I Blame Coffee
It’s not often that you get a chance to share an important first experience with a man, but you are all witness to my first opening of my laptop to “work” in a Starbuck’s, or any coffee shop for that matter. It’s not my first time physically entering a Starbuck’s. I’ve passed through and I’ve always wondered what all of these people were doing with their inherently hydrophobic computers purposefully placed next to paper cups filled with liquid. These people are always here, at all times of the day and night. It’s as if they have no jobs or homes to go to. Now I’m one of those people that people like me wonder about.
Please understand that my aversion to this scene that I find myself in, isn’t an anti-corporate thing. It isn’t necessarily an indictment of the customers, either. That being said, I swear I just heard this order…
Hi, I’d like to have a venti pretentious-ccino/macchiato blend with foam and a shot of smug, with two ice cubes, because I don’t like it too hot. Please don’t call my name until the first ice cube melts and you’ve freshly placed the second gently though the middle of the foam.
No, even the presence of this entitled display of d-baggery isn’t the problem. I’m not even (overly) annoyed at the sea of similarly Apple logo’d status symbols with attached keyboards. The Apple market penetration in laptops is less than 10%, but it’s like 80% in Starbucks. This is not my tribe. Even this “core” group in the Apple farm masquerading as a coffee shop/creative incubator, isn’t my primary complaint.
My issue is more basic – I despise coffee. That’s not hyperbole, either. I don’t like it…at all. I’d choose a mug of mud over a cup of coffee.
I don’t like it with cream; I don’t like it with sugar; I do not like the nasty bean.
You can understand why this chain is not my first choice of destinations, right? I have spent plenty of time writing at Barney’s Beanery, but their brew is cold, carbonated and served in beautifully iced pint glasses. Just to grind the point even further; I can’t even drink Guinness Beer because it has coffee in it’s flavor profile. Yes, the subtle presence of coffee can even ruin beer for me.
So I’m here with my venti “Very Berry Hibiscus” Starbucks Refresher, which, by way sounds douchey when ordering. I pull it off though. I can play the role of self-important, Hollywood type doing my work in my satellite office. I mentioned blaming coffee for something, didn’t I? Well, let’s get into that.
I blame coffee for any lack of success or problem in my life. There I said it, Juan Valdez. I’m sure that sounds extreme, but now that I’m on the inside, I can see that the coffee joint is the professional and personal watering hole, of the modern age. Let’s examine examine the effect on these areas of my life:
Clearly, I’m doing it wrong. I’ve been writing at home, when I should be out here legitimizing myself in this caffeine powered, creative incubation space. Who knew? How did I expect anyone to take me seriously while holed up in my preferred space. This is showing up for work. I’m waiting for someone to read over my shoulder and discover this brilliant sequencing of letters.
I never think to ask someone to meet with me to discuss business over coffee. I’ve had happy hour meetings, but now I wonder if they think I’m a drunk when a real writer should be a hot liquid-addicted tweaker.
It’s no secret that I’m single and often ask the question about myself, in 3rd person “How is he single?”. I think I now know the answer. Maybe it was all those times that I acted as if I was going to throw up in my mouth when a lady would suggest that we meet up for coffee. I thought that was just a subtle, non-verbal clue that coffee wasn’t on my list of preferences and that she should try another, less vile, suggestion. Was that judgy? Intolerant? Unnecessarily opinionated? Did she think that vomit was a reaction to her? Some people can be so insecure.
I never ask a woman on a coffee date. That has never seemed like a productive move, to me. This actually seems like the perfect place to stumble, trip and fall right into the friend zone. I mean, look at all of this high powered Hollywood, hot shot, competition. How can she focus on my awesome, in this brightly lit environment with foam art in her cup that’s decorated with a creative spelling of her name? I feel like any moment could put me in the horrific position of enduring interrogation about why I ordered the juice looking beverage. That is an innocent man warding off suspicion that he must be some sort of alien, to not like coffee.
I feel the crash coming…
I worry that I’ve sat here for too long, but the cast of characters in this scene has barely changed, since I entered. It seems that loitering is tolerated, even encouraged by the free WiFi. Keep them in the crack house, I guess. That’s just good business.
What is my takeaway? Well, it won’t be the this Venti Sized, Very Berry Hisbiscus Starbucks Refresher…still sounds repellent and self-important. That sucker is almost done and I…must…avoid…the…crack.
Other than that, I still blame coffee for ALL of my problems. I mean seriously, it can’t be me. I’m awesome without the need for a murky water pick-me-up in a cup. Plus, like my status update of Facebook said today: in all areas, I’m not the ideal candidate because I have a “Know Experience” problem! Yeah, it’s obviously coffee’s fault, but I won’t give in. I will persevere without the watering Cup O Joe hole. In other news, I’ve never typed faster. I think I need to go for a walk!