This weekend, my Beloved shooed me out the door with strict orders to go, go now, and not to come back until I’d had a couple of hours to myself and a cup of coffee. (And later that night, my sex drive showed up to the party… coincidence?)
So I nursed the baby, promised to actually come back, and split for Starbucks. Mmm… Starbucks…nothing says having some “me time” like a $4 cup of joe. I love Starbucks- I love it for its overpriced coffee and pseudo-pretentiousness. I love it for the smell of freshly ground fair trade beans soothing away the yuppie guilt of patrons eyeing up the latest adult alternative compilation cd. I love the little sleeve on my coffee that simultaneously keeps my hands cool and generates more paper waste. I love the case full of trans-fat-laden scones and cookies arranged to look like the local organic bakery dropped them off (off a truck from an Atlanta warehouse?). I love how early-90s-poser I sound when I order my grande-skinny-mocha-no-whip. It is a place where I can harken back to 1994 when I was in college, coffeehouses were social centers, and throwing around words like “living wage” and “social justice” would get you laid.
I sauntered in, wearing my clogs and looking all hipster-granola-mom. I got in line and started to slip into Starbucks bliss. That’s when the illusion began crashing down around me. Here are the top ten signs that while you may be in Starbucks, you’re still in South Cackalackey…
10. The Starbucks is in the Target. And it’s not a Super Target. And it’s the only Starbucks in town.
9. Taking into account the clientele, the employees have added scraps of paper to the “tall, grande, venti” signs to read “small, medium, large”.
8. The boy in front of you is wearing (I kid you not) camouflage from head to toe. And it’s not Halloween. And those are his real teeth.
7. The girlfriend of camo boy has just requested “one of those chocolatey coffees”.
6. When the Starbucks employee says “a mocha?”, the girlfriend says “yeah- that’s it! I didn’t know how to say it right…”
5. And then she asks for a straw. (No, it wasn’t iced.)
4. The tip jar is empty save for a cigarette pack wrapper.
3. The barista says “I have a non-fat latte, no foam for Earlene!”
2. One of the patrons orders her coffee “without the Cool Whip”.
And my favorite…
1. There is a spirited discussion going on at one of the tables. About the irrelevance of the electoral college in the modern election? The wage inequities for creative professionals that led to the writer’s strike? Heck no….
ABOUT NASCAR. Yes, that’s right. An entire table full of raised voices and passionate discourse about Tony Stewart. Over lattes.
Didn’t matter. I got two hours alone. And a large chocolatey coffee. With Cool Whip. Yee haw!