>Today I thought it might be a lovely idea to take my little self over to Starbucks for a drink and a little uninterrupted study time. I find studying at home especially difficult, and since librarys tend to make me antsy, I opted for the Starbucks in Chapters.
Apparantly Starbucks on a Sunday afternoon is the place to be – it was packed! I really had my heart set on a chai, so I decided to take my chances on finding a seat. The Starbucks staff were who you would expect to be working at Sb’s – the metro guy with one pierced ear, the funky artsy girl, and a cute indie rocker-esque bearded guy. Metro guy took my order and was smiley and super douper, the bearded lovely smiled with plenty of eye contact, and funky artsy girl messed up my order, and I felt like a HUGE jerk correcting the order from non-fat milk to soy. I wanted to apologize and say that I wasn’t in fact a snob, but that milk makes me wheezy. But really, I don’t want to say that, what if she yells, “Grande soy tazo chai for the wheezy kid!” when my order is up? Yeesh.
I found a spot on the purple couch next to a blonde girl deep in a book. There was an old guy by the window to my left and a guy most likely in his mid-thirties but single and on the prowl. He knew everyone. He chatted it up with blonde girl, clearly trying to make an impression. Blonde girl was upset about leaving her Yorkshire Terrier at home because she was afraid he’d run off one day. The guy (later I found out his name was Dan) suggested some sort of an alert system for the dog to push with his nose to let blonde girl know he was ok. A cute attempt at trying to make her feel better, but I don’t think she was impressed. Then a friend of blonde girl’s showed up and they discussed their puppies some more. As they got started on organic food for the dogs, I had to stifle my laughter.
I tried not to laugh again when the old guy came up to Dan and told him half his life story. I love older people who talk to anyone. My mom always gets stopped by these people in the grocery store. I hope I’m one of those people when I’m old.
One of my favourite pasttimes seems to be sitting and watching people (in a completely non-creepy way, of course), and then analyzing them. I noticed several groups of people at Starbucks:
1. the classy, I read this highly intellectual book for my own pleasure and cognitive stimulation and feed my dog only the finest of organic food and dress posh to sit and drink my grande-mocha-choca-latte-frappe-no whip-non-fat-shaken-not stirred coffee, while wearing dark rimmed glasses and thinking about how wonderful my Starbucks life is
2. the hippy bookworms with funky clothes and crazy hair who only drink Starbucks because it’s fair trade
3. the parents who bring their children to Starbucks, and feed them cupcakes while they sit and read (I have issues with this…would it kill you to pay attention to your kid?? I could write a whole blog on this topic alone, but I digress.)
4. students who are so clearly students (ie, UW/WLU sweatshirt, gross hair, huge coffee, backpack, textbook) that it makes me feel at home
5. Paul McIllwraith
The beauty of sitting and observing is that you realize how similar people actually are. It doesn’t matter if they’re in Starbucks, at a concert, or a rollarskating rink, there seems to be a desire for community, to belong, and to know that someone is listening. I think within any subculture, there is the guy who is everyone’s friend, the old man, the blonde girl, the parents, the kids, the hippies, the students, and the in-betweeners. Its just a matter of when and where these people’s lives happen to cross that makes the difference. I think next weekend I’m going to study at an old folks home to see what fascinating things go on there.