Make Room For The Stuttering

Br-br-br-breakfast For L-l-l-lunch

Posted on: June 6, 2009

Geez, I hate when this happens, don’t you? I was running late on Friday and decided to swing through the drive through of Dunkin Donuts and pick up something for lunch. I rarely stop there at lunch time. I am a morning coffee person, and go there every day to get a large Hazelnut, cream only. There’s a story in that too. 

For a long time, I would panic when stuttering on the “Hay-hay-hay”. Sometimes I couldn’t get past  being stuck at all and imagined everyone hearing me over the drive-through microphone. Sometimes, I would switch and order French Vanilla coffee, which I don’t really like, because it was easier to say. I always hated when I did that! But, even more I hated the dread I felt as I imagined people in the store laughing at me, as I could not get past “Hay-hay-hay”.  I DON”T DO THAT ANYMORE! I always order hazelnut, every morning, no matter how it sounds.

Anyway, back to the lunch time foray. Since I was in a hurry, I figured I’d get a breakfast sandwich and munch it at my desk, while changing gears for the afternoon. When I pulled up to the drive through, I already knew what I wanted. I said, ” Br-br-br-break fast sand-sand-sandwich, please, om-om-om-lette ssssssausage on a p-p-p-p-plain ba-ba-ba-bagel, t-t-t-toasted.” Before I was done saying it, I was already mouthing to myself,  “OMG , I can’t believe this. What’s going on?” This amount of stuttering totally surprised me!

When I pulled up, she told me my total and said it would be just a minute. I paid, got my change, and waited just a minute. Then she delivered my hot sandwich, smiled, wished me a nice day, and off I went. I was two minutes from work, and went to my office to eat at my desk. I opened the bag and lo and behold, there was the exact sandwich I had ordered and wanted, piping hot. I enjoyed my breakfast sandwich for lunch and then went on to the next activity I had scheduled.

Drive through microphone stations always give me trouble, similar to the telephone. It must be the time pressure thing, or the fact that I can’t see the other person’s face, so I am left to imagine they are laughing, as they hear this awful stutterer trying to order food.

Years ago, I would have not have ordered my lunch this way. These days, I just do. It is what it is. I stutter, and sometimes I want something fast through the drive through. I imagine things to be worse than they are. 

I stutter. Sometimes I stutter at the drive through. That doesn’t mean I stop going. I like junk food just like everyone else.

Has this happened to you? Have you ever ordered something you didn’t want because it was easier to say? I am glad I got just what I wanted. That’s the way it should be. Every time!

Copyright © 2009

15 Responses to "Br-br-br-breakfast For L-l-l-lunch"

Great posting Pam!!

BE GRATEFULL THOUGH that “Br-br-br-break fast sand-sand-sandwich, please, om-om-om-lette ssssssausage on a p-p-p-p-plain ba-ba-ba-bagel, t-t-t-toasted” is is what you might have only had trouble on.

That example of stuttering for me is a minor disfluency. I would do anything to stutter as minor as that. And still getting the right order. I consider that a flawless victory!

If it was me, I would have been FAR more disfluent saying that same thing, or I wouldn’t be able to say it are blessed to have the trouble you did!! In my eyes, that was a minor disfluency. You came out strong though. That’s what counts.

And reguarding the Hay-Hay-Hay part. Instead of feeling bad about that which I think would make anyone feel embarrassed, inject some humor!!

Hay-Hay-Hay could be seen as Hey-Hey-Hey it’s me Pam. Or Hey-Hey-Hey how are you. If you don’t what I mean, the beginning of the old cartoon Fat Albert cartoon had Fat Albert going Hey-Hey-Hey, it’s Fat Albert. He was not disfluent– that was his fun greeting.

So turn thay Hay-Hay-Hay disfluency into a fun greeting to someone!

Th-th-th-that’s all folks!

This is such a strong influence in my life. I dread, dread placing my order. I order something I do not want when it is easier to say all the time. The worst is when you have struggled through your order and they say, “Can you repeat that?” The thing is, I don’t even get angry at the situation anymore. I am just grateful to not have to speak twice or that I get something remotely close to what I wanted!



Hopefully you will reach the point where you say what you want,and take as long as you need to say it. Its not easy, this stuttering thing.
My covert habits have such a way of creeping in unexpectedly, but I really try to stay honest to who I am.

I got tired of drinking paying for and drinking coffee I didn’t like!

Hope you keep reading, and posting!


Pam, I do both those things (avoiding ordering at all or ordering something other than what I want because what I really want is difficult to ask for or sounds weird) and I don’t stutter. I’ll also delay, avoid or just not make phone calls if I can avoid them.

For me, it’s the anxiety of talking to someone I can’t see. Like you, I imagine they’re doing some mental eyerolls at my expense.

I have made myself go through drive thrus. I wonder sometimes if I should just drive up to the window and tell them my order. I hate the speaker it causes me to stutter but I consider it a victory if I don’t change my order on purpose.

Hihi, this looks like it was a great stutter Pam. Go you! And yay for getting the right order!! I’m glad you order what you want regardless =)

I am a coward, I let my husband do the ordering even if the speaker is on my side of the car, he still has to lean over and order. I do feel stupid doing this but I have decided that it is easier for me to deal with that stupid than the one of others hearing me and laughing.

One night my sisters and I were out having pizza, my sister had order a pitcher of soda which she sent be back to get. She told me to take anything but coke. Confidently I stepped up to the counter saw what looked like grape soda and order grape soda, The attendant looked at me like I was crazy. We have no grape soda she replied in a less that accomodating tone, (she must have been having a bad night)I guess that was really grape juice then.

The point is I was so frightened and embarassed I could not as her what she had to make my choice and so, seeing the coke I just pointed on it and took it. When I returned to the table I could see the puzzling look on my sisters face, I felt even worst.

And so we all had coke that night.

Thanks for the feedback and honesty. Its good that this spurs you on to delve into some of the honest stuff. The grape soda vs coke is a great story. It reminds me of the times that I ordered a plain cheese pizza because I couldn’t say pepperoni.

Keep sharing and keep doing what you have to do for yourself!

sounds like my dad, sometimes he will order at the drive threw and then other times prefers my mom to do it, I would never do that right now, I need to get more confident b4 I do that. There have been many times where I order sprite when I want water or coke b/c it’s easier. I think it just goes to show you that the world won’t end if you stutter, but again still working on that

I think we are all a work in progress. With practice, that which we fear becomes easier. Order that coke when ever you want it.

An idea. Might be great for some and offensive to others. Carry a small pad and pencil, and use it when that’s easier than speaking or repeating. Maybe just on the key words, or the ones that are giving trouble today.

You could get Staples to print pads saying something about stuttering, or make your own. (Expanding on that, you can get custom-printed memo-pads, or even stickies, for the office.)

Also, drive throughs are over-rated. We often pick a entering the lot at the same time, then we go in, order, and leave before that car reaches the order window.

Carrying a notepad could easily turn into an avoidance… It could certainly be helpful for some at times, but also quite hurtful.

Hey pam, Yes this has happened but when I was in 5th grade. Everyday I would get pizza b/c I could just point and then the lady knew that’s what I wanted everyday. Eventhough the pizza was gross I wanted something else, since then I have packed my lunch in HS.

It’s funny how many of us use similar coping strategies. Often when I’m going to order something I’ll have a “backup” that I know I can say perfectly.

I also stutter more on the phone and like you, I think it’s because I can’t see their faces.

However, I don’t stutter when I’m ordering from the drive thru because I think yelling into the microphone helps me. Whenever my voice is louder (or really soft, like whispering) I tend to stutter less.

This happens to me alot, sometimes i can talk fine , other times I can’t say what I want ! The other day I stopped at dunkin donuts and I wanted a mocha iced coffee, I couldn’t get out the word mocha , so I just said a iced coffee. I hate when that happens 😦

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