This Starbucks is Full of The Weirdest and Best People In The World!
If you’re young and in love, or if you’re young and moony, or if you’re young and without wireless internet, whatever the case may be, you may find yourself spending an odd afternoon inside a small corner coffee shop. Maybe its walls are lined with books and old maps. Maybe the patrons are loyal and come from all walks of life and every imaginable ethnic group.
Or maybe, you wind up at Starbucks, because it’s so convenient and familiarly corporate that it reminds you of past afternoons as a youth in Bethesda, when it didn’t occur to you that there might be alternatives to Starbucks or that there was any reason you should drink non-fat lattes instead of Caramel Fraps w/ extra whip.
So when I walked, or maybe I drove, to Starbucks the other day, I was expecting to find a quiet place to worry and scheme and pretend to do important things on my laptop. Like design a website, or come up with a business plan for a new alternative to fro-yo, as I’m sure that market is plenty saturated. And who really thought up self-serve yogurt anyways? It wasn’t Bill Gates, or some other successful millionaire. It was probably some kid like me, who was lost in the world, until she remembered that she had always loved tart yogurt, and thought other people might, too. So she entered business school and drafted some business plans and took her dreams to the bank, where she was rejected. And some other young gun overheard her crying to her mother in the parking lot about yogurt and he got an idea and he borrowed $20,000 from his parents like Mitt Romney says everyone can do in America, and he opened the world’s first self-serve yogurt shop.
I was awoken from my deep-thinking, when a french man offered me a paper cigarette and begged me to have one of his Madeleines. When he asked me to watch his coffee and cookies as he went looking for more cigarrettes, he said:
“I appreciate you, thank you.”
And it occurred to me that maybe this afternoon didn’t have to result in anything so spectacular as a blueprint of a frozen yogurt empire. Maybe it was enough that some man in a fedora and beautiful Italian vest acknowledged my existence in the world.
How wonderful is Starbucks! This coffeehouse for everyone! The people’s coffeehouse! Its doors open for all: French, American, vagrant, hockey mom, dentist, alternative healer. A place for making eye contact and quickly looking away, for tapping your feet to Feist, or covers of Feist songs. For getting lost in thought, and then remembering you parked illegally. For thinking about what you’re going to eat later. Etcetera.
Even when Starbucks closes, you can sit outside. Because they might stop making foamy lattes, but they don’t turn off the wireless Internet.