By Erin Maduck
I can see the fear in his eyes; the moment is drawing near. He nervously bites his nails, puts his hand in his pockets, and opens his mouth to speak. Out comes the predictable question: “Do you want to do something with me sometime?” Although my mind and body screams yes, yes, yes, my carefully practiced reply enters the air completely void of excitement. Just as I agree to his offer, however, I notice the expression upon his face beginning to transform and I smell the decaf on his breath. My heart beats faster and my palms get sweaty. I should have known he is one of them! He foolishly suggests, “let’s go for coffee on Saturday.”
Yeah right, buddy, we aren’t going anywhere.
I am not a coffee shop girl, and I fail to understand what motivates anyone who is. Starbucks, Grabba Jabba, Second Cup-it all makes me want to puke. These establishments have completely taken over movie theatres, libraries, strip malls, and now even the shopping malls. Why does anyone support these disgusting, desperately-striving-to-be-unique environments? In order to encourage all of you coffee shop frequenters to question your faith in the coffee culture, I have lumped your kind into a few distinct categories.
Perhaps the most irritating members of the coffee shop cult are the first daters. Yeah, you know who you are. You do not take that special someone out for dinner because real food costs too much and you do not want to run the risk of getting something in your teeth. Therefore, you confidently whisk your date off to coffee shop wonderland. It is here that you impress him or her with an expensive cappuccino and if they are really lucky, a yummy biscotti stick. You sit down with your date, and begin the painful process of insightfully probing them about their perspectives on life and other worldly, coffee shop issues. It is not that I discourage this type of clichéd gander, but I must warn you that coffee shop environments promote fabricated answers to questions of a more deep nature. I know that I have been a little more politically correct and concerned about starving children within the confines of a coffee shop. Therefore, the coffee shop first date guarantees neither fun nor honesty. The only thing you can really be sure of is that cup of overpriced coffee.
My next category of coffee shop addicts contains overdramatic couples who regularly attend the shop when they are encountering serious relationship issues. Who ever said coffee shops radiate proactive energy? Why do you people insist on solving your problems in public while sipping on a warm cup of walnut-þavoured milk? I think you ought to consider the rest of the patrons in the coffee shop-they can hear your romantic woes, and you make them sick. Go to a park bench, a Bow River pathway, or how about this crazy suggestion: go home!
The third group I feel the need to recognize is the loitering kind. You love to just hang out all of the time and therefore, the coffee shop could not be a more prime location. It is socially acceptable to sit on a coffee shop stool for hours and hours, and you can even pretend to read a novel if you feel self-conscious about having nothing better to do. I have no problem with your need to be away from home, I am simply troubled by your choice of loitering location. Even hanging out at the food court or behind a 24-hour Mac’s store is more respectable than a coffee shop. At least in these alternate spots you are admitting to your empty schedule rather than feebly attempting to disguise it. And what better than to drink a cheap slurpee while you wait for a fellow loiterer?
My final category of coffee shopaholics are probably the most predominant. Yes, you are the wool sweater-wearing university students. You are too health conscious to meet friends in a nicotine-drenched pub, so the coffee shop seems like the one safe option. You nibble on carrot cake with a few mild-mannered friends, and then tell funny jokes about the Reform Party and discuss your approaching hiking trip. You people like heated debate about rising tuition in the coffee shop because it is at these moments that you feel you are truly expressing your university student angst which, in turn, maximizes your entire university experience. You mec-wearing coffee drinkers need to loosen up. Go have a few beers (there are probably less calories in beer than in creamy cappuccino), and if a mild buzz does not interest you, then go to Wendy’s. Eat some real food. Drink a real beverage. This category needs to stop associating coffee shops with higher education.
Why does this “untrendy” trend have such a distinct following? Because coffee shops are havens for boring people who want to appear interesting, simpletons who want to seem intellectual, and yuppies who want everyone to know that they have mastered the yuppy image. Why does society provide establishments for these people to thrive? It is
time for people to realize that the coffee shop is restraining and, therefore, hindering the evolution of mankind.
If you fall into one or a few of the previous categories, you must start buying less espresso and more chocolate milkshakes. You must live.