at some point in my life I’ve laughed harder, and for longer; I just can’t remember when. #TITF But not really.


I joked with T.O.N.Y. about how mad I would be—I would have demanded to see someone in management—if I got smacked in the face and wound up with a small or medium t-shirt. But, alas, it was an XL. They didn’t want it with Hov.


Russell Wilson and Ciara’s weave (pictured above) were at the game, They were sitting down on the floor next to Lala Anthony. I know Lala and Ciara are good friends because I may or may not really like her reality show, but I was having a hard time picturing Melo and Russ hanging out. They just don’t seem like they’d have a lot in common besides the professional athlete thing. I would love to be a fly on the wall at one of their double dates.

But I digress.


The Knicks have been on a terrible losing streak and though they came close, they did not break it last nite. They missed a 3 at the buzzer that would have sent the game into OT. But it was not meant to be. I’m looking forward to the team improving under new/old coach Kurt Rambis and hopefully snagging a higher profile coach in the offseason. We’re not a good team, but we’re not terrible either. And it’s been a long time since I felt that way. Anyway, I need to be packing a bag right now. The road is calling.

Damn you, Madonna!

A week ago tonight, I was driving my friend, the hilarious Marina Franklin, home after our shows at The Comedy Cellar. As we were about to get on the West Side Highway, we drove into a DUI checkpoint. Marina, who had taped an episode of “The Nightly Show” earlier in the day said, “Girl… I still got my makeup on. Look at these eyelashes. I can’t go to jail all pretty.” I knew I wasn’t drunk, yet it was the most afraid I’d been since those NY state troopers drew their guns on me a few years back. I was convinced 100% I was going to jail. Because if there’s anyone who could get a DUI without being UI, it’s me.

Sidebar, when I posted about the DUI stop on Facebook, one of my Facebook friends left a video in the comments about how it was my right to decline to roll down my window and refuse the breathalyzer… Listen here, white folks: you’re gonna get your black friends killed with that BS. We know you’re trying to be helpful, but that video is not for us. Like it’s so not for us that it should have one of those you-cant-eat-here-or-use-our-water-fountain-civil-rights-era-type “whites only” signs at the beginning.

But I digress.

I’ve always been afraid of becoming an accidental criminal. It’s why, although I’ve never built a bomb, I’m always terrified when a TSA agent swabs my palms for bomb residue. I hope I didn’t touch any bomb ingredients; I hear you can make them out of almost anything. It’s why I’m always paranoid the person who had the rental car before me stashed some contraband that’s gonna be found on my watch. OK, so if I see any scratches I note it on this form, but what if I find heroin? Is there a form for that…?

It’s often difficult to pinpoint the genesis of a phobia, but I happen to know exactly where mine originated. The year was 1987, and my cousin took me to see Madonna in “Who’s That Girl?” In it she plays Nikki Finn, a petty thief who was framed for murder and sets out to find the people who set her up when she gets rekeased. Within a half hour of being released from prison, the scene below takes place:

This movie messed me up, y’all. I was just a kid and I was convinced things like this happened all the time. And now, even though I know better, it’s still in me. When a store owner follows me around to make sure I’m not stealing anything, part of me is angry and offended and the other part is hoping nobody “Nikki Finn’ed” me so I don’t prove them right.

Do you have any weird paranoia that you’d like to blame on Madonna? If so, tell me about it in the comments. And as always, thanks for reading.

Old People Problems


I had several really bad allergic reactions to some fruit I ate this past week — grapes, nectarines. I had some swelling on my face yesterday and last night I broke out in hives. I took some Benadryl and went to sleep. My father was convinced I had shingles. “A lady in my Sunday School class said she just had shingles.” How old was she, Daddy? “68.”


I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that he jumped right to shingles. I mean, he’s an old dude and shingles is an old dude disease — not that young people can’t get shingles (’cause I Googled it and found out they can)… I’m just saying if they do, it doesn’t typically come and go within the span of an episode of “Love and Hip Hop Atlanta.” What’s important here is that my dad is the biggest hypochondriac I know. Growing up, he was always trying to send me to the doctor for something or other. My mom tells this story about how back when I was toddling, my dad got concerned and said, “I think we need to take her to the pediatrician. Why is she walking like that? All slow and wobbly?” Her response: “Because she just learned how to do it two days ago.” My Pop would have maxed out our insurance benefits every year if my mother hadn’t been there to stop him.

P.S. I know those are the wrong kind of shingles (pictured above), but I like to post pictures with each blog entry, and the other kind of shingles are super gross. You’re welcome.

Bitchy resting face

I have this. And combined with the “big eyes…” Pretty sure it’s why I’m still single.

I’m a mostly nice person, and I’m funny. But if I’m not smiling, it’s all bad. I was telling a friend yesterday about how one time at a bar, a guy standing behind me tapped me on the shoulder to chat and I think to buy me a drink (which, like never ever happens anymore), and I turned around with my “I’m-interested-in-what-you-have-to-say-raised-eyebrow” look and his response was “Damn, bitch! Why you got a attitude?” It’s an attitude obviously, but it didn’t seem like the right time to correct his grammar.

Recording artists Jay Z and Beyonce watch from courtside during the first half of the NBA basketball game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Dallas Mavericks in Dallas ejsideeye

See, the main problem is that I lack the ability to raise my eyebrows without widening my eyes. I was born without the very crucial eyebrow isolation tendon-ligament. So my “yes, how can I help you?” looks exactly like my “the eff you want?”  I could give Beyonce a run for her money in a side-eye contest — and y’all know that’s tough to do. Plus I’m puffy and people always assume puffy, brown girls are mad. I’m so aware/self-conscious about it that during a production meeting before we started shooting “Exhale” I explained to my co-hosts, director and producer that I have absolutely no control over my face and not to think I was “judge-y” or had a attitude.

The one cool thing about the “big eyes” is that they work great for stand-up. People come up to me all the time after shows to talk about my eyes. They use words like “expressive” and “communicative,” and compliment me on them. And it’s always strange to hear because before I started comedy, the closest thing I ever got to a compliment was, “You got some big ass eyes.” 

I’ve tried to go out to places and purposefully look happy and approachable but you can’t sit around cheesing all the time without looking simple. So please, help me spread the word:

Erin Jackson is not really a giant bitch. She just looks like one.

More fun facts


So I was at a Starbucks in Indianapolis where the staff decided to do these little profiles and give “fun facts” on all the baristas so customers could get to know them better. One was a graphic designer headed to the Savannah College of Art and Design. Another is a former sailboat racer. And then there was Katie.

Check out Katie’s fun fact…


Yup. Diabetes. Woo-hoo!!!

Who wrote this? Was it a joke by one of the baristas to see if we were paying attention? If so, that’s hilarious. But if Katie did this herself, well that’s just sad. But what’s even sadder is that Katie’s favorite drink is a “trenta Very Berry Hibiscus Refresher with lemonade instead of water.” Ummm, did Katie forget about her fun fact? She should probably go with the water. And maybe make it a tall. Whoever is making this drink for Katie must hate her.

I might hate her.


Dude, it’s not even my car

A lady left this note on my rental car the other day. It was an electric blue Sonata. I almost called her and asked her to make me an offer.

But seriously folks, who does this? I was wondering if she was inquiring as an individual… or did she work for one of those “we’ll buy your crappy old car or house” companies? Was she a fan of Hyundai’s in general, or did this herblistenous color just speak to her? And how often does this work for her? Funny you should ask… Yes, I would like to sell my sole means of transportation. Come on, lady! I was in LA parked in the deck at the Hollywood & Highland Center. Who doesn’t need a car in LA? And unless you’re a complete idiot, what you were going to pay me for it couldn’t buy me anything more than an older model of this very car. Someone needs to tell this lady that it doesn’t work this way. You either go to a used car lot, Carmax, etc. or you wait until you see a car with a “for-sale” sign in the windshield. Then you hit them with an offer.

I wonder if she tries to buy everything that way… Just walking around making people offers on stuff they’re already using.

“You interested in selling that outift?”
“Yo, can I cop the other half of your sandwich?”
“Give me a ring if you wanna sell your crib…”

Stop being lazy, and take yo’ behind to Macy’s/Subway/Remax.

I’m kinda curious how much I could have gotten out of her. I should have at least called. Maybe I still can…